CERN wants to build a new $23 billion super-collider that's 100 kilometers long

It would be a successor to the Large Hadron Collider to further study the Higgs boson particle.

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Backlit image of the Large Hadron Collider

A visitor takes a photograph of a large backlit image of the Large Hadron Collider at the Science Museum's "Collider" exhibition on Nov. 12, 2013, in London. 

Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

The Large Hadron Collider, at 27 kilometers in length, is the world's highest-energy particle collider. It's also the largest machine ever built by human hands. But CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research behind the collider, is planning to build a second, even larger collider.

This one could end up being 100km, almost four times the size, and may cost up to $23 billion to produce. The collider would be used to further study the Higgs boson, a particle that was theorized by Peter Higgs and five other scientists in 1964, and essentially discovered as a particle back in 2012 using the Large Hadron Collider. 

After the plan was approved by an independent panel in March, the CERN council on June 19 approved plans to build a larger collider

"I think it's a historic day for CERN and particle physics, in Europe and beyond," said CERN director-general Fabiola Gianotti.

Now all that remains is paying for it, but raising $23 billion is no easy task. Still, there's plenty of time to figure that out. CERN is hoping to start construction in 2038. 

The Large Hadron Collider took a decade to build and cost around $4.75 billion. Most of that money came from European countries like Germany, the UK, France and Spain. Some believe that countries like the US and Japan might need to pony up for this second collider if it's actually going to get built.