The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) said on its website that the collider’s magnets “squeeze” on small particles causing them to smash together, which scientists then note.
These particles are so small that their lining to smash together, CERN said, “is like shooting two needles 10 kilometers apart with such precision that they meet halfway.”
The improvements to the collider mean that scientists will be able to study the Higgs boson “in great detail,” CERN said in a press release Friday.
A team of experts is now hoping they can smash more particles together with the goal of understanding the mysteries of dark matter – an invisible and elusive mass that can’t be seen because it doesn’t absorb, reflect or emit any light.
A complex process fraught with tension
Dark matter is thought to make up most of the matter in the universe, and it was previously discovered through its ability to create gravitational distortions in outer space.
Scientists will also focus on experiments they hope to increase their knowledge of about cosmic ray showers — which occur when tiny particles from space come into contact with the atmosphere and then “fall” on Earth, says CERN.
The Large Hadron Collider was first launched in September 2008 and has been closed for three years for upgrade. Restarting it was a complicated process.
Rendy Sternberg, in charge of control room operations, told Reuters earlier this week that turning it on “comes with a certain sense of nervousness and nervousness.”
“It’s not a heart on a button,” he said.
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