New Era in Particle Physics
Beams of protons collided at 7 TeV in the LHC at 13:06 CEST on Tuesday 30 March, marking the start of the LHC research programme. Particle physicists around the world are looking forward to a potentially rich harvest of new physics as the LHC begins its first long run at an energy three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator.
“It’s a great day to be a particle physicist,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “A lot of people have waited a long time for this moment, but their patience and dedication is starting to pay dividends.”
Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding two beams of protons head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world will analyse the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC.
“With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti.
ATLAS is one of the largest of six experiments run at the LHC, and is the one in which ICTP scientists from the Centre's High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics section participate. ATLAS is based on a general-purpose detector that will analyse the myriad of particles produced by the collisions in the accelerator. It will investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter.
Source: CERN press release