Liveblogging the LHC turn-on festivities

September 10, 2008

It’s 9:03 am, and the propaganda informational film has just started…

9:05 – I’m here in the back row of the main auditorium, which is absolutely full. There are supposed to be two viewing rooms in building 40, the main ATLAS/CMS building, but unfortunately those don’t open until 9:30 apparently.

9:07 – eww, relativistic mass.

9:09 – bizarre low frequency sound effects. Reminds me of those supernovas in planetarium shows which always scared me as a kid.

9:10 – live feed begins.

9:13 – they will try to send beam 1 (clockwise) around, one sector at a time.

9:17 – Lyn Evans doesn’t know how long it will take, but he hopes less than 12 hours.

9:19 – Robert Aymar thanks everyone.

9:22 – It’s like a Mars landing! But we get to try again and again.

9:29 – in building 40, where the chairs are comfy.

9:34 – some beam went in! Everyone laughs when a commentator asks “did you see it???”

9:38 – beam went to point 3.

9:40 – instant replay!!!

9:42 – they’ve actually managed to go to point 5 before, so so far nothing completely new.

9:45 – “It’s not just like switching on your mobile phone.” Beam at point 5.

9:51 – “They’re very young! 30s and 40s!”

9:53 – CMS seems to be showing a trigger rate. They are now going to test the beam dump at point 6.

9:59 – LHC status page here.

10:01 – Lyn Evans tempts fate by saying everything might be done in an hour.

10:07 – Point 7. Orbit has lots of excursions between 6 and 7 so they need to fix it.

10:12 – Point 8. One more before ATLAS!

10:18 – Point 1!!!! Loud clapping in ATLAS viewing room.

10:23 – next step is full circle.

10:25 – full circle.

The two red dots in the leftmost image show successive passages of a proton pulse through a monitor at point 2.

10:34 – They’re talking with ALICE. The ATLAS logbook shows that we did indeed see signals in the liquid argon calorimeters as the beam went through.

10:42 – we have ATLAS event displays! And very ugly they are, too.

10:43 – current plan seems to be to switch to beam 2 in an hour and a quarter.

10:49 – Everyone’s gone to do other things; room is much emptier now.

10:52 – Maiani dreams of a linear collider at CERN.

10:57 – Commenter points out that cost of LHC ~ cost of Beijing olympics. But only one will tell you about dark matter.

11:25 – Will Young-Kee Kim wear pajamas??? Only videoconferencing will tell!

11:29 – so enthusiastic, the commentators are. And so soothing.

11:30 – Fermilab promo movie.

11:33 – Umm… it’s unclear if the FNAL directorate are wearing pajamas, although they’re certainly color-coordinated. They also seem to have large stickers of some kind.

11:35 – Pier Oddone brings insane US liquor licensing laws to the attention of the world.

11:37 – The DOE is proud of us! Yay!

11:41 – as is the NSF.

11:43 – in the great American tradition, many people talk.

13:05 – after an unannounced lunch break for me, time to get back to work.  Everything on the accelerator side was very impressive this morning, and now the detectors have to follow that act.  I leave you with an ATLAS event display from when the beam was stopped on the collimators just upstream of point 1:

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3 Responses to “Liveblogging the LHC turn-on festivities”


  1. […] blogs by physicists at the scene describing the day’s events at sites such as US LHC Blog, RESONAANCES, Charm&C, […]


  2. […] blogging reports from the scene of events over at Resonaances, US/LHC Blogs (several posts), and Superweak, for example. I got the ATLAS readout/image below from the latter. (Presumably this is the shower […]


  3. […] Pesquisadores em estase blogando o acontecimento direto do local em um verdadeiro liveblogging. […]

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