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Smashing Protons in the Cathedrals of Science

The search for the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider

At 12:58 P.M. on March 30, 2010, the rate monitors that track activity inside the CMS detector spiked, revealing the presence of the first proton-proton collisions. Seconds later, researchers saw these first images of proton interactions and the resulting new particles they produced. Bright yellow dots with golden tentacles represent reconstructed charged particles; red and blue rectangles of varying sizes represent energy depositions.
Celebration after the highest energy collisions ever created took place at the LHC on March 30. Pictured are the collaborators from around the world forming the operations crew in the CMS control room, including MIT post-doc Erik Butz (right foreground, in striped shirt) and graduate student Pieter Everaerts (third row back on the left, brown sweater) who were present as “experts on call” for the CMS tracking detection.

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