Scientists at CERN have been using the already big Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for scientific studies and breakthroughs for years now. The team at CERN is looking to the future with a much, much larger collider that is called the Futur Circular Collider (FCC) and has published the Conceptual Design Report (CDR) that shows different options for the future device.
The CDR is a four-volume document that describes the technical challenges, cost, and schedule for realization for each of the concepts. Over the next two years, the particle physics community will be outlining the future of the LHC and what to build to succeed the LHC for future work. The FCC study kicked off in 2014 and would provide electron-positron, proton-proton, and ion-ion collisions at unprecedented energies and intensities.
The team says that there is the possibility of electron-proton and electron-ion collisions. CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti said that the FCC would benefit significantly from the expertise, accelerator complex, and infrastructures that were developed over the last 50 years.
The ultimate goal of the FCC is to provide scientists with a 100-km long superconducting proton accelerator ring. The energy equivalent is up to 100 TeV from the FCC, which is described as an order of magnitude higher than the LHC offers. The 100 TeV energy would allow more precise studies of how the Higgs particle interacts with other Higgs particles.
The cost of the FCC is massive, and the report says it would be in the 9 billion euro range. That includes 5 billion euros for civil engineering work for the 100km tunnel. When complete the collider would operate for 15 to 20 years. The physics program with the FCC would begin by 2040.