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# Building a Particle Accelerator watch

1. Interested in working with or building a Particle Accelerator?

Last week, Royal Holloway Physicist Dr Laurie Nevay gave a public lecture entitled ‘How to Build a Particle Accelerator’. You can find arecording of the lecture here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2016...e-accelerator/. After the talk, Dr Nevay explained how it is one goes about building these fascinating machines…

‘Particle accelerators are used behind the scenes to manufacture many everyday objects we all use, from the semiconductors inside the processors in phones and computers, to the strengthened metal and plastics in your car. More recently, accelerators have been used in medicine to treat cancer with greater precision than ever before. Whether you’re building one for industry or whether you’re working at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN discovering new particles, it pays to build a virtual accelerator first.

Accelerators are built to deliver beams of particles to a specific target or place and without building a computer model first, it would be very unlikely to get the desired results. To build a computer model, we need a few things:

• A 3D model of the accelerator
• A description of the magnetic fields that guide the particles
• The laws of physics that tells us what happens when particles hit something

Firstly, an accelerator is designed by deciding the sequences of magnets that will guide and contain the particles – the most important step. Secondly, we build a 3D model using a set of typical components according to the magnetic field and put them together just like Lego bricks. Lastly, we use a big library of physics called Geant4 to tell us what will happen when particles hit the target or touch the side of the accelerator and what other particles might be produced.

There are many, many possible types of particles and that can result in many different outcomes, so pragmatically, we use the Monte Carlo method – named after the famous and glamourous casinos of Monte Carlo. We roll the dice, see what happens and follow that result. We do this again and again and average the results to get a ‘statistical’ picture of what happens.

At Royal Holloway, we’re using our software Beam Delivery Simulation to build models of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and help design its upgrade “HiLumi LHC” in upcoming years that will push the machine to its limits.’

If you have any questions for Dr Nevay and our other particle accelerator researchers, post them below!
2. The last year of the course I am about to start, the last month is spent at CERN

one question: what type of things managed to convince them that they found the higgs boson?

I know it was something to do with the decay products, but was there anything else because the energy of the particle was way belo what they expected.
3. (Original post by Kyx)
The last year of the course I am about to start, the last month is spent at CERN

one question: what type of things managed to convince them that they found the higgs boson?

I know it was something to do with the decay products, but was there anything else because the energy of the particle was way belo what they expected.
We passed this question onto Dr Stephen Gibson, one of our accelerator Physics lecturers:

"Thanks for the interesting question...

You're right - you can tell the nature of the particleby examining its decay products. Whenever a Higgs boson is created at the Large Hadron Collider, it very quickly decays into other particles that are recorded by a general purpose detector that surrounds the collision point. The most convincing evidence of the Higgs boson's existence was given by measuring the mass of the particle by its decay into two photons. By gathering sufficient data, the Higgs boson emerged as a bump above the background that could be clearly identified as statistically significant. You can see how it appeared as the first two years of data were collected in this animation:

https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/pub/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults//Hgg-FloatingScale-Short2.gif "
4. It was a five sigma
5. (Original post by Royal Holloway, University of London)
Interested in working with or building a Particle Accelerator?

Last week, Royal Holloway Physicist Dr Laurie Nevay gave a public lecture entitled ‘How to Build a Particle Accelerator’. You can find arecording of the lecture here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2016...e-accelerator/. After the talk, Dr Nevay explained how it is one goes about building these fascinating machines…

‘Particle accelerators are used behind the scenes to manufacture many everyday objects we all use, from the semiconductors inside the processors in phones and computers, to the strengthened metal and plastics in your car. More recently, accelerators have been used in medicine to treat cancer with greater precision than ever before. Whether you’re building one for industry or whether you’re working at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN discovering new particles, it pays to build a virtual accelerator first.

Accelerators are built to deliver beams of particles to a specific target or place and without building a computer model first, it would be very unlikely to get the desired results. To build a computer model, we need a few things:

• A 3D model of the accelerator
• A description of the magnetic fields that guide the particles
• The laws of physics that tells us what happens when particles hit something

Firstly, an accelerator is designed by deciding the sequences of magnets that will guide and contain the particles – the most important step. Secondly, we build a 3D model using a set of typical components according to the magnetic field and put them together just like Lego bricks. Lastly, we use a big library of physics called Geant4 to tell us what will happen when particles hit the target or touch the side of the accelerator and what other particles might be produced.

There are many, many possible types of particles and that can result in many different outcomes, so pragmatically, we use the Monte Carlo method – named after the famous and glamourous casinos of Monte Carlo. We roll the dice, see what happens and follow that result. We do this again and again and average the results to get a ‘statistical’ picture of what happens.

At Royal Holloway, we’re using our software Beam Delivery Simulation to build models of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and help design its upgrade “HiLumi LHC” in upcoming years that will push the machine to its limits.’

If you have any questions for Dr Nevay and our other particle accelerator researchers, post them below!
My name is Harrison Wells and I will create a particle accelerator in order to create the flash. I'm the reverse flash.

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