The director general of Cern talks about discovering the Higgs boson, women in science and the next generation of colliders
An Italian particle physicist, Fabiola Gianotti, 58, has been the director general of Cern since January 2016. Previously she led a collaboration of around 3,000 physicists from 38 countries which co-discovered the Higgs boson in 2012. Last month Cern published plans for a €20bn successor to the Large Hardon Collider.
What’s up with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)?
The LHC is in shutdown because we are going to upgrade the accelerator complex. We’ll upgrade the injectors and the experiments and resume taking data in 2021 with higher intensity beams. We’ll run for three more years and then shut down again until 2026 to upgrade the LHC for the high-luminosity phase. Higher luminosity means more collisions. We can study fundamental particles in much more detail. We’ll be producing about 15m Higgs bosons per year.