LHC First Beam

LHC First Beam,CCC
LHC First Beam Day from the CERN Control Centre (CCC) (Image: CERN)

On 10 September 2008, scientists circulated for the first time a beam in the Large Hadron Collider. This is an archive page of the event that provides easy access to all the practical information and resources.

 

News on LHC Start-up

18.09.2008 - LHC progress report, week 1

Geneva, 18 September 2008. After a spectacular start on 10 September, the LHC enjoyed a mixed first week of commissioning with beam. To get beams around the ring in both directions on the first day exceeded all expectations, and the success continued through the night, with several hundred orbits being achieved.

The next step in the commissioning process is to bring in the radio-frequency (RF) system that keeps the beams bunched, rather than spreading out around the ring, and will eventually accelerate them to 7 TeV. The RF system works by ‘capturing’ the beam, speeding up the slower moving particles and slowing down the faster ones so that the beam remains bunched into fine threads about 11 cm long.  Without it, the beam quickly dissipates and cannot be used for physics.

On Thursday night, 11 September, beam two, the anti-clockwise beam, was captured and circulated for over half an hour before being safely extracted from the LHC. The next step is to repeat the process for beam one, and that is set to begin this week.

The intervening time has been spent recovering cryogenic conditions after the failure of a power transformer on one of the surface points of the LHC switched off the main compressors of the cryogenics for two sectors of the machine.  The transformer, weighing 30 tonnes and with a rating of 12 MVA, was exchanged over the weekend.  During this process, the cryogenics system was put into a standby mode with the two sectors kept at around 4.5 K.  Since the beginning of the week the cryogenics team have been busy re-cooling the magnets and preparing for operation with beam, which is currently forecast for today.  The next stage of the commissioning will be single turn studies using beam one, followed by RF capture and circulating beam in both rings.

The LHC is on course for first collisions in a matter of weeks. Next update 24 September at the latest.

 

10.09.2008 - Press Release: First beam in the LHC - accelerating science

 

25.08.2008 - Final LHC Synchronization Test a Success

CERN has today announced the success of the second and final test of the Large Hadron Collider’s beam synchronization systems which will allow the LHC operations team to inject the first beam into the LHC.

Friday evening 22 August, a single bunch of a few particles travelled down the transfer line from the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) accelerator to the LHC. After a period of optimization, one bunch was kicked up from the transfer line into the LHC beam pipe and steered counter-clockwise about 3 kilometres around the LHC.

“Thanks to a fantastic team, both the clock-wise and counter-clockwise tests went without a hitch. We look forward to a resounding success when we make our first attempt to send a beam all the way around the LHC,” said Lyn Evans, LHC Project Leader.

Both the counter-clockwise and clockwise tests are part of the preparations to ready the LHC, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, for the eventual acceleration and collision of two beams at an energy of 5 TeV per beam. This unprecedented event is foreseen to take place by end 2008. 

Upcoming events marking LHC start-up

  • 10 September: The first attempt to circulate a beam in the LHC will be made on 10 September at the injection energy of 450 GeV (0.45 TeV). This historical event will be webcast, and distributed through the Eurovision network.
  • 3 October: CERN will host the LHC Grid Fest, a celebration of the LHC Computing Grid, a global computing grid designed to handle 15 million gigabytes of LHC-related data every year. The day will feature presentations, demonstrations, tours of the CERN Computer Centre and more.
  • 21 October: CERN will host the Official Inauguration of the LHC with representatives of CERN member and observer States. 

 

11.08.2008 - LHC synchronization test successful

The synchronization of the LHC's clockwise beam transfer system and the rest of CERN's accelerator chain was successfully achieved last weekend. Tests began on Friday 8 August when a single bunch of a few particles was taken down the transfer line from the SPS accelerator to the LHC.

After a period of optimization, one bunch was kicked up from the transfer line into the LHC beam pipe and steered about 3 kilometres around the LHC itself on the first attempt. On Saturday, the test was repeated several times to optimize the transfer before the operations group handed the machine back for hardware commissioning to resume on Sunday.
The anti-clockwise synchronization systems will be tested over the weekend of 22 August.

 

7.08.2008 - Press Release: CERN announces start-up date for LHC

 

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What will happen on the day?

