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How can I find reliable sources of information on the LHC and its experiments?

  1. Jul 30, 2012 #1
    I'm sorry that this is probably in the wrong place, but I couldn't find a place to post where I am allowed to start threads which was relevant.

    I'm hopefully starting a degree in particle physics next year, I'm currently in my last year of high school. Myself and one other student at my school are doing a physics EPQ, which is a qualification which will help me to get into universities, basically you choose a topic related to the degree to which you are applying, then write a 5,000 word essay and do a presentation to very highly qualified people on it, to be judged by the standards of a first or second year degree undergrad.

    Basically, I'm having real trouble finding reliable resources. My topic is what has been discovered by the LHC, so I'm doing 5 sections on the Higg's boson, antimatter, dark matter, additional dimensions and quark-gluon plasma. I have some basic info from the CERN website about the different detectors, but not as detailed as I'll probably need. I will have to explain the physics of the matter (hehe, no pun intended), how it was detected/deduced using the LHC and that knowledge means.

    My problem is that I know the basics of those areas, so "introduction to" articles/sites aren't helpful, but I don't have the level of education to understand the fully professional ones designed to be read by people who have PhDs.

    I can't work out how to use google scholar effectively and I can't afford to buy the pdf files. Can anyone please help me out a lot and recommend some sites/resources which I could use to build a good, detailed understanding of these topics, but which don't assume you already have a degree?

    Or just give me general advice on how to find what I'm looking for would be even better. Give a man a fish and all that... is there a good way to locate reliable sources of information at the level I want?

    Thankyou very much, this will be very helpful if someone is good enough to help me with this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #2


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    I've not looked at the Cern website for awhile but have you tried there?
  4. Jul 31, 2012 #3


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    Look for lecture notes of courses like "LHC Physics", "Particle detectors" or something similar.

    For specific topics, there are some blogs where the explanations do not require too much knowledge.

    Concerning your topics:
    - Peter Higgs already has the s in his name, it is not "Higg's". The Higgs boson is a nice topic.
    - Antimatter was not discovered at the LHC, and CP violation ("difference between matter and antimatter") might be a bit tricky in this context. Explain that antimatter is common there, but I would not go into details there. In fact, physicists rarely care about "this is matter" and "this is antimatter", because the definition is pointless for many particles anyway. If you want to keep this topic, look for some LHCb results.
    - dark matter was not discovered at the LHC. I would call this "search for supersymmetric [or other new] particles"
    - additional dimensions... well, why not. Again, was not discovered.
    - Quark-gluon plasma: Not new, but ALICE is a nice detector to observe it.
  5. Jul 31, 2012 #4

    Sorry for the Higgs typo. The reason I wanted to do matter/antimatter is because then I can do a whole things about the LHCb. I basically chose the topics based on the CERN website and the websites for the individual detectors. I don't think it really matters that the LHC didn't discover them, as long as it has some relevant and interesting results concerning them, I could just do it in terms of how it's advanced the areas.

    The CERN website has some good information about the detectors but I need to get some reliable info about the actual experiments and results. I'll probably need to get some physics journals, but I don't know how get hold of them, or how to find what I need. Gah.
  6. Jul 31, 2012 #5


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    Ok, let's see about CP violation:

    The decay [itex]B^- \to D^0(\to K^+ K^-)K^-[/itex] is more frequent than the decay [itex]B^+ \to \overline{D}^0(\to K^- K^+)K^+[/itex] (just the antiparticles everywhere). The brackets denote the decay of the D0 into two kaons.
    The difference is so large that you can see it by eye in the graphs: Talk, slide 8, upper plots. The x axis is the reconstructed B meson mass, the y-axis the count for each reconstructed mass bin. The left red peak is higher than the right one.
    Slide 9 and 10 show the same, but with different D0 decay channels.

    The LHCb news have this really annoying feature that you cannot link individual news articles, but at least there is an anchor you can find in the page source...
    See the link for another example of CP violation.

    And LHCb has this 3.5 standard deviations deviation from an old theory prediction for charm mixing. http://lhcb.web.cern.ch/lhcb/lhcb_page/physics_results/recent_lhcb_results/Search_for_CP_violation_in_charm.html [Broken] has a lot of useful links.

    You can search the Cern courier for some interesting news.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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