Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UA Physicists Thrilled at First Beam in Large Hadron Collider

11.09.2008
UA physicists will give a free public lecture tonight to celebrate the start-up of the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator ever built.
WHAT: Public Lecture: From the Big Bang to Dark Matter – Turning on the Large Hadron Collider
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Physics-Atmospheric Sciences Building, Room 201, 1118 E. 4th St.
After 14 years, the wait is over.
The physicists rejoicing all over the world include a team from The University of Arizona.

At 1:28 a.m. Tucson time, the first beam of protons zipped completely around the Large Hadron Collider – the largest particle accelerator ever built.

UA physicists built part of a massive instrument called ATLAS that is inside the collider.

... more about:
»Big Bang »CERN »Higgs »LHC »Large Hadron Collider

As the proton beam sped through the 17-mile circular tunnel about 100 yards under the Franco-Swiss border, the beam passed through the ATLAS detector.

UA physicist Walter Lampl wrote in an e-mail from Switzerland, "This morning, I followed the events in the CERN Control Centre via a video link. Things progess much faster than I had expected. It took only about 2 hours to get one beam circulating."

The UA is the only university in Arizona involved with the LHC. The LHC is operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, located in Geneva, Switzerland.

When the LHC, the largest scientific instrument ever built, is fully operational, it will shoot two proton beams around the collider so the beams smash head-on. The resulting shower of subatomic particles and energy will help physicists learn more about the fundamental workings of the universe.

Lampl reported that by 6 a.m. Tucson time a second proton beam had made a complete circuit of the collider. "I am optimistic that we will see collisions quite soon."

Physicists involved with the LHC anticipate first collisions within the month.

Ken Johns, a UA professor of physics who is also a member of the UA-ATLAS team, reported getting up early in Tucson to start reading the experiment logs and met "an avalanche of email."

"I am happy and excited by the achievement of first beam in the LHC," he wrote in an e-mail. "Now the real work begins. On the accelerator side, collisions must be established. On the ATLAS experiment side, all the detectors must be precisely calibrated. Starting now, we are going to have a frantic, day-and-night battle to understand the ATLAS detector so we can get to the physics."

The normally reserved scientist signed off, "For moment, yippee!!"

More than 150 feet long and 82 feet across and weighing more than 7,700 tons, the ATLAS detector is the world's largest general-purpose particle detector.

Key parts of ATLAS were built in the basement of the UA's physics building.

UA Professor of Physics John Rutherfoord led the team that built part of ATLAS called the Forward Calorimeter. He reported today that he and his colleagues will be slowly turning on that instrument and the instrument may record particles hitting the calorimeter today.

Team member Elliott Cheu, a UA professor of physics, wrote in an e-mail, "We saw the first events in the ATLAS detector and things look great!"

To celebrate the LHC's first beam, the UA physics department will hold the public lecture, "From the Big Bang to Dark Matter: Turning on the Large Hadron Collider," tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Rm. 201 of the Physics-Atmospheric Sciences Building on the UA campus.

Elliott Cheu, associate dean of UA’s College of Science, UA professor of physics, and member of the Large Hadron Collider-ATLAS team, will give the lecture.

Robert N. Shelton, UA president and professor of physics, will deliver the opening remarks.

In his lecture, Cheu will discuss UA's participation in building the LHC and explain how the experiments to be conducted inside the LHC will reveal secrets about our world.

The UA LHC-ATLAS team includes UA physics professors John Rutherfoord, Michael Shupe and Kenneth Johns and Erich Varnes, a UA associate professor of physics.

Shupe and Rutherfoord have been working on the project for 14 years. The team also includes seven UA postdoctoral and graduate students, three engineers and two technicians. More than 20 UA undergraduate students were involved in the research and building of the UA portions of ATLAS.

Rutherfoord, Shupe and other members of the UA's ATLAS team led the design, construction and installation of the Forward Calorimeter, an instrument that measures the position and the tremendous energies of the particles given off when the proton beams collide.

Cheu, Johns and others were responsible for instrumentation for the Cathode Strip Chambers that will detect the high-energy particles called muons.

All of the members of the UA-ATLAS team are in the UA's physics department. Other members of the team are doctoral students Xiaowen Lei, Caleb Parnell-Lampen and Chiara Paleari; Peter Loch, an associate research scientist; Alexandre Savine and Joel Steinberg, research engineers; Walter Lampl, an assistant research scientist; Venkatesh Kaushik, a research associate; Leif Shaver, a staff engineer, senior; Dan Tompkins, an engineer; Michael Starr, a test technician; and Robert Walker, an engineering aide.

When it is operating at full strength, the LHC will produce beams of protons seven times more energetic and about 30 times more intense than any previous machine. Two beams will shoot around the 17-mile underground particle racetrack and collide head-on, creating 600 million collisions per second.

When the protons smash together, they will break apart and elementary particles, the smallest building blocks of matter, will shoot off in all directions.

The aftermath of the collisions will simulate some of the conditions that occurred one-trillionth of a second after the Big Bang that started the universe.

One goal of the experiment will be to understand the origin of mass, Cheu said.

The collisions will occur at enormous energies and therefore create immense masses, according to Einstein's famous E=mc2 formula.

One massive particle that has been predicted but never seen before is the Higgs particle.

"If we find the Higgs, that will be fantastic – and that will be confirmation of what we expect," Cheu said. "But if we don't find it, that may be confirmation of more exotic theories."

Kenneth Johns said another goal of the LHC is figuring out the origin of dark matter.

"Twenty-five percent of the universe is composed of something we don't know or understand," he said.

The ATLAS Collaboration, like other pieces of equipment that make up the LHC, involves an international team of scientists. The international effort involved 2,500 scientists from 37 countries. The 650 participants in the US-ATLAS team come from 43 American universities and national laboratories and represent 21 states.

RESEARCHER CONTACTS:
John Rutherfoord (520-621-2657; rutherfo@physics.arizona.edu)
Kenneth Johns (520-621-6791; johns@physics.arizona.edu)
Elliott Cheu (520-621-4090; elliott@physics.arizona.edu)
MEDIA CONTACT:
Mari N. Jensen (520-626-9635; mnjensen@email.arizona.edu)

Johnny Cruz | University of Arizona
Further information:
http://www.arizona.edu

Further reports about: Big Bang CERN Higgs LHC Large Hadron Collider

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Shape matters when light meets atom

05.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

05.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>