A media centre will be established in the Globe of science and innovation. Since it is not possible for us to take everyone to the CERN Control Centre, from where the LHC is run, we will install part of the control centre infrastructure in the media centre. At all times during the day, a member of the operations team on shift will be in the Globe and on hand to explain what is happening.

The Globe is equipped with a large screen that will show the activity in the control centre, and there will be regular press conferences via video-conference link with the control centre through the day.

Through the day, visits for TV media will be arranged to the control centre. There are two vantage points from which the control centre can be observed.

Visits to the control rooms of the LHC’s experiments will also be available for all media. Experts will be on hand at all locations throughout the day. No underground visits will be possible.

The first injection of a beam is scheduled for 9:30 CET, and will be preceded by a planning meeting that will be relayed to the Globe from 9:00. You are strongly encouraged to arrive at CERN before 8:30. The objective for the day is to have beam circulating in the LHC, the precise sequence of events will evolve through the day.

 

Technical information for media

Satellite uplink will be provided by Eurovision throughout the day. The following facilities will be available through Eurovision to accredited media:

  • Inside Live Standup position with the press room and control desk as a background
  • Outside Live Standup position with view of the Dome
  • Beta D, SX, SP, DVC-Pro and DV-Cam playout
  • Distribution table for coverage access with your own recorder
  • Direct connectivity to the Eurovision Global Network

B-roll footage can be found below along with pre-recorded interviews with LHC personnel and CGI material illustrating the science of the LHC.

Limited (ENG POSITIONS) TV positions are available overlooking the CERN Control Centre, but without direct satellite uplink. TV news media wishing to reserve a slot should contact the CERN press office.

On the first beam day itself, photographs will be posted at regular intervals on the site. High-resolution copies are available at no charge, subject to acceptance of CERN’s conditions of use. Photographers will not have access to the CERN Control Centre on the day. Visits to the Control Centre will be organized for photographers in advance of the first beam day.

Please note that access to CERN’s high-resolution photo collection is via login. Media wishing to access photographs on the day might like to set up accounts in advance.

The Globe will be equipped with electrical power (European standard plugs), wireless and plug-in internet access and ISDN lines. Media wishing to use the ISDN should contact the CERN press office.

 

Practical information

Accredited journalists should pick up their badges at the CERN reception (building 33, GPS: 46°13'59'' N; 6°3'20'' E) from 7:30 time to 9:30. The first attempt at beam injection is expected to take place at 9:30.

Here you find a general map of the Geneva area, and instructions for access by public transport.

If you wish to visit the control rooms of the ALICE or LHCb experiments, or the CERN Control Centre, you will need a passport to cross into France.

If you are bringing professional TV equipment, please note that a carnet ATA is required.

There will be limited space in the Globe for storage of luggage.

 

Summary of CERN Broadcast for LHC First Beam Day

On 10 September scientists at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland will attempt for the first time to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, and will produce beams seven times more energetic, and around 30 times more intense than any previous machine when it reaches design performance.

Nine hours of live satellite broadcast and webcast will be available from CERN on 10 September. Coverage will be centered at the CERN Control Centre, the main hub of activity as scientists attempt to circulate the first beam. All the controls for the LHC and it's pre-accelerators, their services and technical infrastructure are housed in the CCC, and from there accelerator operators inject the beams and steer them around the 27-kilometer ring. Viewers will see activity in the CCC and hear interviews with LHC scientists and engineers, past and present notable CERN personalities, and Nobel laureates in physics.

The first attempt to circulate an LHC beam will begin just after 9:00. Briefings from the CCC will take place hourly starting at 10:00, followed by coverage of Q&A sessions with journalists at CERN for the event. In addition to following events in the CERN Control Centre throughout the day, viewers will also visit the control rooms for the four main LHC experiments, see scientists in the U.S. following the events in their pajamas, and view pre-recorded clips, animations and interviews.

As this is a live event, all times are subject to change. If a briefing is delayed due to activity in the CERN Control Centre, mention will be made in the audio commentary and/or a message will be posted on-screen at the scheduled briefing time. If the startup is delayed, a program of visits and interviews with scientists will be arranged for visiting media.

The list below covers notable events during the day. At other times coverage will alternate between live events in the CCC and pre-recorded material. All times are CEST (Central European Summer Time), UTC/GMT + 2 hours.

