WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science today launched a new website to tell the story of the U.S. role in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator that will begin operating in Europe, near Geneva, Switzerland, next year. Hundreds of physicists, engineers and students from the United States are joining with colleagues from around the globe in the largest and most complex scientific experiments ever built. The LHC experiments will address some of the most fundamental mysteries of the universe.
The new website, http://www.uslhc.us/, funded by DOE’s Office of Science, aims to provide one-stop shopping for anyone seeking information about the U.S. and the LHC. Updated daily, the website features up-to-the-minute news and information about the LHC, along with high-resolution graphic images, scientists’ blogs, resources for students and educators and contact information for news media.
“The LHC will become the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator when it is scheduled to turn on in 2008,” Dr. Robin Staffin, DOE’s Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics said. “The U.S. has played key roles in the design and construction of both the LHC experiments and the accelerator. The new website will tell the story of U.S participation in this extraordinary scientific adventure as it unfolds.”
The LHC is located at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC, 27 kilometers in circumference, has been more than 15 years in the making. The machine accelerates protons to almost the speed of light and makes them collide in the center of four cathedral-sized experiments, creating conditions that existed billionths of a second after the Big Bang. Scientists will use the information from these collisions to investigate the nature of the physical universe.
“Discoveries at the LHC could revolutionize our picture of the universe,” said Dr. Joseph Dehmer, Physics Division Director from the National Science Foundation, which also provides funding for LHC experiments. “These experiments may solve the mystery of dark matter and finally answer the question of what gives mass to the particles we’re made of.”
More than 1,300 scientists from over 90 U.S. institutions participate in the LHC and its experiments. These scientists represent universities and national laboratories from 30 states and Puerto Rico. DOE laboratories participating are: Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The U.S. scientists join more than 4,000 colleagues worldwide in their hunt to uncover the secrets of the universe. U.S. scientists have designed and built many parts of the accelerator and experiments, and are creating advanced software and computing systems to handle mountains of data that will flow from the experiments when the accelerator turns on.
Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806
Katie Yurkewicz, +41 22 767 0988, (630) 864-0074