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Archive for March, 2010

Sunrise

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

P1000100

View from my CERN office of the sunrise on the Jura mountains the morning of the 7 TeV collisions.  Good start to a good day.

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Changing Gears

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

A light earthquake (magnitude 4.6), which woke me up a bit after 6 am local this morning, helped to again focus my sense of location: I’m in Japan, at KEK. Already last night, as I was gliding into Narita Airport for an unusually smooth approach with a view of Mt Fuji in the dusk, I was slowly beginning to change gears, physics wise. From high energy colliders at the Terascale I’m switching to low energy, extremely high rate experiments for the next few days: Precision measurements at Super Flavor Factories.

Combining results from different experiments, at different energies and with different particles, has been a very successful strategy in particle physics. Measurements at high energy hadron colliders, the measurements at LEP and the precision study of the flavor sector at the B factories have given us the understanding of the Standard Model that we currently have. And we have every reason to expect that this strategy will also be the best path to fully understand the physics beyond the Standard Model. So while we are all watching the LHC with big excitement and anticipation, it is important to think ahead and work towards a next generation of high energy lepton colliders as well as towards new experiments in flavor physics with unprecedented luminosity. So here I am, at KEK at the Belle-II collaboration meeting. Over the next three days, we’ll discuss the physics of this new experiment, and focus on the technological challenges to be overcome in the next few years to prepare for a start of data taking in 2014. Again, some intense days are ahead of me!

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Amazing LHC

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Yesterday, even though 10’000 km away from CERN, I witnessed the events at LHC live, from my computer. Thanks to the LHC status screens and the excellent live webcast from CERN, I was able to join in with the excitement in the control rooms as the beam energy was ramped up and the beams were finally aligned for collisions, as well as the disappointment when the beams were dumped earlier on. Quite a unique experience!
I really feel with everyone who is involved more deeply with this challenging endeavor, and I am even a little envious that in theoretical physics, we have nothing as exciting going on that could take our breath away like this.
Even though my daily work as a theorist, and my current research in particular, is fairly far removed from the events at LHC, I am still a particle physicists, and what’s happening now at LHC is simply the single most important progress that’s been made in particle physics in years. It’s new physics in the making, and we’ve all been waiting for it for a long time. The promise of LHC has been with me since my undergraduate time, when LEP II was still running.
Apart from this, I have to say I am quite fascinated with this complex machine, and the webcast has taught me some more things about its inner workings.
All of the particle physics community (the theorists included), will be watching LHC for the months and years to come. What will it teach us?

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LCWS: A Quick Look Back

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
Me in front of the Bird's Nest, the stadium from the 2008 Olympics, last night. Thanks to Daniela for the picture!

Me in front of the Bird's Nest, the stadium of the 2008 Olympics, last night. Thanks to Daniela for the picture!

Time flies. LHC is taking data at 7 TeV… And I missed this, while sitting on a plane! I’m now well and truly out of sync with wherever in space-time I’m now located. I guess this is Tsukuba, Japan and it is a bit before midnight local time. But no matter when and where, it is an exciting time for particle physics. Just as Barry Barish, the director of the ILC Global Design Effort has said last night at the conference dinner of the Linear Collider Workshop (LCWS) in Beijing: The workshop will be remembered by most people not only for the things that were discussed there, but for being the workshop on the eve of the LHC physics startup.

As usual, there was very little time to go and explore the city, and I spend most of the days (which were quite sunny and clear due to some winds in Beijing) in darkened, windowless conference rooms. Still, in the evenings there were some opportunities to explore some Beijing landmarks, and the variety of Chinese cuisine. And: I have already seen parts of Beijing on a previous visit, and I’ll be back again in just a few weeks.

At the workshop, there were a number of new results reported from detector development, in-depth discussions on physics, and controversial arguments about the new baseline parameters of the accelerator. And, also as usual, I had my share to report at the meeting, too. While the technology development is moving forward, there is also a sense of hesitation of where to go: Particle physics is about to go through a revolutionary period, with discoveries by the LHC maybe (hopefully!) just around the corner. And these discoveries will shape the future of the field. They will decide what the right energy for a precision machine like the ILC is. So right now, while we are busy preparing detailed detector designs to be ready to go once the direction is clear, I am also wondering what that direction will be. The key factor here is the necessary energy. New (for example supersymmetric) particles at low mass could be explored with the already well established superconducting acceleration technology of the ILC, while in the case of higher mass scales for new physics we will need the CLIC technology which is still in its development phase. If LHC is going to perform as well as the initial success suggests, then we might know in just a few years. By that time, we will have a good answer how to provide the precision necessary to nail the details of the physics that the LHC is hopefully about to discover!

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The CMS Collaboration has made public the preliminary plot that shows the di-photon resonance (pi0). Enjoy!!

Edgar Carrera (BU)

run_132440_pi0

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7 TeV ATLAS event

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I think the pictures says it all. This is the beginning of a new era of discovery for particle physics. Excellent job by all my fellow collaborators on ATLAS and the LHC! Hopefully much more data is soon to come. It makes me very excited about the future.

Here is where our public event displays are located.

7 TeV Collision Event

7 TeV Collision Event

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you can now see some of the first collisions in ALICE at 7 TeV, here.

7 TeV collisions at ALICE

7 TeV collisions at ALICE

After a very successful day at Birmingham, it is time for me to go an catch up on some sleep, before it’s time to start analysing this stuff! 😀

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CMS one of the 1st collision events at 7 TeV

CMS one of the 1st collision events at 7 TeV

After years of hard work by many people, after several weeks of intense work for preparation, and after several hours of holding our breaths, we finally got stable colliding beams at the record center-of-mass energy of 7 TeV.  Today, Tuesday 30th of March of 2010, CMS captured these beautiful collision candidate events!!!

You will see them appearing  here soon!!!

A new era of exciting physics (hopefully discoveries) has just started, a renaissance of science, which will most certainly change the way we perceive our universe and trigger an enhancement of our own humanism.

Cheers for particle physics and for humankind!!

Edgar Carrera (Boston University)

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Event Displays from 7TeV collisions in ATLAS are now online.

Collision Event @ 7TeV

Collision Event @ 7TeV

Another lovely image

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Title says it all!

There is much excitement being tracked on the ATLAS blog and in and around
everyone associated with the experiment.

The real physics program begins

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