Physicists have proposed to build a collider on the moon

Physicists have proposed to build a collider on the moon
Physicists have proposed to build a collider on the moon

The ring of the "lunar hadron collider" will be able to sweep the satellite along the equator and collide protons with energies thousands of times greater than the famous LHC.

Simulation of the Higgs boson decay into muons

Scientists have assessed the prospects for building a giant particle collider on a satellite of the Earth. In their opinion, in the foreseeable future, the appearance of such a grandiose instrument cannot be expected. However, when launched, it will allow particles with energies of the order of 14 quadrillion electron volts (eV) to collide - thousands of times more powerful than what happens at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). James Beacham of Duke University and Frank Zimmermann of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) write about this in a new article presented in the open online library

Colliders are used to accelerate elementary particles to tremendous speeds, often comparable to the speed of light, and collide them with each other or with a target. This makes it possible to analyze the shower of secondary particles produced in the process of such a "quantum accident", finding previously unknown and studying their characteristics. The higher the collision energy, the more fundamental properties can be investigated.

Therefore, despite the existence of a huge LHC, accelerating particles in an annular tunnel almost 27 kilometers long, physicists and engineers are thinking about building more colossal instruments. Among them is the CERN Future Circular Collider project with a tunnel of 80-100 kilometers and energies up to 100 TeV. According to Zimmerman and Beecham, the "lunar" collider could be next.

On the Moon, where many earthly restrictions do not apply, the ring can simply pass along its equator and reach almost 11 thousand kilometers. Almost all structures will need to be built at a depth where they will be protected from cosmic radiation and micrometeorites. But if future technology is able to do this, physicists will receive a unique instrument. According to scientists' calculations, the energy of direct proton-proton collisions in it can reach 14 PeV.

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