Archive by category | Starting the LHC

Science’s coverage of LHC

Science's coverage of LHC

While the rest of us are working like dogs, trying to tell the story of the LHC, look who I found enjoying a beer on the patio? It’s Science’s Adrian Cho. To be fair, he’s already filed his story. And the beer is non-alchoholic (due to restrictions on site today). Image: GWB  … Read more

ATLAS first images

ATLAS first images

Roger Jones, a physicist who I interviewed for the “”http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080910/full/news.2008.1095.html">Voices from the collider" segment, has posted some first images from ATLAS on his blog. Like CMS, these images, were taken when the beam struck a collimator, so they’re not from actual collisions. I actually just took a stroll to the ATLAS control room, which is a hop and a skip from where I’m sitting now, and it was full of energy. Roger explained to me that this was the first taste of real data for the ATLAS subsystems, and they were frantically trying to understand what the detector was showing  … Read more

Beam 2 is through!

And just like that, beam 2 has completed its first circuit of the LHC. That’s it, they’ve got it clockwise and anticlockwise (counterclockwise for the Americans in the readership). The day has been an official success. What a relief to all the beam guys who have been sweating bullets for a few weeks now.  Read more

The Big Bang Breakfast

Posted on behalf of Alison Wright, Chief Editor of Nature Physics. I’m so excited I can hardly type. I’m just back from the ‘Big Bang Breakfast’, organized in Westminster by the UK science funding body STFC, to celebrate the start-up of the LHC. Over tea and sausage sandwiches, physicists and media representatives watched this morning’s events unfurl, live from CERN. Just after 8:30am, the first flash of a monitor showed the beam had entered the 27-km ring, ready to be coaxed through each of the eight sectors of the machine in turn. It was edge-of-the-seat stuff (certainly if you’re a  … Read more

Beam 2 test delayed

A cryogenic problem at has delayed the anticlockwise beam test. The LHC’s big dipole magnets are all superconducting, and so they need to be cooled to just 1.9 K (around -271 C) in order to function. There’s apparently some minor temperature fluctuations at point 8 (see the map below), which have held things up by about an hour. I’m told that point 8 has been a little buggy over the past few nights, but it’s probably nothing too serious.  Read more

Voices from the cafeteria: CERN celebrity

Voices from the cafeteria: CERN celebrity

That’s a photo of prominent theorist John Ellis from this morning, all ready for his close-up. The past week or so has promoted a lot of the physicists at CERN from particle pion to minor celebrity. It’s a bit of an odd situation for people who spend a lot of their working lives either underground or staring at computer screens. But most of the people I’ve spoken to so far seem really happy to finally get some recognition. Click here to listen to Monica Dunford, a physicist from the University of Chicago, talking about her experience with the media. Image:  … Read more

First photos from CMS

First photos from CMS

The Compact Muon Solenoid, one of two, big all-purpose detectors here at CERN has released its first photos from this morning’s event. The image (right), shows particles flying through the detector. They came not from beam-on-beam collisions, but from the beam of protons colliding with a collimator upstream from CMS. Jim Virdee, the CMS spokesperson, says that these images are actually a bit noisier than what they hope to eventually get from proton-proton collisions.  Read more