The world's largest hadron collider back in action at CERN

The first particle showers this year were circulated on Sunday, 28 February.

The world's largest hadron collider back in action at CERN

The exploration into the Big Bang and the decisive moments in particle physics will again continue at CERN.

A Finnish research team, which has worked with the LHC's CMS testing equipment design, construction and simulations from the very start, will finally get to do some serious work.

"After about twenty years of hard work, we are already looking forward to the new stage," says Jorma Tuominiemi, professor in charge of the Finnish CMS programme.

Half power is key

After the bad luck with the LHC launch in the autumn 2008, a more conservative approach has been taken. In the LHC trial operation in November and December 2009, the CMS test was found to be ready for a new attempt.

In the 18-month testing period commencing now, the LHC particle shower velocities will be increased to half of the maximum. Already at this rate, the particles' collision energy is almost quadruple in comparison to the competitors.

The LHC is used for finding very rare phenomena, which is why it is necessary to obtain study data.

"About one in ten billion collisions result in the Higgs boson, and they have to be screened from phenomena which are already known at lower energy levels," says Tuominiemi.

Already half of the maximum collision energy of the LHC helps to make good scientific progress.

"Increasing the collision energy may reveal entirely new phenomena, which will have significance with regard to understanding the basic structure of matter, or the structure of the universe," says Professor Paula Eerola.

Eerola is coordinating one of the research teams responsible for the LHC's first research results.

At full blast in 2014

An improvement and service break has been scheduled for the collider before the experiments can be started at full power in 2014. Eerola and Tuominiemi are not worried if the Higgs boson, completing the so-called standard model in particle physics, is not found in the experiments even then:

"There are many alternative theories. For a particle physician, that kind of situation would actually be even more appealing."

Follow the experiments:
'Higgsin metsästäjät' blog »»

Also see the online news:
Maailman suurin hiukkaskiihdytinkoe onnistui (11 September 2008)»»
CERNin tutkijat alkuräjähdyksen mysteerin jäljillä (15 July 2008)»»

Author: Milla Karvonen
Photo: CERN
Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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