From Ken Bloom of USLHC via Quantum Diaries: “Chamonix 2012” High Hopes

Ken Bloom

“At the start of each calendar year, the CERN management holds a workshop in Chamonix to discuss the LHC run plan for the coming year and beyond. This year’s meeting was held two weeks ago, and this past week CERN announced the outcomes. Now, after last year’s Chamonix, the plan came out differently than many of us had been expecting. But this year’s workshop results were consistent with this year’s rumors.

There is a clear physics goal for this year: both CMS and ATLAS should each individually be in a position to discover the standard-model Higgs boson, if it exists. There are two ways that the LHC will try to make this possible. The first is to deliver as many collisions (i.e. as much integrated luminosity) as the LHC can manage. The integrated luminosity target for this year is fifteen inverse femtobarns for each experiment, three times as much as was delivered last year. It will still be a challenge to discover the Higgs with that much data; the experiments will have to run efficiently and the experiments will have to be as clever as ever. But it is possible. CERN is also prepared to extend the LHC run if necessary to meet this luminosity target. This is important, as the LHC will enter a long shutdown after 2012, so this year is our last shot for a while at making a discovery, of a Higgs or anything else. We should remember that last year’s target was a mere one inverse femtobarn, yet we got five times that. Can we hope that the LHC will outperform expectations again this year?”

One possible signature of a Higgs boson from a simulated proton-proton collision. It decays almost immediately into two jets of hadrons and two electrons, visible as lines. (Wikipedia)

See Ken’s full post here.

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Brookhaven Lab