“Have you guys heard the good news?” Orak joined his friends at the lunch table. The four Mysticals were having lunch at the dorm cafeteria.
“Is tomorrow a holiday?” Felix said, wishing it to be true.
“You wish!” Scorch teased Felix.
“I am talking about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It is up and running again!” Orak informed. Felix, Scorch, and Verum looked at each other, confused.
“You don’t know what LHC is, do you?” Orak had guessed it right. They didn’t. Felix, Scorch, and Verum shook their heads and waited for Orak to explain.
Orak said, “The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle collider. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It is located near Geneva, Switzerland.”
“What does the LHC do?” Verum said.
Orak said, “The LHC studies subatomic particles. Atom is the smallest particle of an element. Inside an atom, there are protons, neutrons, and electrons. They are subatomic particles.
Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel in opposite directions. They are almost as fast as the speed of light. They are made to collide. The LHC consists of a 27-kilometer ring of superconducting magnets. They boost the energy of the particles, for example, protons. The protons collide with other protons. It produces smaller particles that fly off in different directions. The path and energy tell the scientists what kind of particle it is.”
“On April 22, 2022, something similar happened. The two beams of protons circulated in the opposite directions of the LHC’s 27-kilometer ring,” Orak added.
“What a complicated process!” Scorch said.
Felix nodded vigorously and said, “If it’s doing such important work, why was the LHC shut?”
“In 2018, it was shut down to improve the accelerator and the facility,” Orak answered.
“But now, after three years, the LHC has been upgraded. Its instruments will allow researchers to study the collisions in higher definition. It will be able to take data at the rate of 30 million times each second. Its beams are narrower. It means more collisions and greater the chance of finding rarely created new particles!” Orak said, “Isn’t that impressive?”
“Yes!” Scorch said.
“I am excited to see the rare discoveries the LHC will make!” Verum said.