Posts tagged OP Vistars
Some of our readers not plugged-in to the everyday scene of physics at the high energy frontier might be confused remembering that we promised you some bad-ass proton collision action somewhere around 14 February, which was over a month ago, and realizing that, indeed, the beloved 7 TeV data is still nowhere to be found. In fact, the media has been so focused on the 1-year shutdown expected for the LHC in 2012 (and seriously, it’s not because of the Mayan calendar…) that no one has really posed the obvious question: “Umm, hey… wasn’t there supposed to be stuff happening already this year?”
Have no fear, friends. Your friendly LHC scientists are simply making sure they are working with a well-oiled machine, and these kinds of delays are completely normal. January and February were used for commissioning the machine at low current, and further developing the Quench Protection System (QPS); here’s a nice article by SymmetryBreaking giving some more information about the LHC’s QPS. Having a robust protection against accidents such as the one in September 2008 is clearly a high priority. Beam was re-introduced to the LHC a few weeks ago, and the progress is steadily imrpvoing, however carefully the technicians are working.
Tonight is a special night, however. For the first time in 2010, we are witnessing the LHC dry-ramping* to the current which corresponds to a 3.5 TeV proton energy; this is the target energy for collisions in the 2010-2011 run. Of course, live coverage is brought to you by OP Vistars. In case you missed it, here’s a snapshot in the early stage of the ramp.
(*Dry-ramping implies the current in the magnets of the LHC are being ramped up, but that there is no proton beam circulating at the time.)
We here at CERN Love are as giddy as schoolgirls about this.
A fascinating aspect of writing this blog has been to sift through our web logs and see how readers find us. It shows us which topics are relevant to today’s internet. It also disturbs us to discover how twisted your minds are.
Firstly and rightfully, the most commonly used search term is…
- op vistars
Apparently we’re not the only ones who are baffled by the cryptic OP Vistars page. Next we present some ROOT-related searches, not all of which are complimentary:
- fuck you root cern
- root ugly plots
- root cern ugly
- cern root evil
- root cern sucks
- root cern design ugly
- you are the roots of all my evils
- root of all evil cern
- root of all my frustrations
- blinding data cern root
The following searches give us insight as to how the general public views CERN:
- cern and time rifts
- cern to open dimensional rift
- cern broke nov 2009
- cern diamonds
- cern dog
- cern monorail
- plumbing at cern
- cern bufet
- cern swirls
- working at cern boring
Whatever CERN may be, it sure as hell isn’t “boring” and I am disgusted that anyone would type this into Google, and that Google would lead them here. Next, the obligatory potty-related searches:
- cern swiss urine
- lavabo love
- urine and hand washing
- liquid drip when toilet
- hand washing proper sign with foot pedal type
I would really like to know what these people were looking for. On second thought, I really don’t want to know. Here are a few more miscellaneous gems:
- motombo love
- shitty geneva studio
- how i did not find love
- throbbing eyeball
- what is love half life
- porn love.org
I am completely unable to explain or categorize this one:
- you plote
And all you faithful Spanish readers out there, we love you! if we ever translate CERN Love into other languages, Spanish will be the first:
- blog del cern en español
Well, the holiday season in Geneva is certainly getting off to a festive and boisterous start. From the pretty lighted trees by the lake to the yet-to-be-seen-illuminated Christmas lights in St-Genis-Pouilly, it’s clear that it’s time to get our “fête” on. Even more notable, the LHC has given us physicists an early present or two.
Needless to say, the past 10 days or so have been quite titillating at the lab. Thousands of e-mails have been exchanged, hundreds of plots have been generated, and many million cups of coffee have been consumed. As we “ramp up” for the next few weeks of beam and commissioning before CERN becomes a ghost town, I feel like it’s important to share with you, our devoted audience, a little taste of the magic.
Of course, it’s impossible to stay in the control room for one’s experiment 24/24 (or, for you ‘merkins, 24/7). So, the friendly guys down at the CERN Control Centre (CCC), the control room for the LHC, have created a web-based resource which one can use to receive up-to-the-minute updates on the status of the LHC proton beams. My friends, I present to you OP Vistars — Page 1:
If you’d like to check in every once in a while yourself, click here.
This page is a nice way to be kept in the loop about current activities along the LHC as well as its four experiments. Pay special attention to the ‘Comments’ box in the bottom left. This usually gives a good description of the plan for the immediate future. On the top, one can get some crucial beam information, including the number of protons per bunch in an LHC beam (denoted with an ‘I,’ shown for both beam 1 and beam 2), whether or not there is beam circulating (the two big green BEAM indicators), and the beam energy. The beam which was circulating for the example image was characterized by a proton energy of 450 GeV, which is equivalent to their energy at injection. Injection is quite a tricky process, and it occurs at points 2 and 8 along the LHC (hence the TI2 and TI8 acronyms).
When you really start to think about it, though, this is a masterfully designed, albeit mysterious, piece of internet. Actually, many of the individuals who gaze at this site for many hours a day are perplexed by some of its most prominent features. But the colors sure are nice! As an example of our confusion, in a survey of some 20 ATLAS physicists (my colleagues), I found that exactly 0 of them knew what the shit was going on in the four plots found in the middle of the screen. Noting the x- and y-axis labels, one might suspect that these should be showing the beam position in the x-y plane (and the left-most plot supports this), but nothing about plots (b)-(d) suggests this at all.
The ATLAS run coordinator is reputed to have said that, when one of these plots is shaped like the second plot above, the LHC is operating as a fixed-target collider interacting with someone’s head. I highly doubt it, Christophe.
Perhaps the most elusive question, however, is the following one: Does anyone know what the fuck “OP Vistars” means?