London, March 24 (ANI): Engineers at CERN have decided March 30 as the date to make their first attempt to collide beams at an energy of 3.5 trillion electronvolts (TeV) per beam at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), to begin hunt for the elusive 'God Particle'.
The LHC reached this beam energy last week, breaking its own particle beam energy record.
But, among other things, engineers will need to ensure the beams are stable at 3.5 TeV before trying for collisions.
Charged particles tend to speed up in an electric field, defined as an electric potential - or voltage - spread over a distance
One electron volt (eV) is the energy gained by a single electron as it accelerates through a potential of one volt
It is a convenient unit of measure for particle accelerators, which speed particles up through much higher electric potentials.
The first accelerators only created bunches of particles with an energy of about a million eV (MeV).
The LHC can reach beam energies a million times higher: up to several teraelectronvolts (TeV),
This is still only the energy in the motion of a flying mosquito.
But that energy is packed into a comparatively few particles, travelling at more than 99.99% the speed of light.
A magnet fault caused one tonne of liquid helium to leak into the tunnel in 2008, shortly after the machine was first switched on, requiring a programme of repairs that lasted 14 months.
Between now and March 30, the LHC's team will be working to commission the beam control systems and the systems that protect the machine's detectors, or experiments, from stray particles.
"All these systems must be fully commissioned before collisions at 3.5 TeV can begin," according to CERN.
"Getting beams circulating is one thing. Having them circulate for a reasonable lifetime is another. Having a 'golden orbit' - where the beams complete lap after lap after lap for hours - is important," Dr Gillies told BBC News.
"All of these things you have to do before the machine operators can say: 'the beams are now stable, you can switch on the detectors'," he said.
The LHC will search for the elusive Higgs boson, dubbed the "God particle" because of its importance to our understanding of physics.
At allotted points around the LHC tunnel, the proton beams cross paths, allowing particles to smash into one another.
Detectors located at the crossing points will scour the wreckage of these collisions for discoveries that extend our knowledge of physics. (ANI)