Particle accelerators are the backbone of today’s particle physics research and help us understand the smallest building blocks our world is made of. To understand this deeper, more powerful accelerators are needed, beyond what is possible with today’s LHC. The world’s physics community is continuously running studies to explore science questions and evaluate the required accelerators; one of those the studies is the Future Circular Collider study led by CERN. In this episode we discuss the science questions as well as the core engineering challenges with the two leaders of the FCC study, Michael Benedikt and Frank Zimmermann.
This episode wraps up our recent coverage on particle physics by discussing in some detail the recent discovery of a Higgs particle. Our guest in this episode is Kerstin Borras who heads up the CMS group at DESY. We recap the role of the Higgs very briefly, look in some detail at the two detectors CMS and ATLAS, discuss the importance of the famous five sigma and look at the process by which such a discovery is confirmed and (re-)checked.
In this fourth (and for the time being, last) episode in the series on physics at CERN we look at the LHC from the perspective of the beam producers, and more specifically, from the perspective of the control system for the LHC. To this end, we first talk to Vito Baggiolini, a software engineer in the controls group, and then we talk to Felix Ehm, a technical engineer for the beam control system. In the episode we recap what the LHC does and how it does it (you may want to re-listen to Episode 30 on the LHC), discuss the hardware elements used for beam control, some of the safety and security systems, as well as about the software aspects of the system.
This episode is a conversation with CERN’s Niels Madsen about Antimatter. We first discuss theoretical aspects about the topic, and then focus on the ALPHA Experiment. Since Niels is an experimentalist and has helped building essential parts of the experiment, we discuss the experiment in some detail.
In this episode we discuss neutrinos. In the first part we talk with CERN’s Gian Giudice about the theory of neutrinos; we also discuss what it would mean if they were actually faster than light. Part two is a conversation with Edda Gschwendtner about the CERN Neutrinos to Gran Sasso experiment and the OPERA detector.