Large Hadron Collider

On June 19, scientists at the CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider published their 1,000th paper. The monumental achievement reflects an incomparable contribution to humanity’s understanding of the universe — and it’s just the beginning.

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, June 17, 2020: While COVID-19 risks had led to a temporary halt in fabrication work on high-power superconducting magnets built by a collaboration of three national labs for an upgrade of the world’s largest particle collider at CERN in Europe, researchers at Berkeley Lab are still carrying out some project tasks. Fermilab scientist Giorgio Apollinari, head of the U.S.-based magnet effort for the HL-LHC, is quoted in this piece.

Scientists on Large Hadron Collider experiments can learn about subatomic matter by peering into the collisions and asking: What exactly is doing the colliding? When the answer to that question involves rarely seen, massive particles, it gives scientists a unique way to study the Higgs boson. They can study rare, one-in-a-trillion heavy-boson collisions happening inside the LHC.

In this imaginative film, Symmetry writer Sarah Charley depicts a short story in which a physicist is unable to cook what he wants with the ingredients he has. It’s not easy to get the grocery while sheltering in place, so he decides to use the physics at work in the Large Hadron Collider to get what he needs.

From Physics World, April 3, 2020: A collaboration that includes Fermilab scientists is exploring how quantum computing could be used to analyze the vast amount of data produced by experiments on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The researchers have shown that a “quantum support vector machine” can help physicists make sense out of the huge amounts of information generated at CERN.

From Physics Today, April 1, 2020: Fermilab scientist Vladimir Shiltsev provides a rundown of the advances that the particle accelerator community has made in increasing beam energy, power, luminosity and brilliance and summarizes the breakthroughs and discoveries that lie ahead for the field of beam physics.

In 2010, the Large Hadron Collider research program jumped into full swing as scientists started collecting physics data from particle collisions in the LHC for the first time. How has this gigantic, global scientific effort affected the world? Symmetry pulled together a few numbers to find out.

Only a fraction of collision events that look like they produce a Higgs boson actually produce a Higgs boson. Luckily, it doesn’t matter.