Skip to main content

Wealth of particle physics data yields numerous results for EPS conference


Fermilab’s Tevatron particle collider is nearing the end of its lifetime, but results from its two collider experiments are nowhere close to dwindling. Members of the CDF and DZero collaborations at Fermilab will present a record number of results at this month’s European Physical Society conference on High-Energy Physics, which begins on July 21 in Grenoble, France.

Collaborators from the CMS experiment at the LHC will also present numerous results following a successful start to the LHC running in 2011. Fermilab is the host laboratory for the U.S. group participating in the CMS experiment and plays a major role in the operation of the detector and the analysis of the experiment’s collision data.

Fermilab’s MINOS experiment will present its result on the transformation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos, which constrained a measurement reported earlier by the Japanese T2K experiment.

Results from CDF will include the first observation of a new, heavy relative of the neutron as well as a first indication of the extremely rare decay of particles containing a bottom and a strange quark into two muons. This might shed light on the existence of yet unknown particles. DZero will present an update on a tantalizing hint of a new type of matter-antimatter asymmetry and present numerous measurements of properties of the top quark, the heaviest known elementary particle. Both CDF and DZero will provide updates on their search for the Higgs boson, which, if it exists, will explain why some elementary particles have mass and others don’t.

CDF and DZero spokespersons attribute the rush of new results to several things, including the record size of the data set produced by the Tevatron collider, and the improved data analysis techniques developed and employed by hundreds of scientists and the friendly competition with physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider, who are sifting through a quickly growing set of LHC data.

“As the majority of our expected Tevatron data is now available and as the LHC data set begins to grow significantly, our collaborators are starting to put results out quickly,” said DZero co-spokesperson Stefan Soldner-Rembold.

To date, CDF has analyzed more than 8 inverse femtobarns of collision data while DZero has scrutinized up to 9 inverse femtobarns. The collaborations anticipate accumulating a total of 10 and 11 inverse femtobarns of data, respectively, by the time the Tevatron shuts down at the end of September. One inverse femtobarn represents about 50 trillion proton-antiproton collisions at the Tevatron.

The steadily increasing data sets at the Tevatron have boosted the number of papers submitted by the CDF and DZero collaborations for publication. At a little more than six months through the year, both collaborations have published more than 60 papers between them and are on track to publish more papers in a single year than any year in the history of the Tevatron experiments. The number of publications produced will grow through 2012 and beyond as scientists will use better analysis techniques to squeeze more information out of their unique data sets.

More information about these and other particle physics results will be presented at the EPS conference. The EPS organizers will hold a press conference on Monday, July 25.