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Bjoern Penning | Fermilab | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

On board of the USS DZero

USS DZero?

USS DZero?

I want to pick up a line coined by our spokesman Stefan at last week’s collaboration week. In his closing remarks he pointed out the fact that the collaboration is very lively and vibrant and compared the control room with the brigde of the USS Enterprise.

Dzero Control Room

DZero Control Room, quite a resemblance to the other bridge...

Just minutes after his overview talk I had a conversation with a well-known scientist who works at CDF and a Dark Matter experiment at Fermilab. He expressed his mild surprise that we managed to fill up the large meeting room entirely. Particularly right now shortly after the successful startup of the LHC (congrats!).

Indeed it is a bit surprising but as said by our Spokesman, the collaboration is very lively and vibrant and the collaboration week was great, both scientifically and as an opportunity of meeting many friends once again. Most meetings were so well attended that it was difficult to find a seat when arriving a bit late. But the exciting atmosphere goes beyond that. Our publication rate right now is one of the highest in the collaboration’s history and two new institutions are even joining the collaboration, bringing up the total number of institutions to 90 from 19 different countries. Moreover, although the detector is not the newest, it is in a very good shape, maybe better than ever.

Back to the Star Trek comparison. Our “Scotties” in Operations keep us going at a more than 93% efficiency rate and during this summer’s shutdown we managed to fix more than we were able to break in 8 years of running: The amount of dead channels in the tracker is at a record low, entire sub-detectors have been re-commissioned or included for the first time and the calorimeter calibration is doing well and shows a high stability and very good resolution. But most of all – just as the Enterprise –  we’re running on the real deal, Antimatter! And the Tevatron crew supplies us with a fair amount of that, currently 7fb-1 and steadily increasing. The Tevatron will remain being the highest energy matter-antimatter collider.

Recorded and Delivered Luminosity at DZero

Recorded and Delivered Luminosity at DZero

But no doubts shall be raised though. I am also looking forward to exciting discoveries – hopefully soon – at the LHC.  But the LHC energies must exceed the Tevatron’s by a factor of three or more before it starts to be competitive in many Standard Model measurements, including low mass SM Higgs boson searches. Unless background free discoveries (like. t’ or Z’) happen to reveal themselves easily, it will be crucial to understand the detectors very well and the path to discovery won’t be a short one. The very same challenges the Tevatron experiments have faced in the past.

So, the Tevatron fleet along with the USS DZero and its sister ship USS CDF were intended to be de-commissioned years ago. But the structural integrity is very good, the shields and engines are up and our Dilithium crystals (or whatever is responsible for our antimatter) are fully charged. The new ships of the line are ready to push far beyond our reach but we’re already out there since a while.
Anticipating their coming, Captain Stefan, Captain Dmitri and their crew continue to explore new worlds, new particles and to boldly go where no man has gone before…

So, the Tevatron fleet along with the USS DZero and its sister
ship USS CDF were intended to be de-commissioned years ago.
But the structural integrity is very good, the shields and engines are up and
our Dilithium crystals (or whatever is responsible for our antimatter)
fully charged. The new ships of the line are ready to push far beyond our
reach but we’re already out there since a while.
Anticipating their coming, Captain Stefan, Captain Dimitri and their crew
continue to explore new worlds, new particles, and to boldly go where no man
has gone before…
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