The biggest particle accelerator of the world has been restarted after a two-year shutdown and upgrade, marking the beginning of a new mission to unfold some more mysteries of the universe. Scientists at Europe’s particle physics research centre CERN restarted the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) on Sunday. The collider has played a vital role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle which was in theory for long and was confirmed in 2013. Scientists are hoping to use it for garnering more knowledge about the dark matter, which makes up about 96 percent of the universe but can be detected only by its influence on visible matter.
Researchers are gearing up for particle-smashing collisions which are expected to start in June. However, any new discovery is unlikely to surface until mid-2016. The renovation included new magnets, much higher energy beams and voltages and a complete check of all wiring around the underground 27-km (17-mile) LHC tunnel and its four major detectors and multiple magnets. CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said “It’s fantastic to see it going so well after two years and such a major overhaul.”
During its last run, from 2010 to 2013, the legendary Higgs boson particle was successfully tracked down by the scientists. In about two months, CERN will start smashing particles into each other in the LHC with nearly twice the energy as compared to its first run from 2010-2013 and almost at the speed of light. CERN spent about $150 million for the upgrade.