News Archive

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11-Apr-2017 The Belle II detector rolls into place

The Belle II detector has been rolled into place in the SuperKEKB beam line. This is another important milestone on the road towards the start-up of the Belle II experiment, scheduled for later this year.

Read the KEK press release.

03-Mar-2016 First storage of beams in SuperKEKB

The first turns and successful storage of beams in the SuperKEKB electron and positron rings has been achieved. This is an important milestone towards the start-up of the Belle II experiment.

Read the KEK press release.

06-Aug-2016 The Collider Exhibition is now on at the Powerhouse Museum

Visit the website to learn more.

Read a Sydney Morning Herald article about the exhibition.


13-May-2015 The balloon has flown

The GRAINE project has successfully flown its balloon from Alice Springs to Longreach. Read the ABC Report.


30-May-2014 Higgs Boson decays to pairs of tau leptons

News item on our research on the decays of Higgs bosons to tau pairs.


28-Jan-2014 Australia Day and Bruce McKellar

Australia Day honour for particle theorist Bruce McKellar.


24-Sep-2013 Collision Project results

Results of the Collision project linking science and art in the context of particle physics.


14-Sep-2010 HEP students make the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald

Local High Energy Physics PhD students Mark Scarcella, Cameron Cuthbert, Ian Watson and Nik Patel, along with research fellow Aldo Saavedra, featured in a Sydney Morning Herald article this week. Mark's photo was featured on the front page of the print version. One can also read the full article online.


18-May-2010 Bruce Yabsley tosses coin for B-Factory book

Bruce Yabsley is one of the editors of the so-called B-Factory Legacy Book, a joint project of the Belle and BaBar experiments to document the rich spread of scientific results and techniques that has come out of ten years of running of these experiments. But how to choose the notation to use in the book, since the experiments have steadfastly stuck to their own (different) notations throughout? Read about how this was resolved in the recent SLAC Today article or in the KEK press release.


30-Mar-2010 First Attempt of 7 TeV collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider

On Tuesday 30th of March an attempt to collide protons by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to a world record energy of 7 TeV will be made. It has been designed and built to accelerate particles up to energies of 14 TeV and this event will be a milestone on the road to achieving this design parameter. You can follow the event live on this site from 5:30pm AEDT.


23-Nov-2009 First collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider

First collisions have been recorded in the detectors at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), with beams circulating at injection energies (stored but not yet accelerated in the machine) being made to collide.

More information can be found by reading the CERN press release.

Events can also be followed on the CERN Twitter Page.


20-Nov-2009 Large Hadron Collider restarts

After a year's delay the CERN Large Hadron Collider has started up again. More information can be found by reading the CERN press release.

Events can also be followed on the CERN Twitter Page.

Sydney postdoctoral fellow Dr Aldo Saavedra is currently at CERN, and can be seen in this photo taken in the ATLAS control room. Aldo is in the white shirt, standing, just above and to the right of the centre of the photograph.

A number of images showing the beam splashes as measured by the ATLAS detector are shown on the ATLAS PUBLIC Website

Control room


16-Oct-2008 CERN releases report into LHC incident

In an interim report issued by CERN today, a faulty electrical connection between two of the magnets in the LHC ring is identified as the cause of the incident which interrupted LHC commissioning last month.

The CERN press release can be found here. Photographs accompanied by a brief explanation of the damage have been published in the december issue of New Scientist.


07-Oct-2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for 2008 awarded to Nambu, Kobayashi and Maskawa

The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three theoretical particle physicists, Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, for their work on spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics.

See the details here

There is a nice resonance for us here in Sydney with this result, since the Belle experiment in Tsukuba, Japan on which we work is one of the experiments which provided evidence that the ideas Kobayashi and Maskawa had were right. Kobayashi and Maskawa proposed to extend the Standard Model of particle physics to include a third generation of quarks and thus provide a mechanism to explain the observed phenomenon of an asymmetry between the behaviour of particles and antiparticles.


23-Sep-2008 LHC Restart rescheduled for 2009

The timing of the delay due to the recent problems with a helium leak in a sector of the LHC tunnel means that by the time repairs are made we will be in the winter period where CERN stops operations for maintenance, essentially because of the increased cost of power at that time of year. Running will therefore recommence early in 2009. Read the CERN press release.


10-Sep-2008 We got beam!!

