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Sidebar: 5 Goals for the LHC

Rediscover the Standard Model
The first goal of the collider is not to probe the new but to confirm the old. The machine will produce familiar particles in prodigious numbers (several top quarks per second, for example) and scrutinize them with increasing refinement. Not only does this test the machine and its instruments, it sets precise benchmarks for determining whether new phenomena are indeed new.

Determine what breaks the electroweak symmetry
The collider will seek the Higgs boson (or what stands in its place) and determine its properties. Does the Higgs provide mass not only to the W and Z particles but also to the quarks and leptons?

Search for new forces of nature
New force particles would decay into known particles such as electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons. Such forces would indicate new symmetries of nature and might guide physicists toward a unified understanding of all the interactions.

Produce dark matter candidates
By observing neutral, stable particles created in high-energy collisions, the collider could help solve one of astronomy’s greatest puzzles and test researchers’ understanding of the
history of the universe.

Above all, explore!
The collider will examine its immense new domain for evidence of hidden spacetime dimensions, new strong interactions, supersymmetry and the totally unexpected. Physicists will have to be attentive to connections among today’s great questions and alert to new questions the collider will open up.

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