13 September 2012

First p-Pb collision with the LHC

During a special test run, the LHC collided a beam of protons with a beam of lead-ions for the first time.

On the night between September 12 and September 13, the CERN LHC collided heavy ions with protons for the first time. The data was taken as part of a test run, as a preparation to a longer running period in January and February 2013. Everything went according to the expectations and several million collisions were recorded.

 p-Pb collisions are expected to be sensitive to the presence of a so-called Color Glass Condensate, a special state of matter predicted by theory. The Color Glass Condensate correspond to a state, where the gluons (carriers of the strong nuclear force) inside the nuclear particles are in a saturated state. The Color Glass Condensate is an analog to a Bose-Einstein Condensate. If the LHC experiments discovers clear evidence of a Color Glass Condensate, it will be the first time a strongly interacting Bose-Einstein Condensate has been observed. The analysis of the first data is already begun...