Ready for collisions
Lothar Bauerdick, head of the Fermilab CMS Center, wrote this week's column.
As we move closer to recording the first collisions, working on the CMS experiment gets more and more exciting. The CMS detector is now closed, and the magnetic field was switched on for tests over the weekend. Things are coming together very nicely: the detector has almost everything installed we planned to have for the initial data taking, including both of the detector end caps of the electromagnetic calorimeter.
The CMS collaboration has been taking data with cosmic rays most weeks for some time. All detector components now send signals to the detector readout. The collaboration has recorded the first curved particle tracks with the magnetic field on and is ready for the first collisions.
The data taking chain is complex and is improving rapidly. Data gets promptly reconstructed at the CERN Tier-0 and is being pushed out to Tier-1 and Tier-2 centers around the world for analysis, including Fermilab's Tier-1 center. On a weekly basis results about detector performance based on cosmic-ray and calibration data are reported.
If you pass by the Remote Operations Center near the Fermilab cafeteria you frequently will see CMS people taking shifts to monitor the collection of cosmic ray data. These shift responsibilities go back and forth between CERN and Fermilab-an arrangement that takes advantage of working in different time zones. The CMS shift schedule fully counts on the Fermilab ROC, and U.S. CMS collaborators are taking shifts in the ROC as their collaborators do at the control room in Cessy, France, or in the CMS Centre at Meyrin, Switzerland.
You can see the cosmic rays that we are already recording by looking at the event displays in the ROC or the big screens installed in LHC Physics Center on the 11th floor of Wilson Hall. Beams will be circulating in the machine very soon.
Register for the Pajama party on Sept. 10 and celebrate the start of the LHC!