US LHC Users Organization meeting – today and tomorrow

Members of the US LHC Users Organization met at Fermilab in 2010 for their annual meeting. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Around 100 Large Hadron Collider collaborators from around the United States are joining their colleagues at Fermilab for the rest of this week to present and discuss their research. The gathering is the annual meeting of the US LHC Users Organization.

The LHC benefits from the contributions of 97 U.S. universities and laboratories. More than a quarter of the engineers, physicists and graduates working on the LHC experiments are from U.S. universities and labs.

Meeting attendees will discuss ongoing work on data analysis, the LHC accelerator and detector upgrades and day-to-day issues facing members of the U.S. particle physics community working at CERN.

“We provide a forum for issues that concern the US LHC community, which is of course very international, and a channel to communicate the status and needs of this community to Congress, funding agencies and executive offices,” said US LUO Chair Harvey Newman.

Representatives of the DOE and NSF will also give the view from Washington on the future U.S. HEP program and involvement at CERN.

US LUO helps foster communication between the LHC community and U.S. physicists and helps physicists prepare and adapt to life at CERN. One of US LUO’s most important roles is an annual visit to Washington, D.C., where representatives meet with members of Congress to discuss the importance and excitement of particle physics research.

“It’s very useful to go and explain the compelling nature of what we do and keep us on the radar,” Newman said.

At the meeting, representatives from the four biggest LHC experiments will present an overview of 2012 operations and results. Scientists from CMS and ATLAS will speak on prospects for the measurement of the Higgs-like boson this year.

Today Newman will talk about overall U.S. participation at CERN and the state of US LUO. On Saturday, CERN senior physicist Rudiger Voss will present on the status of negotiations to carry forward U.S. involvement at CERN in a new framework. The current U.S.-CERN agreement covers involvement between 1997 and 2017.

Saturday will also include a bit of fun – the Young Physicists Lightning Round, which allows young physicists to present their work in a competitive atmosphere. Winners will be invited to join the annual trip to Washington.

—Signe Brewster