Field of Science

The LHC in Real Time

The Large Hadron Collider continues to set records for the highest particle energies ever reached (in controlled form on earth that is). Yesterday the LHC ramped up to a new high energy of 3.5 TeV. The best part about the LHC is that you can monitor the machine by looking at data directly streamed real time over at LHC Page 1. The page looks something like that seen below and a key to make sense of it can be found herehere, or down below.
LHC page 1
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.
It has been a rough road to get here; I documented the construction and catastrophic problems the machine had in this previous post on the LHC here.

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