Tomorrow scientists will send the first beam of protons around the 17-mile Large Hadron Collider, located about 100 meters underground and operating at only 2.7 degrees above absolute zero. The LHC, located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.
An estimated 10,000 people from 60 countries have helped design and build the accelerator and its massive particle detectors, including more than 1,700 scientists, engineers, students and technicians from 94 U.S. universities and laboratories supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.
University of Pennsylvania particle physicist Brig Williams and nine other Penn personnel are on hand in Switzerland to discuss the event. Members of this group, together with collaborators in Europe and the U.S., designed and commissioned the 350,000 electronic circuits for a tracking detector that will eventually provide images of the 40 million proton collisions that occur every second. The detector, called ATLAS, took 14 years to build.
By phone or e-mail from CERN Laboratories, near Geneva.
Sept. 9 through 11, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EDT).
Detailed information on the LHC: http://lhc.web.cern.ch/lhc/.