The day started with a small set back, a problem was discovered on the cryogenics at 4:00am. A meeting at 8:30am revealed the plan for the day which stated that the beam would be sent one octant at a time. The beam corresponded to a single shot of protons referred to as a pilot bunch. At the end of each octant the single bunch would be stopped by a collimator. Once the beam was deemed stable the collimator would be open allowing the beam to proceed to the next octant. This would be repeated until the pilot bunch made it all the way around. By 9:30am, with all the problems under control, protons were sent to the first octant. Applause and cheers in the LHC control room signaled the arrival of the beam to each new octant over the next hour.

Precisely at 10:25am the beam made it all the way. Images from two bright spots from the fluorescent screens were seen on tv. One screen was at the injection point (the point were protons are introduced into the LHC) and the other at the end of the orbit. The clip is on YouTube and the countdown that you hear from Lyn Evans (the LHC Project Leader) is made as the single shot of protons makes its way through the different accelerators that feed the LHC. The energy posses by this single shot of protons (450GeV) was from the last accelerator before the particles are injected into the LHC. In the first day the LHC did not accelerate, it only steered the particles through the ring. The four major experiments were able to detect the particles that had scattered from the collimator while the beam was steered on their respective octant.

Later on the day, at 12:30pm, the LHC team shifted its focus to steering the second beam, this beam runs counter clockwise. By 3:00pm they had managed a complete the beam 2 circuit and by 10:00pm they had managed around 300 revolutions. It was time to decide the plan for the systematic study of the performance of the LHC and a meeting was held to determine the program for the night.

This was a truly great day where the fruits of the hard work from the people involved were showcased to the world. A lot of was achieved by the machine with the detectors taking the opportunity to exercise their triggering and monitoring. It is expected that in two months there will be collisions between the two beams. It will be their time to shine. The Official CERN link of the first day lhc first beam. Some pictures illustrating the particles detected by the ATLAS detector during the day can be found inside the ATLAS website.

For information and quotes assembled by the Australian Science Media Centre, see the following link.


05-Sep-2008. The LHC Official Start

The Large Hadron Collider(LHC) will officially start operations on the 10th of September. It is one of the biggest and most sensitive instruments ever built, located near Geneva, Switzerland at the European Laboratory of Particle Physics commonly known as CERN. It has taken over 15 years for its construction and design. In the last few weeks particles have been accelerated over some sections of the ring, but the 10th will be the first time that particles will be accelerated over the complete length of the ring (27km).

The energy will be less than a tenth of the total energy that the machine is capable of but the main aim is to test the control magnets that steer the particles. This not an easy task when the precision required is half the size of the width of a human hair over the complete circuit. If everything goes according to plan the second ring will be tested and the energy will be slowly ramped up together with the number of turns that the particles will make before new ones need to be introduced into the ring. It is expected that collisions from the two rings (one used to run particles clockwise and the other anti-clockwise) at 10 TeV will take place two months after the 10th of September. This is still below its full capacity but already a world record, the previous record being around 2 TeV currently held by the Tevatron, an accelerator housed at Fermilab, a particle physics laboratory near Chicago, US.

ATLAS, one of the experiments that will record the collisions and one which Sydney University is part of, is working through its check lists. The experiment is constantly being monitored as it is exercised with cosmic rays (high energy particles from outer space). Every voltage, gas pressure, and network connection amongst other things is automatically checked regularly and overseen by a dedicated team of physicists, who can intervene if a malfunction occurs. The software developed and used by ATLAS to record and study the collisions is being run through its paces as well, recreating the cosmic rays passing through the detector and measuring the signal level when there are no particles to detect (referred to as the noise level). The aim is to be ready when the protons start colliding.

At Sydney Uni to mark the event, a public lecture will be presented. It promises to entertain, educate and to include a high resolution live feed from CERN. For more info, go to the What's_On section. A website detailing the progress of the LHC has been created by CERN ([1]) and the webcast of the 10th of September can be streamed here.


25-Aug-2008 First Protons in the Large Hadron Collider

The first bunch of protons has been injected into the LHC and travelled a few kilometres around the ring. An important step towards first beams. See the CERN News Item.


05-Aug-2008. Belle Discovers Three New Mesons

Quoting from Interactions.org: An international team of researchers at the High Energy Accelerator Research organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan, the "Belle collaboration", has announced the discovery of three new exotic sub-atomic particles, labeled as Z1, Z2 and Yb. The Z1 and Z2 states have unit electric charge, by which these particles are clearly distinguished from normal quark-antiquark mesons, and thus can be identified as particles consisting of four quarks. The Yb structure may be the first clear example of an exotic hybrid particle, which contains the bottom quark and its anti-particle (an anti-bottom quark) as in a conventional meson but with an excited gluon as well.

To read more, see the Belle Press Release