Ten years ago, scientists discovered the Higgs Boson particle. This helped to make sense of the universe by using the Large Hadron Collider. In 2018, they did it again, unlocking new insights into protons.
With a host of new questions, they now plan to restart the particle accelerator next month in an effort to better understand cosmic mysteries like dark matter.
NPR's Dr. Sarah Demers, Yale University's physics professor, says, "This particle has answered some of our questions and given many more,"
Scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) spun and crashed particles near the speed light to first observe the Higgs Boson particle. The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful and largest particle accelerator, was used to accomplish this feat.
Although this particle has been known to exist since 1964, it was not discovered until nearly 50 years later.
Scientists believe that the Higgs field formed 10 billionths of a second after Big Bang. Without it, stars, planets, and life wouldn't have appeared.
The discovery of the Higgs Boson was a significant milestone in fundamental physics. Dr. FranASSois Eglert and Dr. Peter Higgs were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. The scientific achievements are not the end of the journey to understand how the universe works.
In 2018, the collider completed a second experimental run that provided new insight into the structures and decay of the Higgs Boson.
After more than three years' worth of upgrades and maintenance, the collider will launch on Tuesday aEUR", tripling its data and allowing for more research.
Demers said that there must be more because we cannot explain many of the things around us. He is also working at CERN on the third run. "There is something missing. And by really large, we mean 96 percent of all the universe.
Demers refers to dark matter, which Demers believes is invisible matter that exists based on observations of the cosmos. Dark energy is what fuels the universe's rapid expansion. The upcoming run will provide insight into the mysterious, but vast majority of our cosmos.
CERN stated in a press release that "Finding answers to these and other interesting questions will not only increase our understanding of the universe on the smallest scales, but also may help unlock some of its greatest mysteries, such as how it got here and what its fate is."
The third run will continue for four more years. Scientists are already working on Run 4, which is scheduled to start in 2030.