By Culturekiosque Staff
GENEVA, 30 MARCH 2010 After two false starts due to electrical
glitches, beams collided at 13:06 Central European Time, marking the start
of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) research programme at the European
Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world's leading laboratory
for particle physics. Leading physicists around the world are looking
forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its
first long run at an energy three and a half times higher than previously
achieved at a particle accelerator.
"With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments
are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark
matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson," said ATLAS
collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti.
"Well address soon some of the major puzzles of modern physics like
the origin of mass, the grand unification of forces and the presence of
abundant dark matter in the universe. I expect very exciting times in
front of us," said Guido Tonelli, spokesperson of the CMS experiment."
CERN will run the LHC for 18-24 months with the objective of delivering
enough data to the experiments to make significant advances across a wide
range of physics channels. As soon as they have "re-discovered" the known
Standard Model particles, a necessary precursor to looking for new
physics, the LHC experiments will start the systematic search for the Higgs
boson. With the amount of data expected, called one inverse femtobarn
by physicists, the combined analysis of ATLAS and CMS will be able to
explore a wide mass range, and theres even a chance of discovery if the
Higgs has a mass near 160 GeV. If its much lighter or very heavy, it will
be harder to find in this first LHC run.
Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
Photo courtesy of CERN
For supersymmetry, ATLAS and CMS will each have enough data to double
todays sensitivity to certain new discoveries. Experiments today are
sensitive to some supersymmetric particles with masses up to 400 GeV. An
inverse femtobarn at the LHC pushes the discovery range up to 800 GeV.
"The LHC has a real chance over the next two years of discovering
supersymmetric particles," explained CERN1 Director General Rolf Heuer,
"and possibly giving insights into the composition of about a quarter of
Even at the more exotic end of the LHCs potential discovery spectrum,
this LHC run will extend the current reach by a factor of two. LHC
experiments will be sensitive to new massive particles indicating the
presence of extra dimensions up to masses of 2 TeV, where todays reach is
around 1 TeV.
Following this run, the LHC will shutdown for routine maintenance, and
to complete the repairs and consolidation work needed to reach the LHCs
design energy of 14 TeV following the incident of 19 September 2008.
Traditionally, CERN has operated its accelerators on an annual cycle,
running for seven to eight months with a four to five month shutdown each
year. Being a cryogenic machine operating at very low temperature, the LHC
takes about a month to bring up to room temperature and another month to
cool down. A four-month shutdown as part of an annual cycle no longer
makes sense for such a machine, so CERN has decided to move to a longer
cycle with longer periods of operation accompanied by longer shutdown
periods when needed.
Article: Missing Higgs
CERN Website: http://public.web.cern.ch/public/
BOOK TIP: chosen
by the editors as being of interest to Culturekiosque
Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the
By Richard A. Muller
Paperback: 384 pages
W. Norton & Company (September 2009)
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