The High-Luminosity LHC

The High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) project aims to crank up the performance of the LHC in order to increase the potential for discoveries after 2025. The objective is to increase luminosity by a factor of 10 beyond the LHC’s design value.

Luminosity is an important indicator of the performance of an accelerator: it is proportional to the number of collisions that occur in a given amount of time. The higher the luminosity, the more data the experiments can gather to allow them to observe rare processes. The High-Luminosity LHC, which should be operational as from 2026, will allow physicists to study of known mechanisms in greater detail, such as the Higgs boson, and observe rare new phenomena that might reveal themselves. For example, the High-Luminosity LHC will produce at least 15 million Higgs bosons per year, compared to around three million from the LHC in 2017.

The High-Luminosity LHC project was announced as the top priority of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in 2013.

Its development depends on several technological innovations.  The first phase of the project began in 2011 and was partly financed by the European Commission’s seventh framework programme (FP7). This first phase brought together many laboratories from CERN’s Member States, as well as from Russia, Japan and the US. The design study came to a close in October 2015 with the publication of a technical design report, marking the start of the construction phase for the project at CERN and in industry. The civil-engineering work started in April 2018. 

The project is led by CERN with the support of an international collaboration of 29 institutions in 13 countries, including the United States, Japan and Canada.

The materials budget for the accelerator is set at 950 million Swiss francs between 2015 and 2026, assuming a constant CERN budget.

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Featured updates on this topic

8 Dec 2017 – The crab cavities, a new technology to brighten up the future, will play an important role in the High-Luminosity LHC

29 Mar 2017 – CMS high-luminosity LHC upgrade requires new silicon sensors, to better distinguish between particles from multiple collisions

14 Nov 2016 – After having accelerated a beam up to the design energy of 160 MeV, Linac 4 is now entering a new phase of its commissioning


15 Jun 2018 – A ground-breaking ceremony celebrates the start of the civil-engineering work for the High-Luminosity LHC

25 May 2018 – CERN successfully tests crab cavities, a key component of the High-Luminosity LHC

7 May 2018 – Can machine learning assist high-energy physics in discovering and characterising new particles?

22 Apr 2018 – After several years of preparatory work, the first crab cavity prototypes have been installed in the SPS tunnel and are ready for testing

5 Mar 2018 – The world’s first Big Science Business Forum gathered 18 of the most advanced big-science organisations together to meet European companies

21 Feb 2018 – The LHC shows its teeth each time protons misbehave

5 Dec 2017 – Before the LHC was shut down for the winter, the operators tested techniques under development for its successor, the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC)

23 Jun 2017 – New magnets designed for the High-Luminosity LHC - the Large Hadron Collider upgrade project – are in the prototype phase

18 Jul 2016 – A new tool for building superconducting magnet coils for High-Luminosity LHC and future particle accelerators arrives at CERN

17 Dec 2015 – In preparation for civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider, vibration measurements have been carried out near the LHC