Hunting the Higgs - scenes from March 30, 2010 - it's pedal to the metal

>> Friday, April 2, 2010

First of all, we are grateful for Matt LeBourgeois who recorded all this unique and singular footage, more of which you will see in UCSDTV's chronicle of his and Vivek Sharma's experiences during the first year of the Higgs search. Matt got it good, where the rest of the media can't....

Just moments after the first 7TeV proton collision ever recorded occurs in the Compact Muon Solenoid detector - for which Vivek directs the Higgs search, Matt caught Vivek's comments as the first record of the event appeared.

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Now that the big press event has subsided, and the terms LHC, CERN and Geneva fade as our attentions are prodded to such things as Ricky Martin's personal life, the economic recovery and improving relations with China (unless you're Google)-all issues with varying degrees of import; the real work for thousands of scientists begins. As Vivek so prosaically put just moments after viewing the record of the very first 7TeV proton collisions ever created "...the events are beautiful, the detector is working like a dream....you know, it's taken twenty, twenty-five years to build and this is what it is for, finally, the baby is delivered, now it has to grow...".

And they are quickly exhorting their baby to take its steps and grow. Shortly after the champagne corks were gathered up and the press hit "send" to file their media, Vivek's cohorts in this huge endeavor slowly, or not so slowly, started putting the pedal to the metal. Still basking in the excitement, Vivek hints at what the next steps for their baby would be:

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And as later reported by Vivek, on the very same day the CMS recorded more than 500,000 p-p (proton-proton) collisions in just a few hours. And on Wednesday and Thursday of this auspicious week, they accumulated more than four million collisions at 7TeV, with plans to increase the collision rate by orders of magnitude in the next weeks. Baby steps indeed....

So just what are we looking at in this video? Vivek explains in response to a presumably UK journalist:

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Their baby - our baby - has started the marathon, and we'll be pacing alongside with Vivek and Matt. Keep checking back, and don't forget to use your iPhones and browsers to take a peek at LHC status, and in a way, take part, however vicariously, as we venture on into this new epoch of understanding that started just a few days ago.

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