Washington, Feb 1 (ANI): CERN has announced that the LHC will run right through to the end of 2012.
The decision will up the LHC's chances of finding new physics in the next two years, before the LHC goes into a long shutdown to prepare for higher energy running starting 2014.
"If LHC continues to improve in 2011 as it did in 2010, we've got a very exciting year ahead of us. The signs are that we should be able to increase the data collection rate by at least a factor of three over the course of this year," said CERN's Director for Accelerators and Technology, Steve Myers.
Earlier the LHC was supposed to be shut down at the end of 2011, but the machine's excellent performance in its first full year of operation forced a rethink.
If there is no new physics in the energy range currently being explored by the LHC, running through 2012 will give the LHC experiments the data needed to fully explore this energy range before moving up to higher energy.
"With the LHC running so well in 2010, and further improvements in performance expected, there's a real chance that exciting new physics may be within our sights by the end of the year," said CERN's Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci.
"For example, if nature is kind to us and the lightest supersymmetric particle, or the Higgs boson, is within reach of the LHC's current energy, the data we expect to collect by the end of 2012 will put them within our grasp."
The schedule announced today foresees beams back in the LHC next month, and running through to mid December. There will then be a short technical stop over the year before resuming in early 2012. (ANI)