The scientists at European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN shut down the Large Hadron Collider in what is to be the first step in a two-year maintenance effort.
The LHC, located in Geneva, Switzerland, has performed exceptionally well in its two years of operation between 2015 and 2018. The particle smasher has helped scientists increase their understanding of the universe that was formerly unknown to mankind, producing five times more data than its first run.
With its second scheduled power-down, the LHC will be prepared for better and more potent experiments that will expand the knowledge of fundamental physics as well as the universe. The plan is to switch the LHC back on in early 2021 after an upgrade and renovation work.
The LHC 2.0
According to a CERN's latest press release, the LHC was already shut down earlier this week for maintenance and extensive upgrades. The scientists reveal that the machine will be equipped with a network of advanced detectors and transmitters that will allow the particles to collide at higher speeds, enabling the scientists to gain further advancement in the field of physics.
"The second run of the LHC has been impressive, as we could deliver well beyond our objectives and expectations, producing five times more data than during the first run, at the unprecedented energy of 13 TeV," Frédérick Bordry, CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology, said in the release. "With this second long shutdown starting now, we will prepare the machine for even more collisions at the design energy of 14 TeV."
LHC: Father Of The 'God Particle'
The LHC is famous for its discovery of Higgs Boson in 2012, also known as the "God Particle." Its revelation helped two CERN scientists earn the coveted Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013.
"In addition to many other beautiful results, over the past few years the LHC experiments have made tremendous progress in the understanding of the properties of the Higgs boson," adds Fabiola Gianotti, CERN director-general. "The Higgs boson is a special particle, very different from the other elementary particles observed so far; its properties may give us useful indications about physics beyond the Standard Model."
During its shutdown, the researchers will mine the existing data to get a deeper look into physics that was revealed by the LHC in its two years of operation.