CMS team gets ready for data taking at the LHC

Patricia McBride

Patricia McBride, head of the CMS Center, wrote this column.

The CMS Center and the LHC Physics Center are buzzing with activity these days. CMS collaborators at Fermilab and institutions around the globe have been working around the clock to produce physics results from the 2011 LHC data. Many new results were presented at the recent physics conferences in Moriond, La Thuile and at the APS April meeting in Atlanta. The updated results on the search for the Higgs from CMS, ATLAS and the Tevatron experiments were among the highlights.

Now we are getting ready for new data. The LHC Operations team is in the process of commissioning the accelerator complex and making preparations for the 2012 run. The first collisions at the new world-record energy of 8 TeV were observed in the CMS detector on Friday. We expect the LHC to run steadily and begin collecting physics data in a couple of weeks.

The CMS Computing Operations team has used the Fermilab Tier-1 computing system and other, worldwide CMS computing resources to generate and process simulations in anticipation of the 2012 data. CERN projects that the accelerator will provide a record number of collisions and produce a total integrated luminosity of 16 inverse femtobarns in 148 days of physics running in 2012.

We’ve had a number of changes in the CMS leadership team this year. I became the head of the CMS Center in January, following in the footsteps of Lothar Bauerdick. Lothar deserves a huge thank you for helping to create the CMS Center and leading it during the formative years. Kevin Burkett is the new deputy head, and Rob Harris is the new associate head. Joe Incandela, a former Fermilab Wilson Fellow who worked on CDF, became spokesperson of the CMS collaboration in January. Ian Fisk will continue as CMS Computing Coordinator, and Liz Sexton-Kennedy became the CMS Offline Coordinator. Both work in the Scientific Computing Division. Jeff Spalding, PPD, is the new co-coordinator for the CMS Detector Upgrades. Ian Shipsey, the co-head of the LHC Physics Center, was elected Chair of the CMS Collaboration Board. He will start his term in 2013. I’m looking forward to working with them and the rest of the CMS team.

We are anticipating an exciting year. Many discoveries, including the elusive Higgs particle, seem to be within reach.