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Why upgrading the LHC?

LHC (Large Hadron Collider)

  • the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the largest scientific instrument ever built to explore the new high-energy frontier
  • started up on 10 September 2008
  • gathers a global user community of 7,000 scientists from all over 60 countries

The full exploitation of the LHC is the highest priority in the European Strategy for Particle Physics, adopted by the CERN Council and integrated into the ESFRI Roadmap. The HL-LHC project funding has formally been approved by the CERN Council in June 2014. 

To extend its discovery potential, the LHC will need a major upgrade around 2020 to increase its luminosity (rate of collisions) by a factor of 10 beyond the original design value (from 300 to 3000 fb-1). As a highly complex and optimized machine, such an upgrade of the LHC must be carefully studied and requires about 10 years to implement. 

What is the HL-LHC?

HL-LHC (High Luminosity LHC)

The necessity to upgrade the LHC has given rise to the HL-LHC project. HL-LHC relies on a number of key innovative technologies, representing exceptional technological challenges, such as cutting-edge 13 Tesla superconducting magnets, very compact and ultra-precise superconducting cavities for beam rotation, and 300-metre-long high-power superconducting links with zero energy dissipation. 

What is the HiLumi LHC Design Study?

The most technically challenging aspects of the LHC upgrade cannot be done by CERN alone and requires a strong collaboration involving external expertise. For this reason part of the HL-LHC project is grouped under the HiLumi LHC Design Study, which is supported in part by funding from the Seventh Framework programme (FP7) of the European Commission (EC). 

Start date: 1 November 2011

Completion date: 31 October 2015

Duration: 48 months

Partners: 16 (from Europe and Japan)

Collaborating institutes: 5 (from the US)

FP7 HiLumi LHC Design Study

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Learn more about the activities of the project >>