Revving Up the Search for Dark Matter

Physics Particle Accelerator Collider Illustration

The Large Hadron Collider detectors started recording high-energy collisions at the unprecedented energy of 13.6 TeV.

The Large Hadron Collider is once again delivering proton collisions to experiments, this time at an unprecedented energy of 13.6 TeV, marking the start of the accelerator’s third run of data taking for physics.

A burst of applause erupted in the restart of the LHC in April to ensure the smooth beginning of these collisions with higher-intensity beams and boosted energy.

Following over three years of upgrade and maintenance work, the LHC is now set to run for close to four years at the record energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts (TeV), providing increased precision and discovery potential. Many factors point to a promising physics season that will further expand the already very diverse LHC physics program: increased collision rates, higher collision energy, upgraded data readout and selection systems, improved detector systems and computing infrastructure.

CERN Control Center LHC Restart

Celebrations at the CERN control centre (CCC) to mark the start of LHC Run 3. Credit: CERN)

A new period of data taking began on Tuesday, July 5 for the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, after more than three years of upgrade and maintenance work. Beams have already been circulating in CERN’s accelerator complex since April, with the LHC machine and its injectors being recommissioned to operate with new higher-intensity beams and increased energy. However, now the LHC operators have announced “stable beams,” the condition allowing the experiments to switch on all their subsystems and begin taking the data that will be used for physics analysis. The LHC will run around the clock for close to four years at a record energy of 13.6 trillion electronvolts (TeV), providing greater precision and discovery potential than ever before.

“We will be focusing the proton beams at the interaction points to less than 10 micron beam size, to increase the collision rate. Compared to Run 1, in which the Higgs was discovered with 12 inverse femtobarns, now in Run 3 we will be delivering 280 inverse femtobarns. This is a significant increase, paving the way for new discoveries,” says Director for Accelerators and Technology Mike Lamont.

3D Cut of LHC dipole

3D cut of the Large Hadron Collider dipole. Credit: CERN)

The four big LHC…

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