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  • richardmitnick 12:45 pm on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Brookhaven’s Computational Science Initiative, LHC, , , Scientists at Brookhaven Lab will help to develop the next generation of computational tools to push the field forward, Supercomputering   

    From BNL: “Using Supercomputers to Delve Ever Deeper into the Building Blocks of Matter” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    October 18, 2017
    Karen McNulty Walsh
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov

    Scientists to develop next-generation computational tools for studying interactions of quarks and gluons in hot, dense nuclear matter.

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    Swagato Mukherjee of Brookhaven Lab’s nuclear theory group will develop new tools for using supercomputers to delve deeper into the interactions of quarks and gluons in the extreme states of matter created in heavy ion collisions at RHIC and the LHC.

    Nuclear physicists are known for their atom-smashing explorations of the building blocks of visible matter. At the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Europe’s CERN laboratory, they steer atomic nuclei into head-on collisions to learn about the subtle interactions of the quarks and gluons within.

    BNL RHIC Campus

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector

    BNL RHIC PHENIX

    LHC

    CERN/LHC Map

    CERN LHC Tunnel

    CERN LHC particles

    To fully understand what happens in these particle smashups and how quarks and gluons form the structure of everything we see in the universe today, the scientists also need sophisticated computational tools—software and algorithms for tracking and analyzing the data and to perform the complex calculations that model what they expect to find.

    Now, with funding from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Physics and the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Office of Science, nuclear physicists and computational scientists at Brookhaven Lab will help to develop the next generation of computational tools to push the field forward. Their software and workflow management systems will be designed to exploit the diverse and continually evolving architectures of DOE’s Leadership Computing Facilities—some of the most powerful supercomputers and fastest data-sharing networks in the world. Brookhaven Lab will receive approximately $2.5 million over the next five years to support this effort to enable the nuclear physics research at RHIC (a DOE Office of Science User Facility) and the LHC.

    The Brookhaven “hub” will be one of three funded by DOE’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program for 2017 (also known as SciDAC4) under a proposal led by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The overall aim of these projects is to improve future calculations of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the theory that describes quarks and gluons and their interactions.

    “We cannot just do these calculations on a laptop,” said nuclear theorist Swagato Mukherjee, who will lead the Brookhaven team. “We need supercomputers and special algorithms and techniques to make the calculations accessible in a reasonable timeframe.”

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    New supercomputing tools will help scientists probe the behavior of the liquid-like quark-gluon plasma at very short length scales and explore the densest phases of the nuclear phase diagram as they search for a possible critical point (yellow dot).

    Scientists carry out QCD calculations by representing the possible positions and interactions of quarks and gluons as points on an imaginary 4D space-time lattice. Such “lattice QCD” calculations involve billions of variables. And the complexity of the calculations grows as the questions scientists seek to answer require simulations of quark and gluon interactions on smaller and smaller scales.

    For example, a proposed upgraded experiment at RHIC known as sPHENIX aims to track the interactions of more massive quarks with the quark-gluon plasma created in heavy ion collisions. These studies will help scientists probe behavior of the liquid-like quark-gluon plasma at shorter length scales.

    “If you want to probe things at shorter distance scales, you need to reduce the spacing between points on the lattice. But the overall lattice size is the same, so there are more points, more closely packed,” Mukherjee said.

    Similarly, when exploring the quark-gluon interactions in the densest part of the “phase diagram”—a map of how quarks and gluons exist under different conditions of temperature and pressure—scientists are looking for subtle changes that could indicate the existence of a “critical point,” a sudden shift in the way the nuclear matter changes phases. RHIC physicists have a plan to conduct collisions at a range of energies—a beam energy scan—to search for this QCD critical point.

    “To find a critical point, you need to probe for an increase in fluctuations, which requires more different configurations of quarks and gluons. That complexity makes the calculations orders of magnitude more difficult,” Mukherjee said.

    Fortunately, there’s a new generation of supercomputers on the horizon, offering improvements in both speed and the way processing is done. But to make maximal use of those new capabilities, the software and other computational tools must also evolve.

