Nov 08

Heavy Ion Collisions at CMS

2010-11-08_1040, originally uploaded by NDeRC2.

This is too fun not to share. Check out this this live event display from the CMS detector at CERN. Just click the image to go directly to the live site. This screengrab of one of the earliest heavy ion collisions was captured on November 8, 2010. But there are billions of events coming:) Tune in to watch at least a few of them.

If you want to manipulate similar events in an interactive 3d environment, try this I2U2 CMS e-Lab 3d event display. (Just click the “log in as guest” prompt if requested.) Open event folders from the yellow folder in the upper left corner of the display, choose one of the listed folders, select an event, and click “load”. Then explore. These events are “simpler” (see a representative image of a J/Psi candidate event, below) because they are produced by proton-proton collisions, rather than the heavier ion collisions (with many protons and neutrons in the colliding nuclei) as depicted above. Each proton is a grab bag of quarks and gluons, the “partons” that actually interact in the collision, but typically only a single pair interacts in a given collision at these (7 TeV) energies. Collision products are multiplex because the collision energies are sufficient to produce multiple collision products, some of which in turn decay into secondary collision products. Use either the live collision display, or the interactive 3d display (which at this writing uses recent run data in the J/Psi folder) to watch nature unfold at the level of fundamental particles. Enjoy.