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Hot Topics

Hot topic: Physics returns to the LHC!

The Large Hadron Collider entered its second operational phase in early June. Quantum Diarist Pauline Gagnon guides us through what may lie ahead.

In search of the secret passage

Pauline Gagnon | June 3, 2015

The LHC accelerator

Today begins the second operation period of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. By declaring “stable beams”, the LHC operators signal to physicists it is now safe to turn all their detectors on. After more than two years of intensive repair and consolidation work, the LHC now operates at higher energy. What do we hope to achieve?

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For decades physicists have been convinced that most of our universe is invisible, but how do we know that if we can’t see it? I want to explain the thought process that leads one to believe in a theory via indirect evidence. For those who want to see a nice summary of the evidence, check this out.

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on June 22, 2015. Last month, a group collaborating across four national laboratories completed the first successful tests of a superconducting coil in preparation for the future high-luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider, or HL-LHC. These tests indicate that the magnet design may be adequate for its intended

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I know what you are thinking. The LHC is back in action, at the highest energies ever! Where are the results? Where are all the blog posts? Back in action, yes, but restarting the LHC is a very measured process. For one thing, when running at the highest beam energies ever achieved, we have to

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Today begins the second operation period of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. By declaring “stable beams”, the LHC operators signal to physicists it is now safe to turn all their detectors on. After more than two years of intensive repair and consolidation work, the LHC now operates at higher energy. What do we

Read the full article

This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 27, 2015. Dark energy makes up about 70 percent of the universe and is causing its accelerating expansion. But what it is or how it works remains a mystery. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will study the origins and effects of dark energy by creating the

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All those super low energy jets that the LHC cannot see? LHC can still see them. Hi Folks, Particle colliders like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are, in a sense, very powerful microscopes. The higher the collision energy, the smaller distances we can study. Using less than 0.01% of the total LHC energy (13 TeV),

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This past month in Geneva a conference took place bringing together the world’s foremost experiments in cosmic ray physics and indirect dark matter detection: “AMS Days at CERN”. I took a break from thesis-writing, grabbed a bag of popcorn, and sat down to watch a couple of the lectures via webcast. There was a stellar

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 5, 2015. Fermilab’s Test Beam Facility (FTBF) now runs a second beamline to provide particles for R&D experiments. The MCenter beamline came back to life last year after an eight-year slumber to join the facility’s other beamline, MTest. On Thursday, April 30, accelerator operators began using the

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This article appeared in Fermilab Today on May 1, 2015. A group of Fermilab physicists and engineers was faced with a unique challenge when Jefferson Lab asked them to make the superconducting coils for an upgrade to their CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer experiments. These are some of the largest coils Fermilab has ever built. Despite

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This article appeared in symmetry on April 22, 2015. Mysterious particles called neutrinos seem to come in three varieties. However, peculiar findings in experiments over the past two decades make scientists wonder if a fourth is lurking just out of sight. To help solve this mystery, a group of scientists spearheaded by Nobel laureate Carlo

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