Note: Oak Ridge National Laboratory has led an eight-year upgrade of the electromagnetic calorimeter used for LHC’s experiment called ALICE (for A Large Ion Collider Experiment). This detector measures the energies of high-energy electrons and gamma rays to learn more about the conditions of the early universe. Thomas M. Cormier leads the LHC Heavy Ion Group in ORNL’s Physics Division.
On Sunday, April 5, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator began its second act. After two years of upgrades and repairs, proton beams once again circulated around the Large Hadron Collider, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland.
With the collider back in action, the more than 1,700 U.S. scientists who work on LHC experiments are prepared to join thousands of their international colleagues to study the highest-energy particle collisions ever achieved in the laboratory.
These collisions—hundreds of millions of them every second—will lead scientists to new and unexplored realms of physics, and could yield extraordinary insights into the nature of the physical universe. [Read more…]