IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

Jul 23, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

Who will lay claim to having the world's largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for two particle accelerators could accelerate China itself as a scientific leader, upstaging the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Europe's famous particle-physics laboratory, where the LHC is the world's largest particle collider.

China's ambition is still in the proposal stage. The country's biggest current collider, said the report, is just 240 meters in circumference. The proposal by China, said Nature, is quietly gathering momentum. Scientists at the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, plan to build a 'Higgs factory' by 2028, a 52-kilometer underground ring, said Nature, to smash together electrons and positrons. (According to symmetry, the concept of a Higgs factory can be traced back to as early as the mid-1990s, when scientists were floating ideas for small, relatively simple machines to aid dedicated study of the hypothesized boson.) According to the news report in Nature, "The initial call is for a 52-kilometer underground ring that would smash together electrons and positrons." China hopes that it would be a stepping stone to a next-generation collider—a super proton–proton collider—in the same tunnel.

"China would like to build its electron–positron collider in the meantime, unaided by international funding if needs be, and follow it up as fast as technologically possible with the super proton collider," said Nature, by 2035.

Guido Tonelli, a particle physicist and former head of one of the two major experiments at CERN, said if China is to eventually host a super collider, the project will have to be international, according to Nature."Nobody would be able to do that alone."

IHEP director Yifang Wang said China would welcome international funding contributions for both projects; with a lot of support, the ring size could be expanded to 80 kilometers. At the same time, though, he said the country would not wait for collaborators before moving ahead. Wang added that construction could begin in as little as five years, according to Nature.

The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences manages a number of China's major scientific facilities. They include the Beijing Electron Positron Collider, the Beijing Spectrometer, and the Beijing SynchrotronRadiation Facility (BSRF), among others. Since "the first successful e+e- collisions at the Beijing Electron Positron Collider (BEPC) in October 1988," said the IHEP site, "IHEP has become established as one of the world's major High Energy Physics (HEP) laboratories."

Explore further: Why bigger accelerators are better in particle physics

More information: www.nature.com/news/china-plan… per-collider-1.15603
english.ihep.cas.cn/

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User comments : 8

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IndianAtheist
3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2014
Everyone wins when there's competition in this arena. China's entry might spark bigger accelerators (or smaller, smarter ones), which may lead to even greater discoveries.

Going on a tangent, I think they should make anti-matter factories-it'd be the greatest fuel we could create and power everything, including starships. Hopefully we'll see that also in the future.
del2
not rated yet Jul 24, 2014
Going on a tangent, I think they should make anti-matter factories-it'd be the greatest fuel we could create and power everything, including starships. Hopefully we'll see that also in the future.

It would be an enormously expensive fuel: the energy needed to create even small amounts would be huge. It would be much more costly than using chemical fuels.
Also, what would you store the antimatter in? It would annihilate an ordinary-matter container if it touched the sides.
alfie_null
4.4 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2014
anti-matter factories . . . power everything . . .

You'd best hope we advance a bit more socially before someone figures out how to do such. Given how we behave today, country vs. country, tribe vs. tribe, what do you think the first (and maybe last) use of anti-matter containing devices will be?
Gigel
1 / 5 (3) Jul 24, 2014
Probably the next Columbus will go to the court of China to acquire ships for his quest...
Pexeso
3 / 5 (4) Jul 24, 2014
Everyone wins when there's competition in this arena
Only when research has some perspective and when we can find a practical applications for it. Otherwise such a research just detracts the physicists from more useful research. The collider research is an enormous waste of resources: electricity, precious helium and highly qualified human force as well.
DistortedSignature
3 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2014
Otherwise such a research just detracts the physicists from more useful research.


What is considered more useful research, topics relating to imminent/current problems? Are you against blue skies research/science? I think even asking those questions would be getting ahead of ourselves. We need more emphasis on the importance of science in todays youth (i.e. education) and society as a whole (i.e. funding and support from governments).
Arties
1.5 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2014
What is considered more useful research, topics relating to imminent/current problems?
Aren't we in environmental and fossil fuel crisis by now? So far I didn't see any attempt for replication of one hundred years old finding of magnetic motors or twenty years old finding of cold fusion at nickel in peer-reviewed mainstream journal. We don't invest into physics for occupational program of freaks, but for research useful for human society.
Are you against blue skies research/science?
Of course not but the prioritization of science is clear here: the basic research is important for establishing of routes for applied research, but at the moment, when such a routes are already found, then the applied research should always get a priority. After all, the basic research is payed from applied research results, not vice-versa. Personally I don't quite understand, what the Chinese are looking for with their collider - nothing interesting is already there, important the less.
Arties
3 / 5 (2) Jul 24, 2014
It's evident, for communist government of China the collider plays the same role, like the construction of large colliders for USA and Russia in the times of Cold War.