Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FCC submits a 1244-page plan to EPJ

Those people who aren't quite satisfied with a 75-second-long popular video about the Future Circular Collider (FCC) at CERN – a video with some usual nice pictures saying that the experiment wants to study particle physics and the Universe – have the opportunity to look at a somewhat more detailed study.

Today, the FCC Collaboration has submitted their paper to the European Journal of Physics:
International collaboration publishes concept design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN (CERN press release, different layout)

FCC Conceptual Design Report (CERN website)

Big papers in PDF: 222 pages on goals (EPJ C), 371 pages on lepton collider, 361 pages on hadron collider, 290 pages on HE-LHC (all EPJ ST)

Update documents in PDF: 20 pages (0007), 20 pages (0003), 22 pages, 19 pages
Here you have a 2-minute FCC video starting with the documentary proving that the Earth is flat.

If you add the pages of the four papers submitted to EPJ (one to EPJ C and three to EPJ ST; lead authors are Benedikt, Zimmermann, and Mangano), you will get 1,244 pages of technical documentation (or, if you add 81 pages in the four updates, 1,325 pages). It would be a lot of pages for a small group of authors. However, each list of authors' names occupies some 5 pages and additional 10 pages are dedicated to the list of institutions.

The new collider should be a greater version of the LHC. Instead of a 27-kilometer tunnel, there should be a 100-kilometer tunnel. But just like the LHC, it should first host a lepton (electron-positron) collider whose adjustable center-of-mass energy is just enough to produce either W-boson pairs; or top-quark pairs; or \(HZ\) pairs of the Higgs and the Z-boson (thanks Tristan again, it's not the first time I made a similar mistake).

In a later stage, the same 100-kilometer-long tunnel would host the proton-proton collider analogous to the LHC. But the total center-of-mass energy wouldn't be \(13\TeV\) as it recently was at the LHC. Instead, it would be \(100\TeV\). The Standard Model can still work well over there. But it can break below that energy, too. There exist various reasons why lots of particles – such as superpartners in some M-theory compactifications and/or more general models justified by certain intriguing cosmological criteria – should be below that energy.

Maybe the 100-kilometer-long circular tunnel could even be created so that Elon Musk could drive his Tesla there for a while. ;-)

Many of us feel that the LHC has already probed enough at the energy of a few \({\rm TeV}\) and it's rather likely that nothing new beyond the Higgs boson is gonna be found there. But with the higher \(100\TeV\) energy, the game would start with the full excitement, of course.

I am dedicating a special blog post to the four papers sent to EPJ in order to make sure that everyone who is seriously interested – e.g. everyone who would like to promote his or her opinion – can see what the two-stage project is actually supposed to be and what physical effects, known or hypothetical ones, may be tested with such a device.

All these design reports are available not only to the particle physicists or all physicists or all scientists but to the general public – in Europe and beyond.

Your humble correspondent is not going to read those 1,244 pages and I think that the number of people who have read them or who will read all of them is or will be extremely tiny. But I have looked at many pages and I think that everyone who wants his or her opinion to be treated seriously should refer to plans in these four papers rather than to deliberately oversimplified formulations in a rather irrelevant 75-second-long popular video addressed to the complete laymen.

The people who can only discuss the popular video must be consider complete laymen and it's my belief that the influence of such people over the multi-billion decisions about the future European particle physics projects should be minimal. All people's opinions – and taxpayers' opinions – matter but science is a meritocracy, not democracy, and it's obvious that some people's opinions must matter much less than other, more well-informed people's opinions.

Two months ago, Lisa Randall was in China and gave a wonderful interview over there to a female journalist who was much more prepared than the typical Western journalists. She praised China and the chance that China will fund some big projects. It's great but due to risks to the freedom and democracy of the physicists working for the Chinese projects, I would still prefer another big collider in the good old Europe – which will hopefully remain somewhat more free and democratic than China at least for a few more decades.

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