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Of Particular Significance

Final Days of Busy Visit to CERN

2 Dec 2014, 13:46 UTC
Final Days of Busy Visit to CERN
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I’m a few days behind (thanks to an NSF grant proposal that had to be finished last week) but I wanted to write a bit more about my visit to CERN, which concluded Nov. 21st in a whirlwind of activity. I was working full tilt on timely issues related to Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider [LHC], currently scheduled to start early next May. (You may recall the LHC has been shut down for repairs and upgrades since the end of 2012.)
A certain fraction of my time for the last decade has been taken up by concerns about the LHC experiments’ ability to observe new long-lived particles, specifically ones that aren’t affected by the electromagnetic or strong nuclear forces. (Long-lived particles that are affected by those forces are easier to search for, and are much more constrained by the LHC experiments. More about them some other time.)
This subject is important to me because it is a classic example of how the trigger systems at LHC experiments could fail us — whereby a spectacular signal of a new phenomena could be discarded and lost in the very process of taking and storing the data! If no one thinks ...

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