9:00

Live satellite broadcast and webcast begin with an introduction from the commentators in the CERN Control Centre, an animation showing the passage of a beam through the LHC, and highlights of the LHC operators’ daily meeting where they lay out the procedure for getting the first beam circulating in the LHC.

9:15

Briefing in French by LHC Project Leader Lyn Evans and CERN Director General Robert Aymar on the plans for the LHC First Beam Day. Following the statement coverage begins of the first attempt to circulate a beam in the LHC. Lyn Evans will narrate the proceedings in English from the CERN Control Centre. Video of accelerator operators at work in the CCC will alternate with views of the LHC apparatus in its tunnel 100 meters underground.

10:00

Briefing in English by Lyn Evans, LHC Project Leader. The three-minute briefing will be followed by coverage of 10 minutes of Q&A between Lyn Evans and journalists at CERN for the event.

10:13

Tour of the control rooms of the four major LHC experiments: LHCb, CMS, ALICE and ATLAS. Viewers will see activity in each control room, and hear scientists from each experiment speak about their experiment and experiences during the first beam day. (duration 12:00)

10:25

Back to the CERN Control Centre for continuing coverage of the first beams in the Large Hadron Collider.

11:00

Three-minute briefing from the CERN Control Centre, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

11:30

Visit by videoconference to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago, Illinois, USA. Fermilab, which contributes to construction and operation of the LHC and CMS experiment, will host a pajama party in the middle of the night for scientists, media, VIPs and members of the public to follow the events at CERN live as they happen.

11:45

Video clips from worldwide non-CERN-Member-State particle physics institutes that contributed to LHC construction. (Pre-recorded)

11:56

Highlights from the morning’s activities in the CERN Control Centre. (duration 4:00)

12:00

Press Conference in English and French with CERN Director General Robert Aymar and LHC Project Leader Lyn Evans. Statements by Director General Aymar and LHC Project Leader Evans will be followed by 20 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

12:25

Visit the LHCb experiment, possibly the first experiment to see evidence of beam in the LHC on 10 September. A five-minute pre-recorded clip explaining the LHCb experiment will be followed by ten minutes of coverage of activity in the LHCb control room and interviews with LHCb scientists.

12:45

Movie: The Time Machine: The LHC Adventure is a Journey Through Time. (Pre-recorded, duration 11:00)

13:00

Three-minute briefing from the CERN Control Centre, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

13:13

Visit the CMS experiment. A five-minute pre-recorded clip explaining the CMS experiment will be followed by ten minutes of coverage of activity in the CMS control room and interviews with CMS scientists.

14:00

Three-minute briefing from the CERN Control Centre, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

14:24

Visit the ALICE experiment. A five-minute pre-recorded clip explaining the ALICE experiment will be followed by ten minutes of coverage of activity in the ALICE control room and interviews with ALICE scientists.

14:45

Highlights from the day’s activities in the CERN Control Centre. (duration 3:00)

15:00

Three-minute briefing from the CERN Control Centre, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

15:13

Briefing in the Globe by CERN Director General Robert Aymar, LHC Project Leader Lyn Evans, and others.

15:20

Visit the ATLAS experiment. A five-minute pre-recorded clip explaining the ATLAS experiment will be followed by ten minutes of coverage of activity in the ATLAS control room and interviews with ATLAS scientists.

15:50

Highlight footage of the day’s activities at CERN. (duration 10:00)

16:00

Three-minute briefing from the CERN Control Centre, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

16:24

Tour of the control rooms of the four major LHC experiments: LHCb, CMS, ALICE and ATLAS. Viewers will see activity in each control room, and hear scientists from each experiment speak about their experiment and experiences during the first beam day.

17:30

Briefing in English with Lyn Evans, LHC Project Leader. The five-minute briefing will be followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with journalists at CERN for the event.

17:45

Highlight footage of the day’s activities at CERN. (duration 15:00)

18:00

End of satellite broadcast and webcast.

 

Resources

Photos

Videos

Video interviews

  • Robert Aymar, CERN Director General [FR | EN]
  • Jos Engelen, Chief Scientific Officer [NL]
  • Ronaldus Suykerbuyk [NL]
  • Werner Riegler [DE]
  • Prof. Lucio Rossi [IT]
  • Amalia Ballarino [IT]
  • Antonio Vergara Fernandez [ES]

Audio interviews

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