Saturday, April 30, 2011

The First Year of the LHC

This is a technical/scientific overview of the first year of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Abstract: The first year of LHC data taking provided an integrated luminosity of about 35/pb in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s)=7 TeV. The accelerator and the experiments have demonstrated an excellent performance. The experiments have obtained important physics results in many areas, ranging from tests of the Standard Model to searches for new particles. Among other results the physics highlights have been the measurements of the W-, Z-boson and t t-bar production cross-sections, improved limits on supersymmetric and other hypothetical particles and the observation of jet-quenching, elliptical flow and J/Psi suppression in lead-lead collisions at sqrt(sNN) = 2.76 TeV.

It still amazes me how much they accomplished in the first year alone, considering the technical challenges that something of this size can have. It is an astounding machine in many ways, and it will provide us some of the most profound knowledge during its lifetime.


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