Posts Tagged 'High Energy Physics'

New Blog in the Blogrolls

I’d like to draw attention to a new blog in my links section.  The authors are three fellow grad students studying high energy physics, covering the range of experiment, phenomenology, and theory.  Combining their diverse intellects, they have come up with the name High Energy PhDs.

From their introductory post back in November ’08, here is a description of what you will find on their blog:

  • Short reviews of topics in high energy physics. Our main goal is to generate an online discussion where we can jot down summaries of interesting ideas.
  • Accessible summaries. We are also interested in writing posts that will bridge the divides between hep-th/hep-ph/hep-ex communities. While these may not be “public outreach” level, they should be accessible to other graduate students in physics.
  • News. Some discussion of recent events in high energy physics, e.g. LHC commissioning.
  • Grad student resources. We will also have posts dedicated to grad student resources for items such as post-doc hunting, publishing, finding review articles, adviser management, etc.
  • I look forward to making use of their list of Resources for Learning New Topics.  Their discussion of Renormalization looks good too, which will hopefully help me make sense of that tricky topic as I try to teach myself some field theory.  You can also find some reviews of technical papers, and discussions of experiments like MiniBooNE.

    First Protons in the LHC this Weekend!

    As reported by Scientific American:

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), nearing readiness outside Geneva, Switzerland, was designed to smash protons together at the highest energies ever achieved in hopes of unlocking new secrets of the universe. But to date, all that’s traveled through its circular beam pipe are ping-pong balls to test for obstructions.

    That’s all about to change. This weekend, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, plans to test a key component of the accelerator by injecting a low-intensity beam of protons clockwise into the LHC and letting it travel three kilometers (two miles) through the machine.

    Assuming all goes as planned, the lab announced today that it will send the first beam around all 27 kilometers (17 miles) of pipe on September 10, the machine’s official start-up date.

    Continue reading ‘First Protons in the LHC this Weekend!’

    Rooting for the LHC

    With the Large Hadron Collider coming online soon, people are starting to discuss what might discoveries might be made there and when we can expect results.  (Well, at least it’s starting to be discussed in the blogosphere as well as in more popular news outlets.  Experts in the field have of course been discussing these things for much longer.)  Sean Carroll at Cosmic Variance has the most interesting take that I’ve seen for a semi-informed audience.  He even gives odds on various discoveries that may or may not be found at the LHC.  It’s a very interesting and entertaining article, and I recommend that you read it, if you haven’t already.  So… time to start placing your bets!

    I’m actually kind of surprised that I can’t seem to find any online bookies taking bets on the results at the LHC.  In addition to the odds posted on Cosmic Variance about what new discoveries will be made, there’s a bunch of other stuff to bet on: What’s the over-under on the Higgs mass?  When will it be found?  What will the doomsday prophets say when we’re not eaten by micro black holes?

    Anyway, in spite of the lack of traditional betting on the LHC, many particle theorists have much more at stake on the experiments at CERN: the validity of their work throughout their careers.  With the new range of energies to be explored, the plethora of predictions that theorists have made over the last few decades will begin to sort themselves out.  With all this at stake, it’s only natural that each scientist is probably rooting for a spectacular confirmation of his pet theory within the next few years.

    As a student preparing to enter the field of theoretical particle physics, the results at the LHC have a large amount of personal meaning for me as well. Continue reading ‘Rooting for the LHC’

    Interesting Look into the Guts of the LHC

    With the Large Hadron Collider scheduled to inject its first protons sometime in August, there have been plenty of articles written about it. Most of these articles are either aimed at the popular or scholarly levels, with little in between for the interested semi-knowlegeable student.  (And don’t forget the important question of whether tiny black holes produced in the LHC will eat our world.)

    Well, John from Cosmic Variance has bridged the gap with an excellent article about his personal involvement with one of the detectors in the CMS experiment.  Even though I am generally not all that into “tech specs” about such experiments, I enjoyed this peek inside the actual life of the LHC.

    It’s mind-boggling to think about the size of the LHC project.  Looking at the complexity and care involved in this one component, and extrapolating this to the thousands of other components involved in the experiment really brings you face-to-face with the magnitude of this undertaking.

    Continue reading ‘Interesting Look into the Guts of the LHC’