If scientists were already able to discover and study the Higgs boson, what is the benefit of doing the experiment at higher speeds? And even though natural collisions happen at higher speeds, is there any unique risk to this specifically when manufactured by humans?

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If scientists were already able to discover and study the Higgs boson, what is the benefit of doing the experiment at higher speeds? And even though natural collisions happen at higher speeds, is there any unique risk to this specifically when manufactured by humans?

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The LHC wasn’t designed specifically to look for the Higgs boson, it was designed to produce and study very high energy collisions, which were expected to result in all kinds of interesting new particles and effects. The Higgs was just the most important and high-profile target. Actually the LHC has been used to discover various other particles too (mostly much more obscure ones), and to rule out some other hypothetical particles.

> And even though natural collisions happen at higher speeds, is there any unique risk to this specifically when manufactured by humans?

It’s extremely doubtful. Anything created by the LHC should also be created when high-energy cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere. Unfortunately it’s hard to study those because they’re unpredictable and they’re so high up.

Higgs boson wasn’t the goal, it’s just one of the many things we found using particle accelerators. It really is just smash stuff together to see what happens when you come down to it.

Any risks associated are removed by the fact that the stuff formed is in the magnitudes of sextillionths of a gram(probably even less, I just said a big number). The whole create a black hole and destroy the world drama is bygone.

Increasing the energy could be not so useful (at this moment) to measure the things about the Higgs boson.

The Higgs production is very improbable so needs more luminosity (more collision in a second), not more energy (in fact CERN plans to improve luminosity for the next 20 years, not energy).
For example, one thing that the physicist is currently searching for is the decay of the Higgs in two muons. This decay, with the current luminosity, occurs approximately 30 times a year and the detector sees millions of particles in a single second. To distinguish the two muons produced by the Higgs from the muons produced by other things more data and more luminosity are needed.

One of the most important parameters to measure (that needs a lot of data) is the so-called “self-coupling”. The Higgs interacts with himself so he can decay in another two Higgs. Maybe physicists will be able to perform such measurements in 15/20 years

For the second question: no. Collisions with much more energy than collisions at CERN occur continuously in nature and there is no difference between “natural” collision and “human-made” collision. The physics is the same. The colliders were built because we need a lot of data and we need to measure the particles near the collision point, we can’t just observe cosmic particles (but there are other experiments that do)