CERN Milestone

First Heavy Ions In The LHC


CERN News: First heavy ions in the LHC.

The LHC runs led ions for the first time, reaching unprecedented collision energy. Interviews with Jürgen Schukraft (ALICE spokesperson), Bolek Wyslouch (CMS run coordinator), Peter Steinberg (ATLAS Brookhaven National Laboratory), William Brooks (ATLAS Brookhaven National Laboratory).

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First heavy-ion collisions in CMS

The CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recorded its first Lead-Lead collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of 2.76 TeV per nucleon pair, marking the start of its heavy ion research programme. Physicists around the world expect a wealth of new results and phenomena from these collisions, which occur at energies 14 times higher than previously achieved by the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC, Brookhaven, USA).

At 11:20:56, on 8th November the LHC Control Centre declared stable colliding beams of heavy ions. CMS immediately detected the first collisions, each producing thousands of particles whose trajectories are reconstructed in the CMS silicon detectors and whose energies are measured in the calorimeters. Moments later, the data were analysed and the first images of these events were produced.



CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco--Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.

CERN's mission:

• Research: Seeking and finding answers to questions about the Universe
• Technology: Advancing the frontiers of technology
• Collaborating: Bringing nations together through science
• Education: Training the scientists of tomorrow

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