A milestone was passed since yesterday: the LHC has delivered 1.0 fb-1 integrated over exactly three months! Here is the canonical plot from CMS (source):
As you can plainly see, the LHC had delivered 1.00 fb-1 as of yesterday evening, with 92% of it successfully recorded by the CMS detector. You can also see this information displayed at the LHC Programme Coordination Home Page.
I find it awesome and sobering that so much data have been collected in such a short time. Remember that the LHC experiments produced an explosion of high-quality physics analyses based on only 0.04 fb-1 – and now there is twenty-five times more data.
The consequences for all measurements and studies of standard model processes is huge. One can make truly precise measurements of the production of W and Z bosons, and top quarks for example. The kinematic ranges covered by samples of multi-jet events will be huge compared to the past, allowing better tests of pQCD calculations.
Of course, the consequences for searches beyond the standard model are even more profound. The 2010 searches supersymmetry turned up no evidence, thereby significantly extending the regions of disallowed parameter space, for example. The expectations for 25 times more data are very exciting, clearly. The same can be said of the searches for new gauge bosons, or extra dimensions, or other candidate theories.
Probably the most anticipated results center on the standard model Higgs boson. The educated guesses from last year indicate that wide ranges of Higgs mass will be definitively probed this year, and 1 fb-1 is already a big step in that direction.
I am thrilled to see so much good data coming in, and I am happy for the whole LHC community. This will be a crucial year for our field, so let’s see what Nature has in store for us!