Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Particle Accelerator To Be Built In Germany

Without much fanfare, and without much fuss, a new particle accelerator will be built in Germany. Named the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), it will cost a total of $1.7 billion.

One of its goals is to try and recreate the conditions during the Big Bang.

"This laboratory will be recreating a mini version of the Big Bang," Horst Stöcker, scientific director of the German Society for Heavy Ion Research (GSI), which will oversee the facility, told the news agency DPA. "The substance we will be making resembles that in the first microseconds of the Big Bang, when it was a million times hotter than the center of the sun. We're talking a million times 10 million degrees Celsius."

How will this new accelerator differ than the LHC being constructed at CERN?

The project differs from the massive new particle accelerator currently nearing completion at CERN near Geneva in Switzerland in that it will focus more on the intensity of its particle beam rather than on the speed achieved. The CERN project, which hopes to begin experiments in 2008, hopes to find subatomic particles and antiparticles to help provide evidence backing up string theory.

I wish the process in building the International Linear Collider (ILC) is as unfussy as this. Unfortunately, with a $10 billion price tag, the ILC is naturally more complicated and more involved.



Anonymous said...

But, to put it in perspective, 400 billion dollars were spent on the Iraq war!

Anonymous said...

Just to specify a little bit: the FAIR facility going to be built in Darmstadt/Germany differs from LHC, as not such high energies are requested. In this facility the main purpose is to accelerate everything found in the periodic system, up to U92+. This will also include antiprotons. This will allow a fast field of experiments to take place starting from nuclera physics, over atomic physics and you name it!
The further aim is to have as much intensity as possible and as good beam qualities as possible.