Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LHC proton run ends with new milestone

LHC proton run ends with new milestone

LHC 1 screenshot
The final beam of the three-year proton run at the LHC is dumped, with the phrase "So long and thanks for all the fish" from the control team (Image: CERN)
This morning CERN teams brought the first proton run at the Large Hadron Collider to and end with the message "So long and thanks for all the fish," - a phrase made famous by British writer Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. The remarkable first three-year run of the world's most powerful particle accelerator was crowned by a new performance milestone. The space between proton bunches in the beams was halved to further increase beam intensity and the accelerator's luminosity.
"This new achievement augurs well for the next LHC run starting in 2015," says CERN's head of accelerators and technology, Steve Myers. "High-intensity beams are vital for the success of the LHC programme. More intense beams mean more collisions and a better chance of observing rare phenomena."
Of the 6 million billion proton-proton collisions generated by the LHC, the ATLAS and CMS experiments have each recorded around 5 billion collisions of interest over the last three years. Of these, only around 400 produced signatures compatible with the Higgs-like particle whose discovery was announced in July.

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CERN DG meets with Ban Ki-moon

CERN DG Rolf Heuer and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer (Image: Evan Schneider/UN)
On 17 December CERN's Director-General, Rolf Heuer, met with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). Their meeting follows CERN's accession to status of observer at the United Nations General Assembly on 14 December. The two leaders discussed CERN's new status and how the laboratory can contribute to the Assembly's work. Rolf Heuer pledged that CERN was willing to actively contribute to the UN's efforts to promote science. In particular, CERN can help with the 'Science for sustainable development' initiative coordinated by UNESCO, and with objectives of the post-2015 agenda.
CERN, founded under the auspices of UNESCO, maintains strong relations with several UN institutions. CERN and UNESCO, for example, lead knowledge dissemination projects in developing countries. CERN's accession to observer status to the UN General Assembly strengthens these efforts to share scientific knowledge across nations.

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