Taking a closer look at LHC
"If there's one thing to do, it's to engage in education".
George Charpak (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992).
Large Hadron Collider is the world’s highest energy particle accelerator. LHC (situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border) generates the greatest amount of information that has ever been produced in an experiment before. It will also reveal some of the most fundamental secrets of nature.
Despite the enormous amount of information available about this topic, it is not easy for non-specialists to know where the data come from.
Basically, the purpose of this website is to help introducing and informing the wider public about the LHC experiment, and some simple physical calculations which take place in all particle accelerators. They can also be used in secondary school classrooms in order to stimulate the curiosity of the students, help them understand the physical concepts of LHC, and they can also be used as an example of the relationship between the cold equations of Physics on the blackboard and the exciting scientific research.
In 2012 protons were running with a beam energy of 4 TeV. At the beginning of 2013, the LHC collided protons with lead ions before going into a long maintenance stop until the end of 2014. Running was resumed in 2015 with increased collision 6,5 TeV per protón and another increase in luminosity. Its maximum total energy of 14 TeV is already very close, and probably it will be probably reached by the end of RUN 2 (2015-2018).
One of its main goal has already been reached: to find the Higgs boson.
The Nobel prize in Physics 2013 was awarded to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."
Candidate Higgs Decay to four muons recorded by ATLAS in 2012 (Image: ATLAS/CERN).
An other important achievement (published May 2015 in Nature) with Run I data was the first observation of the very rare decay of the B0s particle into two muon particles: B0→µ+µ−. These decays are studied as they could open a window to theories beyond the Standard Model, such as supersymmetry.
Event displays of a candidate B0s particle decaying into two muons in the LHCb detector (Image: LHCb/CERN)
The calculations that you will be finding in this Website are adapted from the Physics of Secondary School and in most cases they are just very simple approaches to the correct results.
Besides the Sections of this Website, it may be interesting to take a look at other websites which give simple description of Particle Physics. For example: An Introduction To Particle Physics or other ones that you can find in the section Education of this website.
Xabier Cid Vidal, PhD in experimental Particle Physics for Santiago University (USC). Research Fellow in experimental Particle Physics at CERN
Ramon Cid Manzano, secondary school Physics Teacher at IES de SAR (Santiago - Spain), and part-time Lecturer (Profesor Asociado) in Faculty of Education at the University of Santiago (Spain). He has a Degree in Physics and in Chemistry, and is PhD for Santiago University (USC).
CERN and the Environment