Large Hadron Collider Sets Record
GENEVA, March 22, 2010 – Two 3.5 TeV proton beams successfully circulated in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for the first time on March 19. This is the highest energy achieved to date and an important step on the way to the start of the LHC research program. The first attempt to collide beams at 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam) will follow on March 30.
CERN Operations Group leader Mike Lamont (foreground) and LHC engineer in charge Alick Macpherson in the CERN Control Center.
“Getting the beams to 3.5 TeV is testimony to the soundness of the LHC’s overall design and the improvements we’ve made since the breakdown in September 2008,” said Steve Myers, CERN’s director for Accelerators and Technology. “And it’s a great credit to the patience and dedication of the LHC team.”
The current LHC run began Nov. 20, 2009, with the first circulating beam at 0.45 TeV. Milestones were quick to follow, with twin circulating beams established by Nov. 23 and a world record beam energy of 1.18 TeV being set Nov. 30. By the time the LHC switched off for 2009 on Dec. 16, another record had been set, with collisions recorded at 2.36 TeV and significant quantities of data recorded.
Over the 2009 part of the run, each of the LHC’s four major experiments, ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb recordedmore than a million particle collisions, which were distributed smoothly for analysis around the world on the LHC computing grid. The first physics papers were soon to follow.
A screen shot of the main LHC display screen this morning, after the successful ramp in energy.
After the 2.36 TeV collisions, a technical stop ensued at the beginning of 2010, during which the machine was prepared for higher-energy running. Higher energy collisions require higher electrical currents in the LHC magnet circuits. This places more exacting demands on the new machine protection systems, which have now been readied for the task.
The first attempt for collisions at 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam) is scheduled for March 30. Between now and then, the LHC team will be working with 3.5 TeV beams to commission the beam control systems and the systems that protect the particle detectors from stray particles.
Once 7 TeV collisions have been established, the plan is to run continuously for 18 to 24 months, with a short technical stop at the end of 2010. This will bring enough data across all the potential discovery areas to firmly establish the LHC as the world’s foremost facility for high-energy particle physics, according to CERN.
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