Sun, Feb 03, 2019 - Page 9 News List

Mega tube under Geneva enters race to succeed CERN collider
日內瓦地底巨大隧道 可望接手粒子加速器

A general view of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment during a media visit at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, France, near Geneva in Switzerland, on July 23, 2014.
「大型強子對撞機」實驗的概要照片,位於法國聖熱尼普伊市,接近瑞士日內瓦的歐洲核子研究組織內,攝於二○一四年七月二十三日的一場媒體參訪。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

A proposed 100km particle accelerator under Geneva has joined an international quest to develop the successor to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to help unlock humankind’s knowledge of matter.

The existing collider, which started up in 2008, smashes protons together in a 27km circuit beneath the Swiss-French border. It helped scientists discover the long-sought Higgs boson — a particle that supplied the missing piece of the standard model of physics by explaining why objects have mass.

The Future Circular Collider (FCC), proposed by more than 150 universities and science institutes, would be a huge tubular circuit almost four times as long, with 10 times more power than the LHC at CERN, the European center for nuclear physics.

The proposal came out of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, which recommended that design and feasibility studies be conducted in order for Europe “to be in a position to propose an ambitious post-LHC accelerator project at CERN by the time of the next strategy update.”

But the decision on whether to go ahead with the FCC — incurring an initial 9 billion euro (US$10.3 billion) bill for participating governments plus a later 15 billion euro upgrade — is effectively part of an international race to host the LHC’s successor, with China, Japan, the United States and Europe all interested. “Any big machine for the future will be a global machine,” said Arnaud Marsollier, head of media relations at CERN. “No one expects to have two 100km colliders built in the next 20 years, so if one is built in China, maybe Europe will do something else.”

The LHC is expected to keep running until around 2036-2040, by which time it will have done its job collecting data, but it might also be possible to upgrade it by increasing the energy of collisions, which would require major investment.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. particle n.

粒子 (li4 zi3)

2. proton n.

質子 (zhi2 zi3)

3. circuit n.

環道;電路

(huan2 dao4; dian4 lu4)

4. feasibility study phr.

可行性研究

(ke3 xing2 xing4 yan2 jiu4)

5. collision n.

撞擊;碰撞

(zhuang4 ji2; peng4 zhuang4)

6. spin-off n.

衍生產品;副產品

(yan3 sheng1 chan2 pin3; fu4 chan2 pin3)


China has floated plans for its own 100km collider, but has not yet confirmed it will go ahead. Japan is expected to take a decision on a linear collider in March, which could play into a potential choice by European countries in 2020 about whether to back the FCC or another proposal for CERN, the Compact Linear Collider.

For physicists, the location may be less important than the science opportunities offered by a new collider, allowing them to peer into the debris left when subatomic particles smash together and shatter into even smaller pieces, some of which may answer fundamental questions about the universe. But science mega-projects attract talent and can generate unforeseen spin-offs — including the invention of the World Wide Web at CERN, which has become a global center for physicists, despite the high cost of living around Geneva.

The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 earned Peter Higgs and Francois Englert the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics. They had predicted half a century earlier that it would one day be discovered.

(Reuters)

計畫建造於日內瓦地底的一台粒子加速器,圓周達一百公里長,近日加入國際尋求發展「大型強子對撞機」後繼機組的行列,以協助揭開人類對於物質的理解。

目前的「大型強子對撞機」啟用於二○○八年,位於瑞士和法國邊界底下,讓質子在周長二十七公里的環形隧道中對撞。這項實驗幫助科學家發現尋覓已久的「希格斯玻色子」──這個粒子解釋為何物體會具有質量,填補了物理學標準模型理論中缺少的一塊拼圖。

由超過一百五十所大學與科學機構提議的「未來環形對撞機」將會是一座巨大的管狀環形隧道,幾乎是位於歐洲核子研究組織的「大型強子對撞機」四倍長,撞擊力道更達到後者的十倍。歐洲核子研究組織是歐洲的原子核物理學研究中心。

這份提案源自於「歐洲粒子物理學戰略」,該戰略建議科學家著手設計並進行可行性研究,讓歐洲「能夠在下一次戰略更新時,在歐洲核子研究組織提出一項雄心勃勃的後大型強子對撞機加速器計畫」。

不過,是否要著手進行「未來環形對撞機」的決定──初期款項將會對參與政府造成九十億歐元(一百○三億美元)的支出,往後還要支付另外一百五十億歐元進行更新──其實是一場國際競賽的一部分,為的是爭取在自己國家設置「大型強子對撞機」的後繼機種,包括中國、日本、美國,以及歐洲各國都紛紛對此表示興趣。歐洲核子研究組織的媒體關係主管阿諾‧馬索列表示:「為未來建造的任何大型設備都將會是全球性的設備。」他也指出:「沒有人期望在未來二十年內同時建造兩台圓周一百公里的碰撞器,所以如果中國興建了一台,歐洲也許就會投入別的任務。」

This story has been viewed 2180 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top