'Plans for a machine that would dwarf the Large Hadron Collider have been drawn up by researchers at Cern to take over the baton in the search for new physics in the latter half of the century.
The €20bn (£17.8bn) machine, named the Future Circular Collider, would smash particles together inside a 100km (62 mile) tunnel, making it four times the size of the LHC, which at present is the largest scientific instrument on the planet.
The proposal for the FCC is described in a conceptual design report released on Tuesday by Cern, the particle physics laboratory near Geneva. It comes at a time when physicists around the world are considering where to build the next cutting-edge particle collider, with other machines under discussion in Japan and China.
Fabiola Gianotti, the director general of Cern, called the latest proposal “a remarkable accomplishment”. “It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society,” she said.
Under the plans, the machine would be built up in stages. At first it would collide electrons and positrons, their positive cousins. Then it would collide electrons with much heavier nuclei of lead atoms. By the late 2050s, it would slam protons together with an energy of 100 teraelectronvolts, or nearly 10 times that of the Large Hadron Collider.'
Read more: Cern draws up plans for collider four times the size of Large Hadron