A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

LHC circulates first beams of 2009

11/20/09

CERN just issued a press release announcing the first circulating beams of 2009 in the Large Hadron Collider. US institutions involved in the LHC also issued a press release. At 10 o'clock this evening, CERN local time, the first beams circulated for several minutes in the clockwise direction. The LHC operations team is now working to circulate a beam in the counter-clockwise direction.

Follow rapid updates at these sources.

Text of CERN press release:

The LHC is back

Geneva, 20 November 2009. Particle beams are once again circulating in the world's most powerful particle accelerator, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This news comes after the machine was handed over for operation on Wednesday morning. A clockwise circulating beam was established at ten o'clock this evening. This is an important milestone on the road towards first physics at the LHC, expected in 2010.

"It's great to see beam circulating in the LHC again," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "We've still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone we're well on the way."

The LHC circulated its first beams on 10 September 2008, but suffered a serious malfunction nine days later. A failure in an electrical connection led to serious damage, and CERN has spent over a year repairing and consolidating the machine to ensure that such an incident cannot happen again.

"The LHC is a far better understood machine than it was a year ago," said CERN's Director for Accelerators, Steve Myers. "We've learned from our experience, and engineered the technology that allows us to move on. That's how progress is made."

Recommissioning the LHC began in the summer, and successive milestones have regularly been passed since then. The LHC reached its operating temperature of 1.9 Kelvin, or about -271 Celsius, on 8 October. Particles were injected on 23 October, but not circulated. A beam was steered through three octants of the machine on 7 November, and circulating beams have now been re-established. The next important milestone will be low-energy collisions, expected in about a week from now. These will give the experimental collaborations their first collision data, enabling important calibration work to be carried out. This is significant, since up to now, all the data they have recorded comes from cosmic rays. Ramping the beams to high energy will follow in preparation for collisions at 7 TeV (3.5 TeV per beam) next year.

Particle physics is a global endeavour, and CERN has received support from around the world in getting the LHC up and running again.

"It's been a herculean effort to get to where we are today," said Myers. "I'd like to thank all those who have taken part, from CERN and from our partner institutions around the world."

A press conference will be held at CERN, at the Globe of Science and Innovation, at 2pm on Monday 23 November, and webcast at: http://webcast.cern.ch/. Submit your questions to @CERN via Twitter. We cannot guarantee that all questions will be answered.

Follow LHC progress on twitter at www.twitter.com/cern

For photos, video and latest information see: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/lhc-first-physics/

Contact: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/ContactUs.html

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.

Text of the US release:

SOURCE: Berkeley Lab, Brookhaven Lab, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2009

Beams are Back in the Large Hadron Collider

Batavia, IL, Berkeley, CA and Upton, NY – Particle beams are once again zooming around the world’s most powerful particle accelerator—the Large Hadron Collider—located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.  On November 20 at 4:00 p.m.  EST, a clockwise circulating beam was established in the LHC’s 17-mile ring.

After more than one year of repairs, the LHC is now back on track to create high-energy particle collisions that may yield extraordinary insights into the nature of the physical universe.

“The LHC is a machine unprecedented in size, in complexity, and in the scope of the international collaboration that has built it over the last 15 years,” said Dennis Kovar, U.S. Department of Energy Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics. “I congratulate the scientists and engineers that have worked to get the LHC back up and running, and look forward to the discoveries to come.”

American scientists have played an important role in the construction of the LHC.  About 150 scientists, engineers and technicians from three DOE national laboratories—Brookhaven Lab, Fermilab and Berkeley Lab—built critical accelerator components.  They are joined by colleagues from DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin in ongoing LHC accelerator R&D. The work has been supported by the DOE Office of Science.

Circulating beams are a major milestone on the way to the ultimate goal: data from high-energy particle collisions in each of the LHC’s four major particle detectors. Over the next few months, scientists will create collisions between two beams of protons. These very first LHC collisions will take place at the relatively low energy of 900 GeV. They will then raise the beam energy, aiming for collisions at the world-record energy of 7 TeV in early 2010. With these high-energy collisions, the hunt for discoveries at the LHC will begin.

"It's great to see beam circulating in the LHC again," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "We've still got some way to go  before physics can begin, but with this milestone we're well on the way."

In all, an estimated 10,000 people from 60 countries have helped design and build the LHC accelerator and its four massive particle detectors, including more than 1,700 scientists, engineers, students and technicians from 97 U.S. universities and laboratories in 32 states and Puerto Rico supported by the DOE Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

# # #

Media contacts:

Brookhaven National Laboratory: Kendra Snyder, ksnyder@bnl.gov, 631-344-8191

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: Elizabeth Clements, lizzie@fnal.gov, 630-399-1777

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Paul Preuss, paul_preuss@lbl.gov, 510-486-6249

CERN: James Gillies, james.gillies@cern.ch, +41 22 767 4101

Notes for editors:

Photos and video from today’s events are available at:

http://press.web.cern.ch/press/lhc-first-physics/

Information about the US participation in the LHC is available at http://www.uslhc.us. Follow US LHC on Twitter at twitter.com/uslhc.

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research for DOE’s Office of Science and is managed by the University of California. Visit our News center at http://newscenter.lbl.gov.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates and Battelle. Visit Brookhaven Lab's electronic newsroom for links, news archives, graphics, and more:http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom.

Fermilab is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the nation's single-largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. Visit Fermilab's website at http://www.fnal.gov.

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.

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