The most feared/longed for date on ATLAS right now is August 11th. This is the day where we have to be out of the cavern. It is feared for people who are still completing the last of the detector installation, longed for by everyone (including those still doing installation) because it means beam is coming.
And only a few short weeks after the cavern closure, we can expect single beam (only one circulating beam with no collisions). And only a few short weeks after that, we can expect colliding beams.
So will ATLAS be ready? I find that I am asked this question more and more with each passing day. And the answer is…. Yes. Now if you ask me whether or not the calorimeters will be ready, the answer is a very definite yes! The calorimeters right now are in really good shape. Everything is installed, everything is powered, everything is being read-out.
It makes me so happy to say that. When I started on ATLAS two years ago, Tile had problems with its power supplies. So we had essentially no supplies. And we needed 256. We weren’t officially in the ‘panic’ state at that point, but we were certainly in the ‘very concerned’ state.
And now fast-forward less than two years. We are fully powered. With the exception of only a few Tile cells (0.4% for the exact count), all of our electronics are ready to go. Not that we don’t have things to still work on (I mean it is friday night and I am yet again still in the control room) but we are sitting pretty. And that is a really, really good feeling.
So beam-people. Is the beam ready yet?
How about now?