Sunday, 25 April 2010

Beauty at the LHC

Somehow this is so much cooler than writing specs in Alloy*...from El Reg, that bastion of scientific journalism and hats off the the scientists at LHC:
Beauty with antimatter bottom' created out of pure energy
By Lewis Page • 23rd April 2010 13:41 GMT

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle punisher ever assembled by the human race, say that experiments there are going well. In particular, they have managed to create out of pure energy a thing which they describe as a "beauty" featuring an antimatter bottom.
Comes complete with the "Standard El Reg Disclaimer on Scientific Reporting" - on the otherhand El Reg does report science far better than nearly every other magazine and newspaper - electronic or paper based...
STANDARD REG SCIENCE QUALITY WARNING: The chance that we are following this correctly is roughly equivalent to that of a man with no arms throwing a handful of jelly through a falling doughnut at fifty yards without touching the sides
Anyway, here's the link to the LHC Press Releases which contains this:

21 April 2010: First reconstructed Beauty Particle

LHCb has reconstructed its first Beauty Particle! You can see below a computer view of this event in two projections (images on the left hand side). The Beauty Particle (called B+) is composed of an anti-quark b (that has a very short lifetime of 1.5 thousandth of a nanosecond!) and a quark u. It is produced by the collision of two very high energy protons from the LHC at a location marked as "Primary vertex", together with many other particles (shown in black). The B+ decays after travelling about 2mm into two particles (called J/ψ and K+) at a place marked "B decay vertex". The J/ψ particle decays in turn immediately into two long lived particles called μ+ and μ-. The μ+ , μ- and K+ are traversing the LHCb detector where the tracking system is used to reconstruct their trajectories with such a very high precision, that it is clear they do not come from the primary vertex. The fact that the reconstructed tracks do not cross exactly in two points reflects experimental precision of computer reconstruction. The real particle tracks originate at the two vertices. The images on the right hand side show the same event when the tracks from the "Primary vertex" are forced to come from the "Primary vertex".

*I happen to like Alloy as a specification language and tool ... probably one of the best of the bunch!

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