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Fermilab Loses its Record

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Fermilab Loses its Record

Photo by Shumon Huque

A physics lab in Chicago’s western suburbs is no longer home to the world’s fastest accelerator.

Fermilab has reigned on top of the physics world for eight years. In 2001, the lab, located near Geneva, in Kane County, broke the record for having the world’s highest energy particle accelerator, or Hadron Collider, meaning they accelerated subatomic particles in a beam of high energy.

The record at the time: 0.98 tera-electron volts. But as of Monday, that record has been broken. Researchers in the other Geneva - Switzerland - accelerated beams of protons to 1.18 tera-electron volts. That’s nothing compared to what researchers hope to accomplish soon: a rate of seven tera-electron volts.

Eventually, the scientists say they hope to create a scenario similar to the Big Bang, only a fraction of its size.

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