The Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the LHC [CMS] recently organised two virtual visits to the CMS experimental cavern, around 100 meters underground, using the Google+ Hangouts platform. Schools, universities and interested members of the public were invited to remotely connect with physicists in front of the CMS detector and in the above-ground control room, to talk about the detector, the LHC, and the physics goals of the collaboration.
When the LHC operates at peak luminosity, about a 1000 million interactions will be produced and detected each second at the heart of the CMS experiment. However, only a tiny fraction of these events will be of major importance. As in many particle-physics experiments, a trigger system selects the most interesting physics in real time so that data from just a few of the collisions are recorded. The remaining events – the vast majority – are discarded and cannot be recovered later. The trigger system, therefore, in effect determines the physics potential of the experiment for ever.
Scientists at the Tokai-to-Kamioka (T2K) experiment in Japan have tracked the experiment’s first neutrino, a small step towards finding out why we live in a matter-dominated Universe.
A paper in the journal Circulation last month prompted lots of excitement in the media. Small wonder: it said that watching TV increases your chances of dying. The more you watched, the worse for you.