All goes well on LHC 2.0’s first day back in action

It finally happened! The particle-smasher known as the Large Hadron Collider is back online after more than two years, during which its various components were upgraded to make it even meaner. A team of scientists and engineers gathered at the collider’s control room at CERN over the weekend – giving up Easter celebrations at home … Read more

Fabiola Gianotti, the first woman Director-General of CERN

The CERN Council has elected a new Director-General to succeed the incumbent Rolf-Dieter Heuer. Fabiola Gianotti, who served as the ATLAS collaboration’s spokesperson from 2009 to 2013 – a period that included the discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS experiments – will be the first woman to hold the position. … Read more

Restarting the LHC: A timeline

CERN has announced the restart schedule of its flagship science “project”, the Large Hadron Collider, that will see the giant machine return online in early 2015. I’d written about the upgrades that could be expected shortly before it shut down in 2012. They range from new pixel sensors and safety systems to facilities that will double the … Read more

Putting particle physics research to work

In the whole gamut of comments regarding the Higgs boson, there is a depressingly large number decrying the efforts of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. Why? Because a lot of people think the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a yawning waste of time and money, an investment that serves mankind no practical purpose. Well, here and … Read more

Gunning for the goddamned: ATLAS results explained

Here are some of the photos from the CERN webcast yesterday (July 4, Wednesday), with an adjoining explanation of the data presented in each one and what it signifies. This first image shows the data accumulated post-analysis of the diphoton decay mode of the Higgs boson. In simpler terms, physicists first put together all the … Read more