The Next European Particle Accelerator – Does CERN Need Another Supercollider?

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Europe is currently investigating plans to build a new 100km particle collider to supersede the world famous Large Hadron Collider (LHC). But what would CERNs immense project bring to the world of science and beyond?

A new, larger European particle accelerator would almost certainly be the most ambitious experiment ever constructed, and require truly global collaboration over the course of decades. The result would allow physicists to probe the Universe’s conditions moments after the Big Bang, expanding our understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.

But the benefits would go well beyond particle physics. Such immense scientific enquiry inevitably leads to off shoots and indirect benefits. Particle physics has led to everything from the birth of the internet to the imaging of biological molecules, which has proven crucial in our efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the most profound impacts, though, cannot be quantified. Pursuing the fundamental research concerning the next European particle accelerator brings together nations around the world and inspires future generations of scientists of all disciplines. As Jeremy Farrar puts it, our quest to probe the laws of nature is “something akin to a modern Enlightenment.”