    “Our goal is to develop the tools and analysis methods to enable the next generation of supercomputers to help sort through and make sense of hot QCD data,” Mukherjee said.

    A key challenge will be developing tools that can be used across a range of new supercomputing architectures, which are also still under development.

    “No one right now has an idea of how they will operate, but we know they will have very heterogeneous architectures,” said Brookhaven physicist Sergey Panitkin. “So we need to develop systems to work on different kinds of supercomputers. We want to squeeze every ounce of performance out of the newest supercomputers, and we want to do it in a centralized place, with one input and seamless interaction for users,” he said.

    The effort will build on experience gained developing workflow management tools to feed high-energy physics data from the LHC’s ATLAS experiment into pockets of unused time on DOE supercomputers. “This is a great example of synergy between high energy physics and nuclear physics to make things more efficient,” Panitkin said.

    A major focus will be to design tools that are “fault tolerant”—able to automatically reroute or resubmit jobs to whatever computing resources are available without the system users having to worry about making those requests. “The idea is to free physicists to think about physics,” Panitkin said.

    Mukherjee, Panitkin, and other members of the Brookhaven team will collaborate with scientists in Brookhaven’s Computational Science Initiative and test their ideas on in-house supercomputing resources. The local machines share architectural characteristics with leadership class supercomputers, albeit at a smaller scale.

    “Our small-scale systems are actually better for trying out our new tools,” Mukherjee said. With trial and error, they’ll then scale up what works for the radically different supercomputing architectures on the horizon.

    The tools the Brookhaven team develops will ultimately benefit nuclear research facilities across the DOE complex, and potentially other fields of science as well.

    See the full article here .

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world.Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.
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  • richardmitnick 5:16 pm on July 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lead-lead collisions, LHC   

    From FNAL: “Shining a light on lead with the LHC” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    July 1, 2016
    Bo Jayatilaka

    1
    Lead nuclei accelerated by the LHC will create a “spray” of photons. Nuclei that don’t get quite close enough to collide can still feel the effect of photons from oncoming nuclei. These grazing interactions will sometimes produce new particles that can shed light on the structure of nucleons. No image credit.

    Recently I wrote about how protons that don’t quite collide in the CMS detector can still result in photons splitting off and interacting, sometimes even producing heavy particles.

    CERN/CMS Detector
    CERN/CMS Detector

    That result was obtained from data collected during the Large Hadron Collider’s most frequent operating mode: colliding high-energy protons.

    CERN/LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    The LHC can run in several other modes, including hurling lead nuclei at each other to study exotic states of matter. As with the proton beams, a tiny fraction of these lead nuclei get just barely close enough to each other to interact without colliding. And just as with grazing protons, these grazing nuclei can interact via the electromagnetic force and produce new particles.

    It was in 1924 that a 23-year-old Enrico Fermi wrote a paper titled “On the Theory of Collisions Between Atoms and Elastically Charged Particles.” At the time it was known that if you sped up the heavy core of an atom, its nucleus, it would generate an electric field in the space around it. Fermi argued that you could think of this electric field as a collection of virtual photons, the number and energy of which were dependent on the size of the nuclei in question and how fast they were moving. You can think of the nucleus as a heavy truck driving on a wet road. The bigger the truck (and thus more numerous and larger its tires would be) and the faster it moves, the bigger a spray (the photons, in the case of this analogy) that it kicks up. Hurling an atomic nucleus to speeds close to the speed of light will kick up such an immense spray of photons that they might even hit a truck traveling in the opposite-direction lane.

    What actually occurs is that a photon from one nucleus will interact with an individual proton (82 of which adorn each lead nucleus) from the drive-by nucleus in the opposite direction. As in the case of grazing LHC protons, the interacting photon has sufficient energy to produce entirely new particles, despite leaving the parent nuclei largely intact, save for a few neutrons that get dislodged.

