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Posts Tagged ‘start’

LHC is GO!!!

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Hi, all!

It feels like forever since the LHC last delivered proton-proton collisions (… in early November). There was a very productive stretch of heavy-ion collisions followed by the usual winter shutdown, and then a few weeks of machine development that ended… just now.

Yes: The first stable beam p-p collisions of the year are happening at this very moment! As always, you can see the LHC status live: here.

The 2011 dataset promises to be EPIC. Stay tuned — lots of physics to come!

— Burton 😀

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Running with Scissors

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

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We are at the stage now where the ability to crank up the intensity and energy of the LHC beams to full power is at hand.  We’re like a toddler that just learned to walk: the urge to run is present and exciting, but the probability of banging our head would be high!

It has been decided through many meetings, and with considerations of experts on the front lines, that the highest, safest energy the beams can be run at without major repairs is 3.5 TeV per beam with an instantaneous luminosity of 2*1032/cm2/sec. (The LHC was designed for 7 TeV per beam and an intensity of 1034/cm2/sec.)

More intensity means more proton collisions, and more energy means high probability of interesting collisions.  Unfortunately, high intensity and high energy also means high risk of accidents – like the one in Sep 2008.

With that in mind, management decided to balance safety of the machine with the drive to explore and make discoveries.  So, the current plan sets a goal of collecting a specific amount of data, 1 fb-1, before shutting down for one or two years starting around the beginning of 2012 for repairs and upgrades.

If nature is hiding secrets in areas we now expect them, then this should provide enough data for discovering some of them, or at least allow ruling out some theories – and all without hurting ourselves.

-Mike

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