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By Max Boisot

After twenty-five years of training, the big Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, is eventually working its extensive medical experiments into high-energy particle physics. those experiments, that have so captured the public's mind's eye, take the area of physics to a brand new strength point, the terascale, at which ordinary debris are speeded up to at least one millionth of a percentage of the rate of sunshine and made to spoil into one another with a mixed power of round fourteen trillion electron-volts. What new international opens up on the terascale? nobody fairly is aware, however the convinced expectation is that greatly new phenomena will become visible. the type of "big technology" being pursued at CERN, besides the fact that, is turning into ever extra doubtful and expensive. Do the expected advantages justify the efforts and the prices? This publication goals to offer a vast organizational and strategic figuring out of the character of "big technological know-how" by way of interpreting one of many significant experiments that makes use of the big Hadron Collider, the ATLAS Collaboration. It examines such concerns as: the circulation of "interlaced" wisdom among professional groups; the intra- and inter-organizational dynamics of "big science"; the recent wisdom capital being created for the workings of the test by means of person researchers, providers, and e-science and ICTs; the management implications of a collaboration of approximately 3 thousand contributors; and the advantages for the broader societal environment. This ebook goals to ascertain how, within the face of excessive degrees of uncertainty and threat, bold medical goals will be accomplished by way of complicated organizational networks characterised by means of cultural range, informality, and trust--and the place "big technological know-how" can head subsequent.

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Additional resources for Collisions and Collaboration: The Organization of Learning in the ATLAS Experiment at the LHC

Sample text

In accordance with established practice in high-energy physics, the host laboratory provides the high-energy beams and related infrastructure for scientists to use, but responsibility for the design, construction, and operation of a given detector resides with the community (‘the collaboration’) that sponsors and undertakes a particular type of experiment. The MoUs, therefore, define what CERN will provide as the host laboratory and what, in turn, the various collaborations and their funding agencies are responsible for.

After a number of years, these carefully orchestrated iterations deliver complex simulations of the whole detector, ones that build on the latest data and theories available. Such a simulation is depicted in Plate 8. After each iteration the simulation results would be analysed in great detail, and, for a given setting of its parameters, the detector’s performance would be assessed. Its performance parameters would then get further stretched so that the detector could capture, measure, and analyse the widest possible range of physical events.

The detector was designed to maximize the potential for new physics discoveries— the Higgs bosons, supersymmetric particles, extra dimensions, and so on— without sacrificing the ability to perform high-accuracy measurements of known objects such as heavy quarks and gauge bosons. As a general-purpose detector, ATLAS was fully to exploit the rich physics potential of the LHC. The detector is probably one of the most complex pieces of machinery ever built. Its design is the fruit of a slow process of scientific and technological evolution that was marked by many trials and errors.

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