The LHCb experiment at CERN has collect a record amount of data this year, already surpassing the amount it collected in all of 2011.
A higher energy level, more computing power and better software allowed the LHCb experiment at CERN to collect a record amount of data this year. It has already surpassed the amount it collected in all of 2011 and is poised to double that amount by the end of 2012.
In January through July, the LHCb detector collected 1 inverse femtobarn of data, which is a measurement of the number of particle collisions recorded in the detector. An inverse femtobarnis equivalent to 70 trillion particle-producing proton-proton collisions.
“Once more, the excellent performances of the machine, the skill and the commitment of the whole LHC team made possible this result,” said LHCb Spokesperson Pierluigi Campana in a statement posted on the LHCb website. “This increased sample will allow us to push further our knowledge of Standard Model and find finally where new physics is hiding so well.”
The increase is due in part to the Large Hadron Collider operating at an energy level of 8 TeV, compared to 7 TeV in 2011. The higher luminosity resulted in a greater number of particle collisions, which resulted in more data. LHCb could handle the increased data flow thanks to upgrades to its computing power and improvements to its software, LHCb physicist Monica Pepe Altarelli said.
Scientists predict LHCb will collect 2.2 inverse femtobarns of data by the end of 2012. Though ATLAS and CMS routinely collect much more data in a year, LHCb initially was not designed to take advantage of such a high luminosity.
The LHCb experiment recreates the conditions from a hundredth of a billionth of a second after the big bang in hopes of answering questions such as why matter won out over antimatter. The “b” in LHCb stands for “beauty,” as the decay of beauty quarks and antiquarks could help explain the disappearance of antimatter.
Pepe Altarelli said LHCb scientists are hopeful they will have results next year.
“The prospects are very good because the experiment is working well,” Pepe Altarelli said. “If there is anything to be discovered in this particular domain, we are particularly well placed to find it.”