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Of Particular Significance

Off to CERN

10 Nov 2014, 13:35 UTC
Off to CERN
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

After a couple of months of hard work on grant writing, career plans and scientific research, I’ve made it back to my blogging keyboard. I’m on my way to Switzerland for a couple of weeks in Europe, spending much of the time at the CERN laboratory. CERN, of course, is the host of the Large Hadron Collider [LHC], where the Higgs particle was discovered in 2012. I’ll be consulting with my experimentalist and theorist colleagues there… I have many questions for them. And I hope they’ll have many questions for me too, both ones I can answer and others that will force me to go off and think for a while.
You may recall that the LHC was turned off (as planned) in early 2013 for repairs and an upgrade. Run 2 of the LHC will start next year, with protons colliding at an energy of around 13 TeV per collision. This is larger than in Run 1, which saw 7 TeV per collision in 2011 and 8 TeV in 2012. This increases the probability that a proton-proton collision will make a Higgs particle, which has a mass of 125 GeV/c², by about a factor of 2 ½. (Don’t try ...

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