Higgs boson, an elementary particle, on the brink of discovery
Published: 18 September 2012 - Michelle Winny
The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is said to be at the brink of discovering what it claims is almost certainly the long-sought Higgs boson, an elementary particle that had been predicted to exist for theoretical reasons. Agilent Technnologies has been insytumental to the discovery in providing technology that played a part in this discovery.
Creating particle collisions at nanometer scale with picoseconds of duration requires extreme precision in spatial and temporal control. At facilities such as CERN, high-performance instruments such as Acqiris digitisers are fundamental for researchers to the research.
With subatomic particles travelling near the speed of light, digitisers must provide fast measurement throughput, very short ‘dead time’ between measurements and excellent measurement fidelity. This is one of the key reasons CERN is using Agilent digitizers in the control and diagnostics sections of the Large Hadron Collider and the accelerators it feeds.
“In laboratories around the world, Agilent instrumentation has become an integral part of advanced experimental systems,” said Guy Séné, president of Agilent’s Electronic Measurement Group. “We provide the extreme speed and precision needed for system monitoring and control, and for capturing data from the interactions and events in the experiments themselves.”
More than 100 of the digitiser modules are currently installed at CERN. These provide sample rates that range from 500MSa/s to 8GSa/s with resolution of 8 or 10 bits on one, two or four channels. The digitisers are used to perform wideband beam monitoring and to monitor forward and reverse RF signals in the accelerator cavities. The beam-monitoring measurements are enabled by the digitisers to provide sufficient speed and bandwidth to capture the signals of interest.
An overview of the Agilent Acqiris solution is available in a new application brief called ‘Monitoring and Controlling Particle Collisions at Nanometer Scale and with Picosecond Duration.’ The brief can be downloaded from www.agilent.com/find/CERN_digitizers
Agilent Technologies Inc.