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China Embarks on Quest to Build World’s Largest Supercollider

After bolstering its space agency, China is looking a bit farther afield but closer to home for its next great scientific leap forward.

China has announced that it will begin work on a supercollider that would put Cern to shame.

According to The Guardian, China’s supercollider, “a mega-machine aimed at increasing understanding of the elusive Higgs boson,” will be at least twice the size of the Swiss-based Cern.

Final concept design is slated for completion by the end of 2016 and work is expected to kick-off in 2020 at an unspecified cost (the price tag will be lofty, no doubt, considering that the smaller Cern took nearly US$5 billion to complete).

Such structures are built to examine Higgs (AKA the “God particle”), which scientists view as a “fundamental building block of the universe.”

Beyond being larger than its European cousin, China’s Large Hadron Collider will generate seven times the energy of Cern, allowing it to smash subatomic particles together at an unprecedented rate.

Its makers seemed to forgo the nationalist rhetoric often on display for projects of this scale, instead presenting the supercollider as a gift for humanity as a whole.

“This is a machine for the world and by the world: not a Chinese one,” said Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics at the China Academy of Sciences.

[Photo via Extreme Tech]

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