The beam dump is a large graphite block used to take up the energy stored in the LHC beam in case the beam needs to be shut down. Since the energy in the beam can be as high as the kinetic energy of a landing 747-400, designing and operating the dump is challenging. In this episode, Marco Calviani, who heads the group that is responsible for this and other beam dumps at CERN, tells us about how the dump works, and what they have recently changed in order to cope with the higher luminosity in future configurations of the LHC.
A while ago we had a whole series about LHC, ATLAS and particle physics in general. Despite all we know about what our world is made of and the explanatory power of the standard model, there is also a variety of open questions and currently unexplained phenomena. These include dark matter, dark energy, the neutrino mass, the CP violation, the hierarchy problem, and of course the unification of the standard model with gravitation. In this episode, CERN’s Valerie Domcke explains what it’s all about.
To conclude our detailed look at the ATLAS experiment, this episode looks at the computing infrastructure. We start out with the trigger systems that decide, very quickly, whether the data from a particular collision is worth keeping. We then discuss the reconstruction of the event, the simulation needed to understand the background as well as the LHC Grid used distribute data and computation over the whole planet. Our guest is CERN’n Frank Berghaus.
After understanding the history and development of ATLAS (and covering the LHC and particle physics in general) in previous episodes, we are now at the point where we can try to understand how a scientist uses the data produced by one of these large detectors and make sense of it. This is what we’ll do in this episode with physicist (and listener) Philipp Windischhofer. If you want to learn even more, you can check out these links provided by Philipp or read the last chapter of the book :-)
ATLAS is one of the two general-purpose experiments at the LHC. It has been conceived, designed, and built over decades by hundreds of scientists and engineers from dozens of countries and hundreds of organizations. My guest, Peter Jenni, has been the head of the ATLAS collaboration for most of this time. In this episode we talk about science and engineering, but mostly about organizational aspects and the “community management” necessary to get such a magnificent machine off the ground.