The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is planning to spend £20bn on the Future Circular Collider (FCC) to succeed the Large Hadron Collider.
The proposed new accelerator is said to have a circumference four times larger than the previous and hold 10 times the power. CERN aims to discover new sub-atomic particles by the year 2050 with the aid of the Future Circular Collider.
Despite gaining support, the Geneva-based organisation has faced criticism from different parts of the science community who believe that the extensive amount of money could be used on more useful research such as climate change.
Plans for the FCC have been submitted in a report to an international panel of particle physicists who will consider the Hadron Collider expansion with a list other submissions.
The Future Circular Collider involves gradually building a 100km ring that is 10 times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider. The initial plan is split into two parts with the first involving the collision of electrons with positrons; while the second would involve colliding protons with electrons.
Physicists are hoping that these stronger collisions would help to reveal a new realm of particles which in turn would help us learn more about the Universe.
However, some speculate whether spending this much money for a new accelerator is absolutely necessary including the UK’s former Chief Scientific Advisor, Prof Sir David King.
King told the BBC that the extensive cost for basic research would require a cost benefit analysis before going any further. “My question is to what extent will the knowledge that we already have be extended to benefit humanity?”
He believes that a “new high priority” for humans is to try and deal with climate change.