Lancaster Physicists To Analyse Fresh LHC Data
Story supplied by LU Press Office
Lancaster scientists are eagerly awaiting the new data after the Large Hadron Collider smashed its own record for the highest energy particle collider.
On Tuesday, 30th March the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland began colliding particles at an energy three and a half times higher than the next most powerful facility, at Fermilab in Chicago.
Lancaster physicists on the largest of the experiments, ATLAS, will be searching through the traces of the particles produced in the collisions for traces of new physics.
On the day of the collision Professor Roger Jones, head of the Lancaster ATLAS group, helped present live streaming of the first collisions and explained the early events at a media event in London.
He was also involved with a conference in London where some of the data already collected before Christmas was presented, and the opening of a major computing centre at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire.
At RAL, a major computing centre was formally opened which will help process the ATLAS data in tandem with large facilities such as the High End Computer Centre at Lancaster.
Professor Jones is in charge of the computing for ATLAS in the UK.
He said: "We have built a huge world-wide system of computers to store and analyse the ATLAS data, and it is working incredibly well so far - but now the real work begins!"
Dr James Catmore is already based in Geneva, and jointly heads the team looking at the physics of some of the heaviest particles seen so far, so-called 'beauty' particles.
They will be looking at the data to ensure that both nature and the ATLAS detector are behaving as expected, so that any indications of new phenomena that may be observed can be understood with confidence.
He said: "This is a very exciting time to be working in physics; lots of young physicists and postgraduate students will be combing the data with computer programmes, and also by looking at interesting events on graphical displays, in a friendly competition to seek what surprises are in store."
The Lancaster group is working on many major questions; the origin of mass and the search for the so-called Higgs particle; the reason for the absence of antimatter in our everyday world; and the search for candidates to explain the mysterious dark matter that makes up much of the universe.
Particle Physics and Accelerator Science are vital tools for attempting to understand what the universe is made up of, by breaking it down into its tiniest constituents. To do this scientists recreate the moments after the big bang by using a particle accelerator - a high-energy machine that speeds particles up using high-frequency electric fields. As they approach the speed of light, they collide with one another breaking down into smaller units - the fundamental building blocks which make up the universe.
Wed 31 March 2010
A Faculty team representing science, technology, engineering and maths took part in EDF Energy's 'Science Day' on Saturday 21st March at Heysham Power Station.
Wed 25 March 2015
Professor Roger Jones has replaced Professor Peter Ratoff as Head of the Physics Department. Roger gained a PhD studying neutrino interactions at CERN and Fermilab before starting his career at CERN working at the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) Collider.
Tue 24 March 2015
As part of British Science week, 170 students from 14 schools across the region came to Lancaster University on Wednesday 18th March to compete in science, technology, engineering and mathematics challenges.
Mon 23 March 2015
Lancaster University’s new flagship Engineering Building will provide a beacon of excellence for research and recruitment for the UK’s buoyant and significant engineering industry.
Mon 23 March 2015