Faculty and students from Louisiana Tech University are playing an important role in what has been described as "the most complex and comprehensive science project ever assembled on the planet."
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project in Geneva, Switzerland is an underground "atom smasher" that seeks to re-enact the beginning of the universe, back to one-billionth of a second after the theorized Big Bang, by accelerating and colliding protons at near the speed of light.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has reported that, after nearly a year of repairs, circulating beams were recently reintroduced into the LHC with the first successful proton collision occurring on November 23.
According to Dick Greenwood, associate professor of physics at Louisiana Tech, the ultimate objectives of the LHC experiments are to test the predictions of the Standard Model of particle physics and to look for new physics beyond the Standard Model.
"These experiments will also provide the general public a deeper understanding of how nature works and will inevitably lead to future technological spinoffs. The development of the Internet, for example, was a spinoff from previous experiments like those at the LHC."
The team from Louisiana Tech is part of the ATLAS collaboration; one of four large multipurpose particle detector systems. ATLAS (which stands for A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) investigates a wide range of physics, including the search for other dimensions, and particles that could make up 'dark matter.'
"All of the members of the Louisiana Tech ATLAS group are thrilled about the collision event, and of Louisiana Tech's continuing involvement in this scientific enterprise," said Lee Sawyer, associate professor and program chair for the physics department at Louisiana Tech.
Tech's team has directly contributed to the development of data quality software for measuring the energies of the particles produced in the collisions, the design and commissioning of current monitors for the ATLAS inner tracker, Monte Carlo simulations of the physics signals expected in the data, and designs for future upgrades.
"Louisiana Tech's contributions to the LHC research, and the competitive federal funding that supports it, verifies that our science faculty and students are among the best in the world," said Stan Napper, dean of Louisiana Tech's College of Engineering and Science.
"The key to making a difference in our state and for our students is maintaining education and research programs with nationally and internationally recognized quality."
More than 1700 scientists, engineers, students, and technicians from 97 US universities and national laboratories have helped design and build the LHC accelerator and its four massive particle detectors.
Discover, one of the world's premier science and technology magazines, placed the LHC project at No. 2 on its list of the Top 100 Stories of 2008.
Besides helping to either prove or disprove the Big Bang Theory, the LHC experiments could also help scientists address issues such as variations in particle mass, and the dynamics of matter and antimatter.
"Our faculty are contributing in significant ways to this major project of global importance," said Les Guice, Louisiana Tech's vice president for research and development. "The results of their research will impact science and engineering advancements for decades to come."
The success of the LHC's first proton collision is a benchmark for the project and one that the Louisiana Tech team hopes will result in future opportunities and collaborations.
Sawyer adds, "Now the hard work of understanding the detectors and the data being recorded will begin, followed soon I hope by important analyzes and discoveries."
Dave Guerin | EurekAlert!
NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
29.05.2017 | University of Strathclyde
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy