K-State Professors Participate in Work at CERN

Two Kansas State University physics professors have worked for the past seven years helping bring to life the world's most powerful particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. K-State is one of 48 institutions from 22 states and Puerto Rico involved in this project. Approximately 2,300 international collaborators are working on the project.

K-State physics professor and project leader Tim Bolton said their work reached a key milestone Jan. 22 with the insertion of the final piece of the 1430 ton Compact Muon Solenoid detector into the 17 mile long circular tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider. The detector, in essence a giant high-speed digital camera, will provide snapshots of the violent collisions between beams of counter-rotating protons in the collider. Each of these collisions release up to 14 trillion electron-volts of energy, an amount about a million times that produced by the accelerators in K-State's James R. Macdonald Laboratory. Data taking with the new detector and accelerator should begin this summer.

Yurii Maravin, assistant professor of physics, has spent nearly a year in Geneva, Switzerland, working on the Compact Muon Solenoid detector. Maravin's team, including doctoral graduate student Ketino Kaadze, and post-doctoral researcher Dmitry Bandurin, has worked closely with colleagues at Minnesota, Princeton and Caltech to commission the key component of the Compact Muon Solenoid that detects electrons and photons known as the electromagnetic calorimeter.

Bolton has led a group of undergraduates with engineer Russell Taylor from the K-State Electronics
Design Laboratory to test thousands of parts of the inner pixel tracker detector of the Compact Muon Solenoid in the physics department's high bay laboratory.

The United States’ contributions to the experiment and the Large Hadron Collider are funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.


Courtesy of K-State Media Relations