Learning from CDF and DZero
Lothar Bauerdick, head of the CMS Center at Fermilab, wrote this week's column.
The winter physics conferences are in full swing. In the last couple of weeks, the presentations of the new CDF and DZero results were true highlights. The Tevatron experiments are thriving with new results, and the CMS collaboration is eager to join in the fun. There is so much to learn and discover: What is the origin of mass? What is dark matter made of? Does supersymmetry exist? Do the forces of nature unify at high energy?
This year's most exciting Tevatron result may be the observation of single
top electroweak production by both CDF and DZero. This enormously difficult measurement is of great importance for the LHC experiments also. It shows that the top quark interacts through both the strong and electroweak force, like the other quarks of the Standard Model of particle physics. It also is a milestone on the way to finding the elusive Higgs particle.
The fact that it took 14 years from the discovery of the top quark at the Tevatron to the observation of single top production is a humbling reminder to us at the LHC how much hard work is ahead of us once we see the first collisions later this year.
For the LHC we expect a year-long data-taking run starting in late fall. This was announced at the LHC workshop at Chamonix last month. At the workshop we also heard about the great progress the LHC machine group has made repairing the accelerator, the good understanding people now have of the reasons for the equipment failure and how to prevent similar problems.
We expect the LHC to initially run at 10-TeV center-of-mass energy, five times the energy of the Tevatron. As we know very well from the Tevatron, accelerating particles to higher energy opens a new window for discoveries. Many of the extremely difficult issues of separating signals from backgrounds will be a lot easier at the LHC given the larger number of massive particles produced at higher energy.
With the Tevatron pioneering many measurements of Standard Model processes, such as the single top observation, the race is on for the Higgs boson, in particular if it is relatively light. Until then, CMS will have a few months of commissioning runs and taking cosmic muon data.
There will be a new round of winter conferences next year. At CMS we know that our time will come.