    CMS scientists looked for such near-collision events in the LHC’s 2011 heavy-ion run, during which lead nuclei were accelerated to an unprecedented energy of 574 trillion electronvolts. The CMS team was looking specifically for evidence of J/ψ mesons, particles that are bound states of two charm quarks. They performed this search by looking for unusually quiet events recorded in this run that had the possible decay products of only a single J/ψ meson and a few errant neutrons striking the very forward reaches of the CMS detector.

    In their recent paper, the CMS team presents the characteristics of the J/ψ mesons recorded in the near-collisions of lead nuclei. Physicists have devised different models to explain what the internal structure of the protons that make up these lead nuclei are like at high energies. As the photons that interact with these protons are effectively probing this structure, the characteristics of the resulting J/ψ mesons can literally shed light on aspects of this internal structure.

    View the INSPIRE record.

    See the full article here .

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    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:42 am on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , LHC, ,   

    From FNAL- “Frontier Science Result: CMS Shedding light on the invisible Higgs” 

    FNAL II photo

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    July 31, 2015
    Jim Pivarski

    1
    Event recorded with the CMS detector in 2012 at a proton-proton center of mass energy of 8 TeV. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of the Standard Model Higgs boson to a pair of photons (dashed yellow lines and green towers). The event could also be due to known standard model background processes..

    There are basically two types of detectors used in collider experiments: trackers, which are sensitive to any particles that interact electromagnetically, and calorimeters, which are sensitive to any particles that interact electromagnetically or through the strong force. That’s only two of the four forces — there’s also the weak force and gravity. Anything that interacts exclusively through the latter two forces would be invisible.

    This is not a speculative point. Neutrinos are effectively invisible in collider experiments. Even specialized neutrino detectors can detect only a small fraction of the neutrinos that pass through them. Dark matter is known purely through its gravitational effect on galaxies; no one even knows if it interacts via the weak force as well. Invisible particles could be slipping through detectors at the LHC right now.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC at CERN

    But if you can’t see them, how can you find them? Fortunately, physicists have developed a few tricks, mostly involving conservation laws. For instance, conservation of charge forces some particles and antiparticles to be produced in pairs, and one may be detected while the other decays invisibly. Conservation of momentum requires particles to be produced symmetrically around the beamline; if the observed distribution is highly asymmetric, that’s an indication of an unseen particle.

    In a recent study, CMS physicists used the latter technique to determine how often Higgs bosons decay into invisible particles and also a photon.

    CERN CMS Detector
    CMS in the LHC at CERN

    This is interesting because Higgs bosons have been observed only in a few of their predicted decay modes — the rest could be wildly different from expectations. In particular, Higgs bosons could interact with new phenomena like dark matter or supersymmetry, and most of these particles would be invisible.

    Supersymmetry standard model
    Standard Model of Supersymmetry

    One of the ways supersymmetry might be hiding is by decaying into gravitinos (gravity only), neutralinos (gravity and weak only) and a visible photon.

    Through this analysis, the mostly invisible signature has been partially ruled out: At most 7 to 13 percent of Higgs bosons might decay this way, if any at all. Before the measurement, it could have been as much as 57 percent. That’s a lot for one bite!

    See the full article here.

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    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:27 am on June 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , LHC   

    From FNAL: The LHC Explained 

    FNAL Home

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    The Large Hadron Collider is back in action at the CERN laboratory after receiving a big upgrade in the time since its last run in 2012. The particle collider is poised to make discoveries that could rewrite the book on particle physics.

    By Business Insider
    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    See the full article here.

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:53 pm on May 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , LHC,   

    From FNAL: “Two Large Hadron Collider experiments first to observe rare subatomic process” 

    FNAL Home

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    May 13, 2015
    MEDIA CONTACTS
    Andre Salles, Fermilab Office of Communication, 630-840-3351, media@fnal.gov
    Sarah Charley, US LHC/CERN, +41 22 767 2118, sarah.charley@cern.ch

    SCIENCE CONTACTS
    Joel Butler, CMS experiment, Fermilab, 630-651-4619, butler@fnal.gov
    Sarah Scalese, LHCb experiment, Syracuse University, 315-443-8085, sescales@syr.edu

    1
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    Event displays from the CMS (above) and LHCb (below) experiments on the Large Hadron Collider show examples of collisions that produced candidates for the rare decay of the Bs particle, predicted and observed to occur only about four times out of a billion. Images: CMS/LHCb collaborations

    Two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, have combined their results and observed a previously unseen subatomic process.

