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From symmetry breaking: Demystifying the LHC shutdown

18 March 2010 Yesterday the science news media and twitterverse were abuzz following a BBC News article announcing “LHC to shut down for a year to address design faults.” Readers – and the news outlets that frantically re-reported the BBC article – assumed that CERN had found a new problem with the LHC and announced an imminent shutdown. Neither is the case. Here, we join our fellow science writers and bloggers in setting the record straight about the LHC’s next long shutdown. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

A close shave

| 11 March 2010 A team from the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich just found scientific evidence for the old saying that less is more. By shaving off a piece of scintillating tile, they achieved test results that were considerably better than tests with a tile that was complete. The trick: stick a silicon photomultiplier into the shaved-off groove, rather than just on the outside of the tile. “After quite a few iterations, we came up with a shape for the plastic tile that works extremely well. It also now includes a SiPM that is embedded into the tile, which is important for a realistic calorimeter since then the individual cells can be placed edge on edge, without any gaps between them,” explains the team leader Frank Simon. Frank Simon is also an active blogger on Quantum Diaries, and one of his most recent entries features an explanation of tiles, fibres and photomultipliers and how they came up with the idea of reshaping the tile. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,

Progress report for the European ILC-HiGrade project

| 4 March 2010 Last week, collaborators from the ILC-HiGrade European Commission Framework 7 Project gathered at CERN, Switzerland for their annual meeting. Each project work package, from cavity, coupler and tuner production to ILC governance studies, was reviewed on 25 February. The ILC-HiGrade project is conducted by six European institutions: DESY, CEA, CERN, CNRS/IN2P3, INFN and Oxford University. 'ILC-HiGrade' stands for 'International Linear Collider and High Gradient Superconducting RF-Cavities' and one of the main objectives of the proposal is a small serial production of accelerating cavities at highest gradients. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

S1 global update: tuner assembly successfully done at KEK

| 25 February 2010 Following the successful cavity string work for superconducting acceleration cavities from Europe and Americas, a team of four scientists and engineers form INFN, Italy and Fermilab, US, arrived in Japan for the assembly work of the frequency tuners for S1-global work. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

From symmetry breaking: Do particle theorists have a blind spot?

18 February 2010 In a provocative section of a talk at the American Physical Society meeting in Washington, DC, yesterday, theorist Matthew Strassler from Rutgers University challenged particle theorists to not be too simple in their analyses. Most people would probably not claim that theoretical particle physics is too simple, but Strassler argued that nature is likely to be even more complicated than physicists expect. And if theorists only properly examine the simplest classes of models, where simple is a relative term, they might be led astray in interpreting future Large Hadron Collider data. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,

ILD concept detector group plan future work

| 11 February 2010 Some 100 members of the International Large Detector (ILD) group gathered from 27 to 30 January 2010 in Paris, France, deep in the academic Latin Quarter area. This fourth ILD workshop was the first dedicated ILD meeting after the concept was validated in 2009 by the research directorate. Category: Feature | Tagged: ,

From CERN: Outcome from Chamonix: Better in the long run

4 February 2010 Last week, the Chamonix workshop once again proved its worth as a place where all the stakeholders in the LHC can come together, take difficult decisions and reach a consensus on important issues for the future of particle physics. The most important decision we reached last week is to run the LHC for 18 to 24 months at a collision energy of 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam). After that, we’ll go into a long shutdown in which we’ll do all the necessary work to allow us to reach the LHC’s design collision energy of 14 TeV for the next run. This means that when beams go back into the LHC later this month, we’ll be entering the longest phase of accelerator operation in CERN’s history, scheduled to take us into summer or autumn 2011. Category: Feature | Tagged: , ,

Successful beginning of S1 global at KEK

| 28 January 2010 Four superconducting accelerating cavities have been successfully assembled at KEK’s Superconducting RF Test Facility (STF). From 14 to 22 January, the assembly team of technical staff from DESY and Fermilab visited KEK, and completed cavity-string assembly work in the STF cleanroom, making a wonderful start for S1 global, a crucial system test towards realising the International Linear Collider. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , , ,

After Albuquerque, Beijing

| 14 January 2010 Next march, Tiger Year, a joint meeting of the Linear Collider Workshop (LCWS10) and the International Linear Collider meeting (ILC2010) will be held from 26-30 March 2010 in Beijing, China. Three years after the ILC Reference Design Report release and the preliminary cost estimate of the machine in Beijing, the whole community of accelerator and detector physicists will gather again in China for another important step forward. “The ILC Chinese institutes are honoured and glad to host this meeting, as we expect great results from these five days,” said Jie Gao, co–chair of the local organising committee. “We hope that many of our colleagues will be able to attend.” Category: Feature | Tagged: , , ,

From KEK: Cryomodule for “S1-global” arrived from Italy

7 January 2010 A big Christmas gift arrived at KEK from Italy. On 25 December, KEK's Superconducting radiofrequency Test Facility (STF) welcomed the cryomodule for "S1-global" - a crucial system test towards realizing the International Linear Collider (ILC), a proposed next generation electron-positron collider. Category: Feature | Tagged: , , , ,
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