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University of Minnesota physicists play role in Large Hadron Collider research

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, launched a new era for particle physics today when the first particles collided at the record energy of seven trillion electron volts (TeV).

Particle physicists around the world are celebrating the new achievement and what it will mean to physics research, including progress in the hunt for dark matter, new forces and new dimensions.

These collisions mark the start of a decades-long LHC research program at an energy three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator. CERN will run the LHC for 18-24 months with the objective of delivering enough data to the experiments to make significant advances across a wide range of physics channels.

More than 25 University of Minnesota physicists are among the 1,700 international scientists and engineers who have collaborated on designing and building the LHC accelerator and massive particle detectors. The University of Minnesota researchers specifically played a very significant role in the design and construction of one of the two very large general purpose detectors at the LHC.

Two professors who can comment on the latest milestone are:

Roger Rusack, physics professor, School of Physics and Astronomy

Rusack is one of the half dozen University of Minnesota physicists who are in CERN working on the project. Rusack has been actively involved with the LHC since 1993. He helped design and develop many components of the detector and has contributed to the scientific effort and management. He currently is the project manager for the electromagnetic calorimeter, one of the large international components of the detector.

Jeremiah Mans, physics assistant professor, School of Physics and Astronomy

Mans is currently in the Twin Cities, but has been following the progress of the LHC very closely. He and his students have been involved with the LHC's design, building and maintenance of the timing and laser control electronics and the data acquisition software for the Hadron Calorimeter, which will measure the energies of quark-containing particles. The group will also be involved in various aspects of analyzing the data from the LHC.

Media members interested in interviewing professors Rusack or Mans may contact Rhonda Zurn at (612) 626-7959 or; or Ryan Mathre at (612) 625-0552 or

Ryan Mathre | EurekAlert!
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