    CERN LHC Map
    CERN LHC Grand Tunnel
    CERN LHC particles
    LHC

    As published in the journal Nature this week, a joint analysis by the CMS and LHCb collaborations has established a new and extremely rare decay of the Bs particle (a heavy composite particle consisting of a bottom antiquark and a strange quark) into two muons. Theorists had predicted that this decay would only occur about four times out of a billion, and that is roughly what the two experiments observed.

    CERN CMS Detector
    CMS

    CERN LHCb New II
    LHCb

    “It’s amazing that this theoretical prediction is so accurate and even more amazing that we can actually observe it at all,” said Syracuse University Professor Sheldon Stone, a member of the LHCb collaboration. “This is a great triumph for the LHC and both experiments.”

    LHCb and CMS both study the properties of particles to search for cracks in the Standard Model, our best description so far of the behavior of all directly observable matter in the universe.

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    Standard Model of Particle Physics. The diagram shows the elementary particles of the Standard Model (the Higgs boson, the three generations of quarks and leptons, and the gauge bosons), including their names, masses, spins, charges, chiralities, and interactions with the strong, weak and electromagnetic forces. It also depicts the crucial role of the Higgs boson in electroweak symmetry breaking, and shows how the properties of the various particles differ in the (high-energy) symmetric phase (top) and the (low-energy) broken-symmetry phase (bottom).

    The Standard Model is known to be incomplete since it does not address issues such as the presence of dark matter or the abundance of matter over antimatter in our universe. Any deviations from this model could be evidence of new physics at play, such as new particles or forces that could provide answers to these mysteries.

    “Many theories that propose to extend the Standard Model also predict an increase in this Bs decay rate,” said Fermilab’s Joel Butler of the CMS experiment. “This new result allows us to discount or severely limit the parameters of most of these theories. Any viable theory must predict a change small enough to be accommodated by the remaining uncertainty.”

    Researchers at the LHC are particularly interested in particles containing bottom quarks because they are easy to detect, abundantly produced and have a relatively long lifespan, according to Stone.

    “We also know that Bs mesons oscillate between their matter and their antimatter counterparts, a process first discovered at Fermilab in 2006,” Stone said. “Studying the properties of B mesons will help us understand the imbalance of matter and antimatter in the universe.”

    That imbalance is a mystery scientists are working to unravel. The big bang that created the universe should have resulted in equal amounts of matter and antimatter, annihilating each other on contact. But matter prevails, and scientists have not yet discovered the mechanism that made that possible.

    “The LHC will soon begin a new run at higher energy and intensity,” Butler said. “The precision with which this decay is measured will improve, further limiting the viable Standard Model extensions. And of course, we always hope to see the new physics directly in the form of new particles or forces.”

    This discovery grew from analysis of data taken in 2011 and 2012 by both experiments. Scientists also saw some evidence for this same process for the Bd particle, a similar particle consisting of a bottom antiquark and a down quark. However, this process is much more rare and predicted to occur only once out of every 10 billion decays. More data will be needed to conclusively establish its decay to two muons.

    The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science provides funding for the U.S. contributions to the CMS experiment. The National Science Foundation provides funding for the U.S. contributions to the CMS and LHCb experiments. Together, the CMS and LHCb collaborations include more than 4,500 scientists from more than 250 institutions in 44 countries.

    The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

    CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a Candidate for Accession. Serbia is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Union, JINR and UNESCO have Observer Status.

    See the full article here.

