Since my last blog post, “Waiting for Collisions“, we’ve had them and plenty of excitement. Each of the four big experiments recorded data in which they were able to see evidence of collisions in their detectors. Last Thursday, there was a meeting where the LHC and the experiments showed some first results, and all of the presentations were very encouraging. But what we have seen so far has only been the warmup.
We are now eagerly awaiting a significant number of collisions, and to collect data where we can see not just a few interesting events, but start analyzing data with large numbers of particles and testing the performance of the detector.
I am in the ATLAS control room today on shift. The LHC has been doing tests with beams in the LHC in preparation for the first collisions with higher intensity beams. They are testing all the safety systems, and doing everything they can to guarantee the proton beams are well controlled to protect the detectors from damage.
Hopefully we will have collisions in the next few days, and the next week should be even more interesting than the last!