The Future Circular Collider (FCC) is CERN’s (European Center for Nuclear Research) prospective supercollider and would potentially be the most powerful one ever built. According to the release of the official report on the 15th January 2019, the FCC would be as much as 4 times long as the 27-kilometer-long Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which, to this day, is the largest collider in the world and nearly 6 times as powerful. While studying different options for construction and development, most scenarios outline the ambitions of a 100-kilometer-long tunnel to be dug under that of the LHC.

As such, the FCC would be following three prospective tracks and types of particle collisions: hadron collisions, electron-positron collisions, and proton-electron collisions. This project, involving the elaboration of different colliders, detectors, associated equipment, planning, and bureaucratic considerations, etc., is a collaboration between universities, research facilities, and industries from all around the world, hosted by CERN and is set to be concretized and completed around 2050.

Future Circular Collider
Proposed Plan for Future Circular Collider, Credits: CERN

Scientific aims and goals

The FCC aims to reach new and unprecedented levels of energy and luminosity and replace the LHC once its lifespan comes to a term. This would enable scientists to explore the Standard Model in greater depth by studying known particles whose parameters and characteristics still remain vague with higher precision than what proton-proton collisions offer. In addition to improvement, the FCC aims to complement existing designs for other colliders, such as the International Linear Collider (ILC) and the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC).

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How would it differ from the LHC?

Having now completed our overview of the standard model and discoveries by the LHC having come to a halt despite extensive efforts and tests (since the discovery and detection of the Higgs boson in 2012), the prospect of a new collider would offer scientists the opportunity to peer into other areas where the laws of physics remain vague and unsolved.

For instance, the Future Circular Collider would allow us to explore dark matter and anti-matter. However, such considerations remain purely speculative. The only relative certainty the scientists hold regarding the finality of the FCC is for it to allow for the more precise measurement of known particles and parameters, leading to better and more meticulous predictions.

Future Circular Collider Diagram
A Layout Of Future Circular Collider in comparison to Large Hadron Collider. Credits: CERN

This is primarily due to the considerable change in kinetic energy, both in proton-proton (pp) and electron-positron (e+e) collisions, between the LHC and FCC. The LHC would account for collision at 14 TeV for pp and 209 GeV for e+e, while the FCC for collisions at 100 TeV for pp and 90-350 GeV for e+e.

Plan of action and cost

Seeing beyond the present and peering into what the future of particle physics holds is the job of the team working on the Future Circular Collider since 2014. They have been working and collaborating with various European nations that have already offered their financial support to CERN. However, the cost remains considerable and is currently estimated at 20 billion euros.

Hesitancy and reluctance in the scientific community

As the concerns and priorities of scientists greatly diverge depending on their beliefs, wills, and fields of interest, some individuals in the community have expressed their concerns regarding the high cost of the Future Circular Collider and believe that such sums of money could be better spent elsewhere. Furthermore, the lack of concrete proof that a new collider would promise new insights leads scientists to believe this timely and costly project is an unwise use of resources. As such, investments in new telescopes or facilities and establishments on the Moon are seen as timelier by some.

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8 thoughts on “The 100 Km Long Future Circular Collider (FCC)”

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  7. MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE SUBJECT:
    The proton is made up of three quarks – two `up quarks` and one `down quark`- and nothing but the three quarks, but the sum of the masses of the three quarks adds up to just about one percent of the mass of the proton, where does the remaining 99 % mass comes from?
    Now consider Einstein`s equation `e = m*c*c`
    It’s the equivalenc¬e of Mass and energy via Einstein’s above equation, and the enormous energy contained in the Proton which keeps it in one piece, and so gives it the mass.
    It all happened in the first billionth of a second after the big bang. There were about 30 million quarks and the same number (minus one) of anti quarks in each neighbourhood who annihilated each other in no time at all. But one anti quark was short, so one quark out of 30 million failed to find its counterpart anti quark and thus avoided annihilation. And it is this surplus set of quarks that constitute all the matter in the universe (including you and me). However this large scale annihilation of matter/antimatter resulted in a stupendous burst of energy in accordance with the same equation E = m*c*c* and this is what brought about all the radiation. The freedom of each single quark was quite short lived, in less than a microsecond two other quarks joined that quark and together as a trio of quarks it got bigger and became a proton or may be a neutron with the former (2 up and 1 down) having an 80 % probability and the latter (1 up and 2 down) about 20 %.
    So, the mass comes from the force, but where does the force come from?
    Hmm ..I guess there is a ‘field’ out there in addition to the gravitational field and the electromagnetic field. Let’s call it the Higgs field. In this Higgs field, trillions of quarks and antiquarks are arriving and then annihilating each other. In the end, nothing is left except the energy acquired from all the collisions, which becomes the force that binds the quarks that arrive (that is, those quarks that fail to find their antiquarks and thus do not get annihilated).
    Such as those inside you and me?
    And when these quarks inside you and me arrived in this aeon of the universe, during that first microsecond after the big bang, all they did was just progress through that Higgs field.
    So, the mass is actually nothing other than a manifestation of fundamental particles trying to progress through the Higgs field.
    And this is all so straight forward. Why should we keep spending billions and billions of dollars on these experiments? What can we expect to gain from them? Can it lead to even a 1% increase in our knowledge of the subject,
    Not in my view

  8. This is a poor investment so many better ones when our earth was a snowball, mars was covered in water. We have oceans inside the earth that would secure our future if we can ever reach them with life forms unknown.

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