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Large Hadron Collider LHC

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the new flagship accelerator of CERN. This machine presently collides protons at a center of mass energy of 8 TeV (8 Trillions of electron Volts). The 1st beam was injected in the LHC in September 2009 and the first collisions took place end of 2010. During 2013 and 2014 the LHC will undergo a consolidation/upgrade phase. In 2015 the LHC will restart and collide protons at a center of mass of about 13 TeV.

On top of the proton physics the LHC has dedicated runs in which heavy ions are accelerated and collided. The top energy of the ions depends on the accelerated species (typically Pb). The energy of each ion corresponds to the energy that a proton would have in the same conditions multiplied by the atomic charge Z. For example a lead ion (Z=82) will reach the top energy of 382 TeV during the 2012-2013 run (4 TeV for protons). In heavy ion physics the quantity usually used to express the beam energy is the eV per nucleon (eV/A). For 208Pb82+ at 4Z TeV that would be 382/208= 1.84 TeV/A (the isotope with atomic mass A=208 is the only one used in LHC).


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Page last modified on July 06, 2017, at 03:32 AM EST