China have announced plans to build their own version of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that will be twice as large as the facility in Switzerland.
They hope to study the Higgs boson particle which was first discovered at CERN, and more commonly known as the “god-particle”.
China plans on breaking ground on the facility in 2020 with no projected completion date mentioned.
There is also no mention as to whether or not the facility will welcome physicists and scientists from all nations or if it will strictly be a Chinese-run experiment.
Generally, governments have been pretty cooperative when it comes to sharing physics facilities and we can only hope, if China does build the facility, that China will allow other governments to conduct experiments within its facility.
Planning for the Chinese project began in 2013, shortly after the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, according to slides from a presentation by Wang in Geneva that appeared on his institute’s website.
He suggested Qinhuangdao, a northern port city that is the starting point of the Great Wall, as an ideal location for the underground facility, noting its favourable geological conditions and local wineries as important selling points.
China’s rapid economic growth and large population put it in a unique position to invest in basic scientific research, he wrote.
‘This is a machine for the world and by the world: not a Chinese one,’ he added, saying physicists from around the globe had traveled to China to help with the project.
Physics have been an important scientific medium for humanity and it’s exciting to see another facility that may be useful to the community to understand many of the mysteries that the universe holds captive.