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Large Hadron Collider’s Energy Boost May Help in Higgs Boson Search

(A graphic showing traces of collision of particles at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience is pictured with a slow speed experience at Universe of Particles exhibition of the the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on December 13, 2011 in Geneva.)

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Will it swallow the earth in a manmade black hole, send us hurtling off through time, or just aid in the hunt for the Higgs boson? Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider plan to increase the particle-accelerator’s energy by 14 percent, breaking the LHC’s previous high-energy record.

In an article for the BBC, Steve Myers, director for accelerators and technology at CERN, hopes the boost will improve the collider’s chances of finding the illusive Higgs particle.

“Two good years of operational experience … give us the confidence to safely move up a notch, and thereby extend the physics reach of the experiments before we go into the LHC’s first long shutdown,” he says.  

That shutdown will occur in November and the collider will undergo several upgrades for almost two years, after which the team hopes to bring the system back online at double it’s current energy output. Just great. We can’t wait till it goes to 11.