5am: I drove my wife and kids to Geneva airport. They are leaving for ten days in the sun, in the knowledge that even if they were not going away, they would see precious little of me for the next week: it is test-beam time at CERN!
This is a guest post by Anna Wilson and Eleanor Harris, who spent a week interning with CMS in April 2015.
More than half a year, a school trip to CERN, and a round of 13TeV collisions later, the week-long internship we completed at CMS over Easter is still the most awe-inspiring experience of our lives so far.
Born at the end of the ’70s, I was still in school when the heaviest of all quarks was discovered at the Tevatron: the top quark. Back then I had no idea what it was about. But reading an article in the newspaper I felt the excitement surrounding such a discovery. My interest for the smallest and most basic building blocks of the universe had been awakened. When I joined the CMS Collaboration in 2014, I had no doubt that the first measurement I would like to do was that of the production rates of top-quark pairs at the new energy regime of 13 TeV. Shortly after the restart of the LHC in summer this year, we began a journey where no-one has gone before.
Guest post by Fergus Horan, a seventeen-year-old student from the City of London School who joined art@CMS for two weeks as part of his internship at CERN. He offers a critical view of the work done at art@CMS.
Long Shutdown 1 (LS1) — the two-year period of maintenance, consolidation and upgrades to prepare the LHC and its particle detectors for collisions at an energy of 13 TeV — recently came to an end as the LHC was successfully restarted earlier this year. Although the term “shutdown” seems to imply a quiet period, this interpretation couldn’t be farther from the truth. Below we present in no particular order some highlights from what was a very productive two years at the CMS experimental site, as we take the final steps towards analysis data at the new energy frontier.
Yesterday was an exciting day! While many people were hunting for eggs in their gardens and enjoying a nice Easter-Sunday lunch, physicists and engineers from CMS congregated in their control room near Cessy in France to partake in their own hunt: for the first signs of particles from the LHC in the CMS detector for two and a half years. In the morning the LHC operators started to thread the protons beams around the 27km ring, sector by sector. They first tried with "beam 2", the anti-clockwise beam.