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Of Particular Significance

First Big Results from LHC at 13 TeV

14 Dec 2015, 13:36 UTC
First Big Results from LHC at 13 TeV
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A few weeks ago, the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] ended its 2015 data taking of 13 TeV proton-proton collisions. This month we’re getting our first look at the data.
Already the ATLAS experiment has put out two results which are a significant and impressive contribution to human knowledge. They represent a first look at the physical behavior of quarks and gluons at the highest collision energies ever examined. And to the disappointment of many, including me, they show the existing theory’s equations work very well!
The equations of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which are used to describe how quarks and gluons scatter of one another, make a very clear though qualitative prediction at the energies currently accessible to the LHC. The top quark is the known particle with the largest rest mass; its mass-energy (E=mc² energy) of 175 GeV = 0.175 TeV is dwarfed by the multi-TeV energies that LHC is probing in its current collisions. The other known particles are even lighter. So from the point of view of the highest energies available, all particles in the Standard Model have almost negligible rest masses. QCD itself is associated with the rest mass scale of the proton, with mass-energy of about ...

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