MELBOURNE, FLA. — Early on Jan. 22 scientists of the U.S. Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration joined colleagues around the world to celebrate the
lowering of the final piece of the CMS detector into the underground collision hall at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.
Florida Tech’s Marc Baarmand, Florida Tech professor of physics and space sciences and the university’s representative to the CMS Collaboration Board, and
Marcus Hohlmann, associate professor of physics and space sciences, are part of this momentous event for the large, general-purpose particle detector.
The near-completion of the CMS detector marks a pivotal moment for the international experiment, in preparation for the start-up of the Large Hadron
Collider (LHC) this summer. At that time, the Florida Tech team will join other scientists in collecting data from proton-proton collisions. The research
aims at discovering the origin of mass, as well as answering other open questions in fundamental physics.
CMS has approximately 2,300 international collaborators. Supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the U.S. CMS
collaboration consists of roughly 500 physicists from 48 U.S. universities and Fermilab. The U.S. is the largest single national group in the experiment,
and DOE’s Fermilab is the host laboratory for the U.S. CMS collaboration.
CMS is the first experiment of its kind to be constructed above ground and then lowered, piece by piece, into a cavern 300 feet below where the accelerator
is. This final piece is a large disk, nearly 45 feet in diameter. The whole assembly weighs approximately 1,430 tons. It includes fragile detectors that
will help identify and measure the energy of particles created in LHC collisions. After eight years of work in the surface hall, the lowering of this final
piece moves CMS into its final commissioning stage.
“After nearly a decade of hard work building the CMS detector,” said Baarmand, “we look forward to the arrival of data this summer and the beginning of a
new age of discovery.” Baarmand initiated Florida Tech’s participation in CMS in fall 2000.