James Degenhardt

James Degenhardt

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.  I got my phd at the University of Michigan while working with the DZero Experiment at Fermilab.

ATLAS starting to get on Top of things

ATLAS is about to check one more particle off of its Standard Model (SM) checklist. Namely the top quark. This famous quark is perhaps one of the most complex of the SM particles.

26th July 2010

Sleepless Nights Lead to First Results of 2010...

Do you hear that? The incessant typing? The coffee machines vending cup after cup? If you go to Building 40, or Building 32, Building 188, or to any one of the many graduate student offices around the world, you will hear the tap of key boards, the whir of disk drives, and even the occasional heated civil discussions with "elevated" voices.

6th June 2010

Putting the Squeeze on the Protons

It took a little bit of time, but the wait was worth it. The LHC has successfully achieved its first physics run with "squeezed beams"!

26th April 2010

Its All About The Lumi!

Now that the LHC has established colliding stable beams at a center of mass energy of 7 TeV, the next step to maximize its physics reach is to provide the most luminosity possible. As Leo posted, we need to increase the number of proton - proton collisions to make sure we have a chance of seeing the physics that we are looking for. The reason for that is because different p.hysics processes have different probabilities. These probabilities are referred to as cross-sections (in a vague reference to the particle's size). If one multiplies a cross section by a luminosity than what you get is a number of events.

6th April 2010

Life Imitating Reality

I was home sick today, probably from the stress of getting ready for "M-Day" (aka Media Day), more likely though I finally succumbed to the cold that had been spreading through the Control Room. As it so happened, my laptop had been in the shop because it experience an "incident" (actually I just dropped it) last Monday (the week before Media Day), and I just picked it up yesterday.

2nd April 2010

Let The Physics Begin!

After decades of planning. After years of delays and immeasureable amounts of patience and hard work. The physics operations of the LHC has begun!

30th March 2010

How will it happen?

So how will this whole "First 7 TeV Collisions" event happen? Well, here is my (somewhat naive) understanding of what will happen.

28th March 2010
28th March 2010

Approaching the End...and a New Beginning

This Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, will mark the end of a very long journey for many High Energy Physicists. The first 7 TeV Collisions will signal the end of the the commissioning period of the LHC and its experiments.

28th March 2010

3 Firsts for ATLAS in 2010

It has been a BUSY weekend! The LHC has been working around the clock get the machine commissioned, and ATLAS has been enjoying the many Firsts that have resulted.

15th March 2010

A titan awakes

At approximately 2:40 am Central European Time, ATLAS saw particles from the LHC for the first time in 2010. As in previous LHC turn-on periods the first thing we see are beam splashes from the LHC beams as they slowly thread the beam through the LHC ring for the first time.

1st March 2010
1st March 2010

The calm before the storm

The Control Room is quiet. The configurations are set. The trigger menu is uploaded. The shifters are ready. All that is left is for the LHC to deliver beam.

27th February 2010

All Bunched Up!

High Energy Physicists have been waiting for many years to see the LHC turn on. Now that it has been turned on, the network of physicists around the world have quickly been harnessed. It can be considered a phase transition in particle physics.

6th January 2010
6th January 2010

Just a taste

At 21:32 pm on December 8th, the LHC did something that no other accelerator has ever done before.

11th December 2009
11th December 2009

First collisions with the pixel detector

It's been a busy weekend for ATLAS. Last night, well, actually early this morning, we received the "stable beam" flag from the LHC.

7th December 2009