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Pam Klabbers | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Introduction

As this is the first post, maybe I should talk a little more about what we are doing over here. Myself, and several scientists and graduate students, are installing a system of hardware, with supporting software for controlling it, that will be part of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment. Our portion is called the CMS Regional Calorimeter Trigger (RCT). It is part of the Level 1 (L1) trigger of the CMS experiment.

The CMS detector is very large. Each sub-detctor in the experiment will keep its information electronically using a memory (much like a computers) for only a short time – as storing it all in their electronics is impossible since the LHC will collide protons in bunches at a rate of 40 million/second. The L1 trigger tells the sub-detectors what information to keep and send on for further processing – reducing the overall rate to 100000 saved events/second. The data is read out and sent to a big computer farm called the High Level Trigger (HLT). The goal of the HLT is to reduce the rate further to 100 events/second, each event about 1 MegaByte of data, so we can save it to an inexpensive data media, such as magnetic tape (much like a video tape).

The Regional Calorimeter Trigger receives electronic signals representing energies in the detector sent from the CMS calorimeters (a calorimeter measures the amount of energy deposited in it – for CMS it is seen as an amount of light related to the amount of energy deposited). These signals are added together to form sums over larger areas, and also profiles of these energies are made to distinguish different particle types. There is a good article here on the RCT.

Perhaps that is a good start – as for normal day to day life here – it is starting to become more fall like, which is nice. Hopefully this year the skiing is better. Last year was disappointing – too warm and not enough snow. We will keep our fingers crossed, but for now there is a Marathon on October 21 to train for. We’re making good progress, logging weeks with over 43 miles ran, but the longest run in the program, 20 miles, still seems a little short. We’ll see how we do, we aren’t going for anything but PRs.

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