Blogging ICHEP 2010

A collective forum about the 35th edition of
the International Conference on High Energy Physics (Paris, July 2010)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Physics at the LHC – What did Guido mean!?

My summer has started. And the first stop is the conference Physics at the LHC 2010 conference (or pLHC as it has been known internally by the experiments).

As Barbara already mentioned, this conference, occurring this week in Hamburg, Germany, is a preview of results we might expect at ICHEP.

It is Wednesday morning and all the LHC experiments have big plenary talks discussing overviews of their physics current results. One of the CMS results has already been discussed by Tommaso. The results all show the first time the experiments are gingerly dipping their foot into the pool of physics. Ok, so it is the shallow end right now. Observation of many quark-onia bumps, but some real new measurements not done at the LHC’s new higher-than-ever energy, 7 TeV. But they also include the first observation of the W boson and the Z boson at the LHC. Now we’re talking!

One fascinating conversation occured right at the start of the meeting. It was a discussion that occurred during the introductory talk by Guido Tonelli, the spokesperson for CMS (video available). Sitting in the audience was Steven Myers from CERN, who runs the LHC (who also gave a talk on the present and near future of the LHC machine). Both Guido and Fabiola Gianotti (ATLAS spokesperson) pleaded with Steve to give them more luminosity. Guido went one step further and said that if they can give CMS enough luminosity in the next month they will measure the Standard Model for ICHEP.

What does that mean? Both experiments have observed the W boson now. Does that mean measuring its cross section? Or an observation of top quark production? Is there any reasonable plan for the LHC that would give it enough luminosity to observe top quark production!? Or was it just a flashy statement made to urge Steve to give the experiments more data? Does CMS have something up their sleeve? I guess time will tell… And both CMS and ATLAS will do push their data as far as they can.

Update: at the end of the CMS talk, slide 54, there is the statement “100 nb-1, 380 W and 35 Z”, and the speaker said “this we can be sure of.” So, that gives the scale of the CMS plans. And lets hope the LHC can actually give us that 100 np-1 of data!

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