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LHC Beauty Experiment Data Was Last Before Long Shutdown

First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 12:47 PM EST

Just before the Long Shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) this month, the LHC beauty (LHCb) experiment took data from collisions between protons and ions for the first time during the recent lead-proton run.

proton-lead ion collision LHCb detector 2013
(Photo : CERN)
A proton-lead ion collision, as observed by the LHCb detector during the 2013 data-taking period.
Subject of the asymmetric detector LHCb is the study of matter-antimatter asymmetries, as well as rare decays involving heavy quarks. Compared to the enormous multipurpose detectors CMS and ATLAS and the specialized heavy-ion detector ALICE, LHCb is small. But this carries the advantage that the detector is able to identify particles that scatter at very small angles from collisions, since the location of LHCb is so close to the collision point of the particle beams.

“The detector's unique angular coverage will enable us to study strange, charm and also beauty quark production in regions not accessible to the other experiments,” says LHCb spokesperson Pierluigi Campana.

LHCb cannot operate and record data during ion-ion runs, because each collision between ions can generate so many secondary particles that it becomes difficult for the subdetectors to withstand the particle flux.

But as seen from of LHCb, the difficulty of detection work during the proton-ion run is not so different from what they usually manage during the normal proton-proton operation. “For LHCb, the hybrid beam configuration is almost as manageable as the proton-proton one,” says Campana. “This applies both to the detector and the trigger and to offline systems."

A few dedicated groups within the LHCb collaboration are now analysing data from the proton-ion run and could release the first results alreadz this summer.

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