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    Fermilab Campus

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:55 pm on April 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , LHC, ,   

    Before you watch Particle Fever 

    I have put this video up before, but there is no time like the present. Released to theaters is Particle Fever, the story of the hunt for the Higgs boson. This movie will go to DVD pertty quickly, maybe to Netflix streaming, maybe to YouTube. Before you see it, be sure to see The Big Bang Machine with Dr. Sir Brian Cox, OBE

    You should also see The Atom Smashers, about the hunt at Fermilab. However, I cannot find a copy which WordPress will allow

     
  • richardmitnick 4:49 pm on December 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , LHC, ,   

    From CERN: “CMS presents evidence for Higgs decays to fermions” 

    CERN New Masthead

    Achintya Rao
    3 Dec 2013

    At a seminar at CERN this morning, the CMS collaboration presented several measurements of the properties of the Higgs boson. CMS showed strong evidence for the decay of Higgs bosons into fermions, corroborating CMS results shown earlier this year. CMS physicists have now measured the decay of the Higgs to pairs of bottom (b) quarks and pairs of tau leptons, with a combined significance of 4 sigma on the 5-point scale that particle physicists use to measure the certainty of a result. This significance means that the probability of a false positive is estimated to be only about one in 16,000.

    The decay to fermions is an important confirmation that the particle discovered in July 2012, with a mass of around 125 GeV, behaves like the Standard Model Higgs boson. The Higgs decays into pairs of lighter particles almost immediately after it is produced in proton collisions in the LHC. In general, particles can decay into various combinations of daughter particles. The Standard Model gives precise predictions for what the decay products are and how often they should occur.

    sm
    Standard Model of Particle Physics

    So far, the Higgs boson has been observed decaying into three types of gauge bosons: the Z, the W and the photon. The Standard Model also predicts decays to fermions – namely quarks and leptons, the fundamental particles of matter. The fermionic decays into b quarks and tau leptons are particularly strong: they are the heaviest fermions that a Higgs with a mass of around 125 GeV would decay into and are consequently the most likely fermionic decays to occur.

    Using data collected at a collision energy of 7 TeV in 2011 and at 8 TeV in 2012, CMS has now completed refined searches for tau decays with several improvements over previous analyses and found an excess in this channel corresponding to significance of 3.4 sigma. Together with earlier CMS searches for b decays that revealed a 2.1 sigma excess, excesses in the two channels have a combined significance of 4 sigma, indicating strong evidence for the Higgs decaying to fermions.

    See the full article here.

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New
    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New

    LHC

    CERN LHC New

    LHC particles

    Quantum Diaries


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    • cms 9:00 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      service dedicated servers. virtual servers optimized with weekly backup. Dedicated servers for joomla

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  • richardmitnick 4:58 am on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , LHC   

    From CERN: “Watch CERN physicists react to Nobel announcement” 

    CERN New Masthead

    Cameras were rolling in CERN’s building 40 on Tuesday when members of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations heard the news from the Swedish Academy of Sciences that François Englert and Peter W. Higgs had received the 2013 Nobel prize in physics. Watch their reaction in the video above.

    The Nobel prize was awarded to Englert and Higgs “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.” The ATLAS and CMS collaborations announced their discovery of the particle at CERN on 4 July 2012.

    As the news came through from Stockholm, CERN physicists burst into applause, and CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer gave a spontaneous speech congratulating the theoretical physicists for the award and the experimental physicists at CERN for their discovery.

    The ATLAS and CMS collaborations each involves more than 3000 people from all around the world. They have constructed sophisticated instruments – particle detectors – to study proton collisions at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), itself a highly complex instrument involving many people and institutes in its construction.

    See the full article here.

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

    Cern Courier

    THE FOUR MAJOR PROJECT COLLABORATIONS

    ATLAS
    CERN ATLAS New
    ALICE
    CERN ALICE New

    CMS
    CERN CMS New

    LHCb
    CERN LHCb New

    LHC

    CERN LHC New

    LHC particles

    Quantum Diaries


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  • richardmitnick 11:53 am on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , LHC, ,   

    From Symmetry: “The hunt for microscopic black holes” 

    Finding micro black holes at the LHC would alert scientists to the existence of extra dimensions, which might explain why gravity seems so weak.

    September 13, 2013
    Kelly Izlar

    The energy required for a black hole like the one at the center of our galaxy to form—the amount contained in a dying, super-massive star collapsing in on itself—is many times higher than what we can achieve in our earthly laboratories.

