The discovery of the unique particles or quarks would have not been possible without the joint labors of different minds and bodies.
CERN’s Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment paved the way for it, too.
According to CERN:
LHCb is an experiment set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive and build the Universe we inhabit today.
If that’s too “heavy” to absorb, let’s get another explanation, this time, from the LHCb spokesperson, Christopher Parkes.
Parkes, who also happens to be an experimental particle physicist and a physics professor at the University of Manchester, said:
This experiment [LHCb] tries to explore fundamental particle physics.
A branch of physics, particle physics focuses on the particles (e.g., quarks) that make up the components of matter and radiation. It studies their properties and how they interact.
At CERN, according to Parkes, they investigate, through LHCb, particle physics by using detectors that help them observe proton collisions.
These detectors are at CERN’s 27-kilometer-long (17 miles) Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest particle accelerator in the world.
When protons – the particles found at the center of an atom – bump into each other, the collision produces energy.
The LHCb experiment taps that energy “to produce new particles,” explained Parkes.
Yes, they’re creating quarks back at the CERN lab.
Interestingly, CERN uses the terms “LHCb experiment” and “LHCb collaboration” interchangeably.
Composed of an alliance of scientists and scholars from around the world, LHCb is essentially a collaborative experiment of massive degree.
It’s the collaboration of different minds from different fields of science that fuels LHCb.
The CERN Research Board, according to Scholarpedia, approved the LHCb experiment in September 1998.
Ten years later, in September 2008, all the needed elements of the experiment were put into place at CERN’s underground laboratory.
All these years, different kinds of engineers, scientists, and technicians have been working together for CERN’s LHCb experiment.
In 2015, Scholarpedia mentioned that there were an estimated 1,100 of them, who came from 68 labs and learning institutions across the globe.
They hailed from the following places:
1. Asia – China, Russia (note: some parts of the country are in European territory)
2. Europe – France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, U.K.
3. North America – U.S.A.
4. South America – Brazil, Colombia
CERN scientists and staff in blue polo shirt at the LHCb experiment Control Room in a festive mood
The quarks seminar alone regarding the latest discovery from CERN involved some of the key people behind the LHCb experiment.
One of the two presenters, Chen Chen, is a professor at the Department of Chemistry at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The other one, Elisabetta Spadaro Norella, is from Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan). Here, she’s pursuing a Ph.D. at the Department of Physics.
The University of Milan works in partnership with Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN; National Institute of Nuclear Physics), which is also in Milan.
Spadaro Norella received the first prize for her thesis during the 104th SIF National Congress held in the University of Calabria in Italy in 2018, according to INFN.
The Societa Italiana di Fisiologia (SIF), or Italian Society of Physiology, organizes the annual event.
Her long list of research work makes her a valuable contributor to CERN, particularly to the LHCb experiment.
The LHCb is about teamwork on an international level.
As for the organizers of the quark seminar, Monica Pepe Altarelli works at CERN’s Experimental Physics Department.
Per INFN, Altarelli has been with CERN since 1983.
For the LHCb experiment, she supervised a team of 60 physicists and later served as its deputy spokesperson from 2014 to 2017.
Michelangelo S. Mangano works at CERN’s Theoretical Physics Group as a senior physicist.
Before CERN took him in, Mangano worked as a researcher at the INFN and Princeton University.
In addition, he was one of those whose efforts led to the discovery of the top quark. It happened in 1994 during an experiment conducted at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois.
Another organizer of the quarks seminar, Pedro Silva, is an alumnus of CERN’s Technician Training Experience program. He took it when it was still called the Technician Training Scheme.
Silva belonged to a group called Vacuum Surface and Coating assigned at CERN’s Technology Department.
Graphic visualization of atomic particles, with a big one at the center of Borromean rings