From The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN]: “LHCf continues to investigate cosmic rays”


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From The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN]

9.28.22
Naomi Dinmore

LHCf [below] has completed its first data-taking period during LHC Run 3, taking advantage of the record 13.6 TeV collision energy. This coincides with the machine’s record fill time of 57 hours.

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One of the LHCf detectors (Image: CERN)

Millions of cosmic rays bombard the Earth’s atmosphere every second. These are naturally-occurring particles from outer space, which are extremely difficult to detect and measure. When they collide with nuclei in the upper atmosphere, these so-called primary cosmic rays produce showers of secondary cosmic rays that go on to reach the ground. The Large Hadron Collider forward (LHCf) experiment, one of the smallest of the LHC experiments, was set up to thoroughly investigate these elusive particles when LHC operation first began. This week, it resumed its studies of the properties of cosmic rays, in a five-day data-taking run, following the completion of upgrades to the detector during the second long shutdown of the machine.

“When page one of the LHC showed that the LHC was being filled for the LHCf data taking, we were very excited,” says Oscar Adriani, deputy spokesperson for LHCf.

This is LHCf’s first data-taking run at the LHC’s record collision energy of 13.6 TeV. The run also coincided with the record time that the LHC has been able to keep a fill without restarting, namely a total period of 57 hours. Running for longer means more efficient periods of data-taking for the experiments.

Primary cosmic rays can have very high energies – above 1017 eV – similar to those of the high-energy collisions that are produced in the LHC. Located 140 m from the ATLAS collision point of the LHC and measuring only 20cm by 40cm by 10cm, LHCf analyses neutral particles that have been thrown forward by collisions, mimicking the production of secondary cosmic rays in the Earth’s atmosphere. The experiment is able to analyse neutral particles because they are not deflected by the LHC’s strong magnetic field, and can measure their properties with extremely high precision.

This five-day run is likely to be the final LHCf run involving proton-proton collisions, because in the next data-taking period of Run 3 the collaboration hopes to study proton-oxygen collisions that better emulate the interaction of primary cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere.

With the higher energy and higher statistics that Run 3 provides, LHCf is particularly looking out for particles called neutral kaons and neutral eta mesons. These are made up of a quark and an antiquark pair, including a strange quark. “The models that predict interaction with the atmosphere predict a certain number of secondary muons, but there is a mismatch between the expected and the detected numbers of muons,” explains Adriani. “By measuring the strange component produced at the LHC, we may be able to solve this muon puzzle.”

The LHC, with its high energy and controlled environment, provides the perfect place to simulate and study the hadronic interactions of cosmic rays. “High energy cosmic rays are still a mystery. They are very difficult to measure. You need huge detectors, and you cannot perform direct measurements while they are in orbit because the flux is too small,” continues Adriani. “So, LHCf is really the only experiment in the world that can shed some light on these interactions at very, very high energy. This is a critical element for cosmic ray physicists.”

See the full article here.


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THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

CMS

LHC

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

3D cut of the LHC dipole CERN LHC underground tunnel and tube.

CERN SixTrack LHC particles.

OTHER PROJECTS AT CERN

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] AEGIS.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ALPHA Antimatter Factory.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ALPHA-g Detector.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] AMS.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ASACUSA.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ATRAP.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Antiproton Decelerator.


The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] BASE: Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] BASE instrument.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] [CERN] BASE: Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CAST Axion Solar Telescope.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CLOUD.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] COMPASS.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] CRIS experiment.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] DIRAC.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] FASER experiment schematic.

CERN FASER is designed to study the interactions of high-energy neutrinos and search for new as-yet-undiscovered light and weakly interacting particles. Such particles are dominantly produced along the beam collision axis and may be long-lived particles, travelling hundreds of metres before decaying. The existence of such new particles is predicted by many models beyond the Standard Model that attempt to solve some of the biggest puzzles in physics, such as the nature of dark matter and the origin of neutrino masses.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] GBAR.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] ISOLDE Looking down into the ISOLDE experimental hall.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] LHCf.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] The MoEDAL experiment- a new light on the high-energy frontier.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] NA62.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] NA64.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] n_TOF.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] TOTEM.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] UA9.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] The SPS’s new RF system.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Proto Dune.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][ Organization européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organization für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] HiRadMat-High Radiation to Materials.

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The SND@LHC experiment consists of an emulsion/tungsten target for neutrinos (yellow) interleaved with electronic tracking devices (grey), followed downstream by a detector (brown) to identify muons and measure the energy of the neutrinos. (Image: Antonio Crupano/SND@LHC)