Smooth sailing for CMS
|Matt Fisher, of the University of Florida, presents his poster about the Level 1 trigger at the U.S. CMS collaboration meeting at Brown University.
Five weeks after the LHC officially launched its research program, members of the CMS collaboration confirmed that all systems are go at the annual U.S. CMS meeting, which took place at Brown University on May 5-8.
At the first meeting with data from the LHC's maiden voyage into uncharted waters at the Energy Frontier, the roughly 130 attendees expressed enthusiasm, if not outright giddiness, over the detector's performance.
"CMS has demonstrated it is a fantastic instrument for studying particle collisions," said U.S. CMS Project Manager Joel Butler. "It has actually surprised us in many ways, and is showing strengths in areas that some of us did not expect."
Via a remote connection from CERN, CMS Spokesperson Guido Tonelli reported that the experiment had collected roughly 1.45 inverse nanobarns of data thus far. The data-taking efficiency reached 93 percent, surpassing the goal of 90 percent. In addition, 90 percent of the recorded data is good for physics, Tonelli said.
At this stage in the game, the CMS collaboration is using the first data to rediscover the Standard Model. Like setting sail on a new type of vessel, CMS must first identify the known physics processes already measured by Fermilab's Tevatron to get a feel for how the detector works. These early stages of analysis are also important for validating future results when CMS ventures into new, unexplored territory, said CMS Collaboration Board Chair Dan Green.
"Nobody will believe you until you can prove that your detector does certain things," he said.
As the experiment deploys its tools that separate the interesting data from the not-so-interesting events for the first time, Wesley Smith, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reported that the higher-level triggers demonstrated their expected performance. "We are ready for higher luminosity," he said.
After nearly four days of meetings on the brick and ivy campus, attendees expressed appreciation for their hosts. "We are very grateful," said U.S. CMS Collaboration Board Chair Nick Hadley. "Brown did a great job organizing the meeting."
The feeling was mutual.
"At Brown, we emphasize the importance of collaboration, and this is probably the field that most embodies large-scale collaboration," said Brown University Provost David Kertzer. "We are very proud and happy to be one of the nodes in that network."
- Elizabeth Clements