2010 LHC Schedule

The LHC shut down yesterday for an end-of-year break after a very successful initial period of beam commissioning at beam energies of 450 GeV and 1.18 TeV. Tomorrow at CERN there will be public reports about the state of the LHC and the initial results from the experiments. I gather that by now all sorts of particles have been rediscovered, including kaons and lambdas, here are some details from Jim Pivarski.

There’s now a tentative schedule 2010 out. Hardware commissioning of the new quench protection system, allowing beam energies up to 3.5 TeV, will begin on January 4, and be completed by February 15. A new checkout to prepare for beam commissioning will take place Feb. 17-19, and next injection of a beam into the LHC should be around February 20. Commissioning of 3.5 TeV beams and some pilot physics runs at that energy should take a month or so, with the first regular physics runs at 3.5 TeV/beam beginning around March 25. A tentative month-long shutdown to reconfigure the machine to run at higher energy (up to 5 TeV/beam) is scheduled for May 3-June 2.

From January 25-29 machine experts will meet in Chamonix to discuss whether to try and run at 5 TeV/beam in 2010, and how to implement this if it seems feasible. Plans will also be made for the late 2010-2011 shutdown. This will require deciding what to do about all the problematic splices in the machine in order to allow operation at the design energy of 7 TeV/beam, as well as understanding how much retraining of the dipoles will be needed in order to get to that energy. Current plans call for a “long shutdown” in 2013-4 to begin some upgrades of the LHC, and this is another topic that will be discussed.

While news coverage of the LHC in science magazines like Science News has been a mixed bag, often focussing on extra-dimensional speculation irrelevant to the actual science that will get done there, there’s a quite good new article here, in a surprising location: Vanity Fair. The LHC has become a real celebrity…

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6 Responses to 2010 LHC Schedule

  1. Ralph says:

    Which is more important – Increasing energy or increasing luminosity?

    There seems (a) there is a pretty good likely-hood of seeing interesting physicals already at 3.5TeV/beam, (b) seeming new physics at any energy is likely to require significant luminosity.

    So wouldn’t it be sensible to push luminosity rather than energy for now?

    [Especially if one were parochial, and say, wanted to ensure beating tevatron to seeing the Higgs]

  2. Chris W. says:

    The author of the Vanity Fair piece, Kurt Anderson, is a novelist and journalist and host of the public radio program Studio 360, of which I’m quite fond. It nominally focuses on the arts, including architecture, but is very wide ranging, and almost always interesting.

    Somewhat off-topic: See this interview with Vanessa Gould, the director of the film Between the Folds, which was recently shown on PBS.

  3. Chris W. says:

    PS: From Vanessa Gould’s statement about her film:

    As a documentary project, this film has been less about telling a story and rather about finding an idea—layers of ideas. Everyone involved in this project has been incredibly energized by the challenge of making a documentary film about ideas. All along, we knew its central themes would speak to different people in different ways, as any film about ideas should. Therefore, it was of great importance that its themes were presented subtly and flexibly, so that every viewer could experience the film in ways that were both universally resonant and personally meaningful.

  4. Bill K says:

    “Which is more important – Increasing energy or increasing luminosity?”

    Depends on what you’re looking for. In the case of a low mass Higgs (115 – 140 GeV) go for luminosity. You’re actually better off running at reduced beam energy for this since the QCD background increases more rapidly with increasing energy than the signal. To search for more exotic things you obviously need enough beam energy to produce them in the first place.

  5. Frank Wilczek gave an interview to the New York Times here. In in, he mentions experiments will be run at the LHC regarding Quantum Chromodynamics, for which of course he won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics.

    Also interesting and of note is a novel he is working on his spare time regarding four people who discover something significant, but Alfred Nobel’s will (I think it was Nobel’s will, if not it’s just policy) allows for only three winners for any one award.

    Although the article doesn’t mention it, could that reflect on Frank’s award? Although he won the 2004 NPP along with David Gross and David Politzer, I’m curious if any of you know how close t’Hooft and Sid Coleman were considered for the same award. Thanks in advance.

    And darn it if that article doesn’t make me want to explore the latest work in Axions. How’s that going?

  6. NP Nonwinner says:

    Alfred Nobel’s will was vague on details. Click on the link “excerpt of the will” (with English translation)

    See also Wikipedia, which quotes the paragraph, in English

    The full text of the will (English translation) is here

    The details about the prizes were vague, so it took 5 years to sort out the legalities.
    Nobel’s will said nothing about “three people” and indeed it said “in the previous year” and it is says “benefit to mankind” (like confinement and asymptotic freedom in QCD?).
    So …
    a) the “previous year” business was set aside from the start
    b) “benefit to mankind” was interpreted loosely. Mostly the Nobel Prizes are awarded for academic research. Thomas Edison contributed probably more benefit to mankind than any scientist, but he never won a Nobel Prize. (But Marconi won the NP.)

    t’Hooft – it was known by all that he also derived the negative slope of the beta function in QCD (leading to confinement) but
    it is also recognized that
    – he did not make the connection to the (known) expt results on deep deep inelastic scattering (he did not pursue the consequences of the minus sign much)
    – he already had a Nobel Prize (in 1999)

    Sid Coleman? — do not know.

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