Physics World Focus On Big Science
Advancing physics with the world’s next-generation facilities
This focus issue of Physics World looks at some of the technical challenges facing those building or upgrading the world’s top “big science” facilities. There is none bigger than CERN’s Large Hadron Colider (LHC), where the hunt for more new particles beyond the Higgs Boson will restart in earnest in 2015 following an 18-month repair and upgrade programme at the facility. But particle physicists are already thinking about what could come after the LHC and have drawn up bold plans for an 80-100 km proton-proton colider.
There are even plans for a colider based on lasers, with an international team looking at creating an array of “fibre lasers” to be used as a future “Higgs factory”. Yet big science is not just limited to the ground; as Jean-Jacques Dordain, director-general of the European Space Agency, explains, the agency is planning a suite of missions in the coming decade that will keep scientists busy for years to come.