venerdì 12 giugno 2009

ATLAS (LHC,CERN) e-News: It’s like déjà-vu all over again


In the movie Groundhog Day, a reporter is forced to re-live a day (February 2) over and over again. Perhaps the coming LHC re-startup would feel like Groundhog Day to some science reporters. CERN therefore has no plans to invite the media here for the first beams this autumn. The first collisions at 450 on 450 GeV (hopefully a short time later) will also be kept low key. What is not fully decided is how to handle the first high-energy collisions and the first events from ATLAS and the other experiments.The images from last September (both control room scenes and the splash events) made a vivid impression on the news media and the public. This time ATLAS will not allow reporters within the Control Room, but the new Visitor Center allows a view of the activities, and new high-quality cameras (mounted on the back wall) can provide the video footage the media wants. The ATLAS website had more than two million hits during the September 2008 activities.Rumors are swirling that Tom Hanks may return to CERN to “turn on” the LHC, but of course that depends on the schedules of Hanks and the LHC. There are several stages in the startup process that could be defined as “turn-on”.Four members of the ATLAS outreach group have been travelling to Sony Pictures (near Hollywood) to help develop a 15-minute CERN/ATLAS “extra” that will be added to the DVD of Angels & Demons that will be released in November. We have also requested to get a copy of the five-minute segment near the beginning of the movie that has some spectacular cinematography of ATLAS. Have you seen our ATLAS webpages on antimatter at and the new exhibition in the Globe? Finally there have been at least 60 very successful lectures worldwide discussing the science of the movie and the science of LHC.In other news, design work is in progress to replace the aging posters in the Bldg. 40 café. The idea is to make the café an appealing place for physicists to chat and sip coffee, as well as to make it an interesting place to bring visitors to show them the basics of ATLAS.If you haven’t seen modern pop-up books, you will be surprised by the complexity they can portray. ATLAS will soon have its own dramatic pop-up book, a production led by Emma Sanders. It portrays both the detector and the physics.Work is in progress on an animation in the style of the ATLAS animations Episodes I and II. This new project is a joint effort with CMS to portray the physics of the LHC. Two professional animators are working on the project, and a senior person at Pixar has been consulting periodically. Completion date is approximately October 2009. Thought is also being given to an update of the 12-year-old ATLAS movie. All of our videos are on YouTube. Both CERN and ATLAS are working on new/updated communication plans. In the case of CERN, a draft plan has been circulated amongst the experiments. The ATLAS plan is in progress and should be completed in June.These are just the highlights of our activities. You can catch up on the whole series of outreach efforts at the next ATLAS overview week.
Michael Barnett
ATLAS Outreach

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