Researchers have discovered a method to accelerate the subatomic particles to an energy gradient 1000 times than that of the LHC or the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in a device that could fit in a tabletop.
The US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkely National Lab made use of plasma and a specialized petawatt laser in order to boost the particles.
Scientists shot plasma with a laser and generated an energy of 4.25 giga-electron volts. The 17 mile-circumference of the LHC coupled with a series of electromagnetic field is only able to achieve 100 mega electron volts per meter since any further would threaten the safety of the metal structure built for the experiment.
But the smaller device put together is just a 3.5 inches long plasma tube, achieving a speed which would take many miles for a standard particle accelerator to achieve.
Prior to the test, the NERSC or the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center ran computer simulations in the lead-up to the test.
The results were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The Large Hadron Collider which is touted as the world’s largest and the most powerful particle collider was made by the European Organization for Nuclear Research between 1998 and 2008 and has been used for testing theories of particle physics and high-energy physics which shape the formation of the universe. The research has also focused on discovering the existence of the Higgs Boson or the famous ‘God Particle’ which is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics and could answer questions such as why do some particles have mass when the symmetries which control them would require to be massles.