• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Ken Bloom | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Marathons and sprints

I thought it best to write a post now, as I won’t have a chance to during this Tuesday’s excitement — not because I’ll be so wrapped up in first 7 TeV collisions, but because it’s going to be the first day of Passover, which will take me partially offline. (Who exactly thought that this would be a good day for the big event? Well, it had to be on some day or another.) Just like last time, I plan on sleeping through the big event, as I thoroughly expect it to be uneventful.

For instance, don’t expect any radically new science to emerge from the first days of collisions. While it appears that the experiments are really in excellent shape, based on the work done with the December collisions, it will take a long time to accumulate and analyze enough data before we can definitively say that we have observed any new physics. The amount of data we expect to take in these next two years is enough to make the LHC experiments competitive in discovering new phenomena, or constraining what new phenomena might look like, but that’s still two years worth of data. So, as the old saying goes, this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have to pace ourselves.

But on the other hand, everyone is motivated to get out some kind of result as soon as possible, to demonstrate that the experiments do work and that we’ve got what it takes to complete the marathon. The major milestone is the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which starts on July 22. By then, everyone is hoping to have a bunch of real physics results (even if they are merely confirmation of known phenomena rather than discoveries) that can set the baseline for the performance of the experiments. July 22 is sixteen weeks from this Thursday. To go from having no data at all to high-quality measurements in sixteen weeks is going to be quite a feat. Put on top of that the uncertainty of just how well the LHC will perform over this time — by ICHEP, we definitely expect to have a million times as much data as we recorded in December. But it could turn out to be be ten million times as much! Whether any particular measurement is feasible or not could depend on which end of that range we end up on, and there might be many course corrections to make as we go along as a result.

So even though the real LHC physics program is a marathon, on your marks, get set….

KB

Share

Tags: , , , ,