Fermilab AAAS/AAPT

AAAS Session:High-Energy Physics Discoveries: From the Tevatron to the Large Hadron Collider

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM


The very-high-energy proton-antiproton collisions at the Tevatron and proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are meant to dissect matter and space-time itself into its primary elements and generators. The experiments at the Tevatron and the LHC by synthesizing the information from the debris of the collisions are reconstituting the interactions that took place. The experiments at the Tevatron and the LHC are at the closest point of addressing in the lab some of the most puzzling fundamental observations in nature today such as the dark matter of the universe. This symposium will review the results from the Tevatron's largest-ever hadron collision data sets as the frontier energy baton is being passed to the LHC, the machine of unprecedented scale and complexity that will determine the future of the discipline of high-energy physics. The LHC starts operation in the summer of 2008, and the symposium will report on the machine and the two general purpose experiments, A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS) and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS).


Discoveries with the Tevatron Collider at Fermilab

Speaker: Jacobo Konigsberg, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


The Tevatron collider at Fermilab has been operating at the energy frontier in particle physics, through proton-antiproton collisions, for nearly 25 years. Scientists are pouring over the very large datasets now available. This talk will present the latest results from measurements and observations made by the CDF and DZero experiments, and will highlight the perspectives for further discovery, including exotic phenomena and the possibility of finding evidence for the elusive Higgs boson.

Closing in on the Higgs with the Tevatron Data

Speaker: Dmitri Denisov, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL


The Higgs boson is a cornerstone ingredient in the standard model of particles and their forces. It is expected to explain a curious mechanism that kicked in at an early moment in the life of the universe: the W and Z bosons (the carriers of the weak force) became endowed with mass while the photon (the carrier of the electromagnetic force) did not. This talk will present the latest results and future expectations by the CDF and DZero experiments for subatomic processes involving these bosons, including the search for the Higgs boson.

The Large Hadron Collider: First Beams

Speaker: Lyn Evans, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy accelerator and the most ambitious and complex scientific undertaking ever attempted. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as much as 175 metres (570 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. The study of the very high energy proton-proton collisions is expected to extend unprecedentedly our understanding of the Universe and point to the solutions of puzzles such as the dark matter of the universe and the origin of matter. The science and technology work towards the first successful circulation of proton beams on September 10 2008 and towards the first high energy collisions in 2009 are detailed in this talk.

The ATLAS Experiment

Speaker: Marzio Nessi, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) is one of the particle detector experiments constructed to study the proton-proton collisions that the LHC will produce. ATLAS is 44 metres long and 25 metres in diameter and weighs about 7,000 tonnes. The full ATLAS Experiment has been operational and taking cosmic ray data since September 2008, and is preparing for the high-energy collisions scheduled for late summer 2009. It also acquired and analyzed the so-called “splash events” that occurred as the LHC beams were successfully circulated at the LHC on 10 September 2008. The ATLAS detector will search for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy. ATLAS is expected to provide understanding about the basic forces that have shaped our universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate. Among the possible unknowns are the origin of mass, extra dimensions of space, microscopic black holes, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the universe.

The Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment

Speaker: Tejinder Virdee, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland


The 12,500-tonne Compact Muon Solenoid experiment (CMS) in Cessy, France, uses key information about particles emerging from high-energy proton collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to unearth nature’s secrets. CMS’s method of construction is original and unique in that “slices” of detector weighing as much as 2000 tonnes were fully constructed and tested with the acquisition and analysis of cosmic ray data on the earth's surface and then lowered 100 metres into the cavern, ready-made. CMS has been fully operational, recording and analyzing large volumes of cosmic ray data as well as the data from the circulation of the the first LHC beams on Sept 10 2008. It intends to make discoveries that will assist in the description and characterization of the composition of the Universe, its beginning, evolution and its intricate works.

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