Run 2 of the LHC

Nigel Lockyer

This week, the eyes of the high-energy physics world are on CERN as the LHC experiments prepare to take their first Run 2 data. After a successful more-than-two-year shutdown for maintenance and upgrades, the first beams recirculated in the LHC on Easter Sunday, and test collisions at a new record energy of 13 TeV took place two weeks ago. The final milestone of the LHC restart will be the start of physics data taking, marking the beginning of another intense period for the LHC experiments’ 10,000 collaborators.

The first run of the LHC was an unqualified success, highlighted by the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson by the CMS and ATLAS experiments. Precise measurements of the Higgs are a major focus for Run 2, along with searches for new discoveries. Results from analysis of the data accumulated in Run 2 could have a significant impact on future directions in our field.

The P5 report’s highest priority was full exploitation of the LHC, including upgrades to the detectors and accelerator, and it is one of our top priorities at Fermilab. Employees in many different roles across the lab have been crucial to the success of CMS, from detector construction and computing operations to the physics results of Run 1, and we remain committed to the experiment’s success and to supporting the participation by all U.S. CMS collaborators. We are actively working on R&D and construction for detector and accelerator upgrades, including leading the LHC Accelerator Research Program targeted at the high-luminosity LHC era. We host many university collaborators in our LHC Physics Center, and our scientists work together with their colleagues on preparing for analysis of Run 2 data.

All of us at Fermilab and in the United States look forward to being part of the excitement of learning more about the Higgs boson and searching for new physics in Run 2.