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Earlier today the Large Hadron Collider ramped up to a new energy level of 3.5 TeV, and may be only weeks away from colliding particles at this record-breaking energy. As things progress during this exciting period, you can keep track of the changes at the LHC with the same LHC Page 1 display the experts use to monitor the accelerator.
LHC accelerator engineers and physicists use Page 1 to display the overall status of the accelerator. The page changes throughout the day with the changing activity of the machine. LHC operators update the page to incorporate comments on the current task and operations mode such as preparing for beam, testing an accelerator system, or providing experimental collisions.
Today’s CERN Bulletin offers a quick guide to understanding Page 1 using a display from last night’s ramp to 3.5 TeV. The Bulletin describes the main features of the display, including the status of the overall accelerator and the energy and intensity of each beam of protons.
For a more technical walkthrough, visit the LHC portal’s explanation of Page 1. The Portal breaks down two other display examples; one for beam circulation and dump and a second from an injection test. A glossary helps translate the acronyms and shorthand used by the LHC’s operators in the CERN Control Centre.
This concludes our three-part LHC decoded series. Earlier this week, we described how physicists at the LHC display particle collisions at the CMS and ATLAS experiments.
by Daisy Yuhas
Switch on to the LHC!
The LHC is preparing to collide beams at 3.5 TeV for the first time ever! Be part of the event and follow live what goes on at the world’s most powerful particle accelerator by connecting to LHC1. Hereafter we give you a key to understand the display as well as a typical event display from the ATLAS and CMS experiments.
1. This is the energy of beams. 1 TeV=1000 GeV. The LHC set the energy world’s record of 3.48 TeV per beam, today, 19 March 2010.
2. Intensity of, respectively, B1 (blue) and B2 (red).
3. The information in these boxes can vary. Operators display the graphs that are relevant to the specific operation.
4. Most of the flags are set automatically. They provide a quick summary of the machine status. In order to have collisions the ‘Stable Beams’ flag must be set to green.
5. Here operators write down their messages to the experiments. Often, they write the ongoing activity, followed by the plan for the coming hours.
6. Machine Mode, indicating what the machine is currently doing. Operators can choose among several modes of operation, such as: circulate and dump, inject and dump, cycling, injection of physics beam, injection probe beam, prepare ramp, ramp, stable beams, etc.
7. Progressive number used for archiving purposes.