One of the most important scientific mediums of our time is without question, physics. With labs like Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory in the United States and CERN in Switzerland we’ve been able to understand more of our universe and physics than ever before. Now China is planning on building a new particle physics facility that is twice the size of the largest current facility, CERN. China’s motivation in building this facility is to study the Higgs boson particle which was discovered at CERN and is referred to 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.