    However, if certain theories are correct about the nature of gravity, there may be a way for physicists to create a very different type of black hole—one so small and fleeting that its presence could only be inferred from its effect on subatomic particles in a particle detector. And this process may be within reach of the Large Hadron Collider.

    CERN LHC Map

    According to some theories, there are more than just three dimensions of space. The existence of extra dimensions would offer an answer to one of the most prominent mysteries in physics today: why gravity is so weak when the other fundamental forces are so strong. The more dimensions there are, the more gravity will dilute over increasing distances. The force will weaken as it scatters farther afield, but it will be surprisingly strong at short distances.

    If there are 10 dimensions, for example, then the gravitational force must propagate through several more spatial dimensions than we can detect; it seems weak to us only because most of it is lost in the unseen dimensions.

    Physicists know that it should take a certain amount of energy—more than the LHC could ever conjure—to make a microscopic black hole. But if gravity is stronger than we think, then the threshold of energy needed could be within range of both the LHC and cosmic-ray collisions with Earth’s atmosphere, says theoretical physicist Steve Giddings from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    “The great thing about microscopic black holes and extra dimensions is that there are many ways to look for them,” says Rutgers University scientist John Paul Chou, who serves as co-convener of the exotica physics group at the CMS experiment at the LHC. “But the LHC is the cleanest, most obvious way to create and find them.”

    CERN CMS New
    CMS

    When two particles hit dead-on at close to light speed, a small amount of energy greatly concentrates into a tiny space. If extra dimensions exist, the collision could reveal gravity’s hidden strength; the energy and density could be high enough to fuse into a microscopic black hole.

    A micro black hole would be too small and short-lived to have much effect on its surroundings. Scientists’ only clue would be a burst of extra particles (depicted in the event display on the right side of the mural pictured above). But its effect on our understanding of nature at the quantum level would be enormous. If physicists produced microscopic black holes at the LHC, they would have proof that there are more than three dimensions of space.

    See the full article here.

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.



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  • richardmitnick 7:20 am on August 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , LHC, ,   

    From CERN: “The amazing world of smashed protons and lead ions” 

    CERN New Masthead

    In the CERN Bulletin
    Issue No. 33-35/2013 – Monday 12 August 2013
    Antonella Del Rosso

    alice

    “When a single proton (p) is smashed against a lead ion (Pb), unexpected events may occur: in the most violent p-Pb collisions, correlations of particles exhibit similar features as in lead-lead collisions where quark-gluon plasma is formed. This and other amazing results were presented by the ALICE experiment at the SQM2013 conference held in Birmingham from 21 to 27 July.

    event
    Event display from the proton-lead run, in January 2013. This event was generated by the High Level Trigger (HLT) of the ALICE experiment.

    Jet quenching is one of the most powerful signatures of quark-gluon plasma (QGP) formed in high-energy lead-lead collisions. QGP is expected to exist only in specific conditions involving extremely hot temperatures and a very high particle concentration. These conditions are not expected to apply in the case of less ‘dense’ particle collisions such as proton-lead collisions. ‘When we observe the results of these collisions in ALICE, we do not see a strong particle-jet suppression; however, when studying the most violent p-Pb collisions we observe signatures in particle production characteristic of a hydrodynamic nature,’ explains Mateusz Ploskon from the ALICE collaboration. ‘Indeed, some of the properties of the correlations of particles produced in proton-lead collisions resemble those associated with the formation of QGP in lead-lead collisions.’

    More data is needed to resolve the conundrum but in the meantime the physics community is excited as the phenomena observed in proton-lead collisions could have strong implications for our understanding of the QCD – the theory that describes the interactions of strongly interacting subatomic particles. ‘The p-lead data already provide an extremely useful baseline for the collisions of heavy ions; however, we need more time and more data to understand the intriguing observations from proton-lead collisions – it remains to be seen whether we learn something new about hadronic and nuclear collisions at high energies, and whether these observations have any unexpected implications for our understanding of QGP based on lead-lead collisions,’ says Mateusz.”

    See the full article here.

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