When I joined the CMS collaboration seven years ago, I was motivated both by the exciting discovery potential of the Large Hadron Collider and by the fact that many of my friends from the Tevatron experiments were starting to move into leading roles for CMS. In the years leading up to the July 4, 2012, announcement of the Higgs boson discovery, I witnessed from the inside how the momentum carried over from the Tevatron era enabled, on many levels, the remarkable success of the CMS experiment.
But wait — there’s more. The LHC will be turning on again early next year with both higher collision energy and higher “luminosity” — the rate at which collisions occur. This raises the prospects for many kinds of discoveries, including new heavy particles (perhaps the “superpartners” predicted by my favorite theory, supersymmetry), or unexpected properties of the Higgs boson. I have placed a friendly bet with Tom LeCompte, the former ATLAS collaboration physics coordinator and our Argonne neighbor, that superpartners will in fact be discovered by CMS and ATLAS during this next LHC run.
Continued success of the CMS experiment requires significant upgrades to the CMS detector to meet the challenges of higher-luminosity running. The U.S. CMS collaboration has taken responsibility for upgrading three major subsystems in a Phase I upgrade project jointly funded by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
Last week, this U.S. CMS project passed the simultaneous CD-2/CD-3 reviews, allowing these crucial upgrades to proceed. It was all smiles at the closeout last Thursday. This achievement reflects excellent work by the CMS Detector Upgrade Project team led by Steve Nahn, with deputies Aaron Dominguez and Lucas Taylor, involving CMS collaborators from many universities and labs and lots of talented people at Fermilab.
A proud day for U.S. CMS, with many more to come.