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Elon Musk Wants to Build a New Particle Collider for CERN

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) just proposed a new 100-kilometer (62 mile) particle accelerator, and Elon Musk wants to build it.

The Future Circular Collider (FCC) would replace the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The new tunnel would be nearly four times as long as the LHC, which scientists say will start running out of “discovery potential” after 2035.

On Twitter, Elon Musk said he had discussed the possibility of his Boring Company digging the tunnel with the director of CERN, Fabiola Gianotti, adding that he could save the project “several billion euros”. The total cost of the project is estimated at €24 billion ($27.2 billion), with tunnel-digging costs projected at €5 billion ($5.6 billion). A spokesperson for CERN confirmed to The Independent that Gianotti and Musk had an “informal brief discussion” about the Boring Company participating in the construction when they met in July 2018.

The Boring Company’s cost-reduction strategy relies on making tunnel-building more efficient — increasing power, automation, and R&D into new tunneling technologies. The first Boring test tunnel opened in Hawthorne, California, in December, and they’re currently in discussions with the city of Chicago to build a tunnel linking downtown to the airport. As yet, the company hasn’t completed any tunnels for permanent public use.

That’s likely not an issue for CERN, who said: “we are not starting to dig a tunnel anytime soon.” Their hope is to have the tunnel up and running by 2040.