Large Hadron Collider's early collisions under the microscope

Remember back in November when the Large Hadron Collider set the world record for the highest energy of particles accelerated ever? Well, the LHC has been collidin' said particles at the same record-setting 1.18 TeV level of energy, and now that data is getting analyzed from the findings by a general purpose CMS detector.

It's all still very preliminary, according to the CMS research team — made up of several institutes across the United Kingdom.

From PhysOrg:

"Our findings provide the first information on the characteristics of charged particle production in this new energy range," says Prof. Guido Tonelli, Spokesperson of the CMS experiment, "The results confirm previous measurements, and expectations for the new energy regime. They are important to help us modelling the experimental backgrounds for future measurements at even higher energies."

Yeah, I have to be honest, dear reader, a lot of what they're talking about is way over my head. I saw this at the top of the CMS report:

Transverse momentum and pseudorapidity distributions of charged hadrons in pp collisions at sqrt(s) = 0.9 and 2.36 TeV

…And I knew I was in too deep. If you want to give it a shot, you can find more here, with the full report to be published in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

What we all can take away from this, however, is that the CMS team is studying collisions at the highest recorded energy for a particle accelerator, and the LHC wasn't even at full strength when it happened. CERN is preparing the Large Hadron Collider to run a beam at 3.5 TeVs by the end of February, which will prepare the facility to run for longer periods of time and get more collisions under its belt.

Via PhysOrg