Start-Signal for HERA-LHC Workshop

Start-up meeting at CERN, final presentation at DESY – The goal of the workshop is to explore the impact of measurements made at HERA on the physics program of the LHC.

The HERA accelerator at the research center DESY in Hamburg is the only facility in the world in which different types of particle – the point-like electrons and the much heavier and more complex protons – collide head-on. The LHC is due to take up operations at the research center CERN in Geneva in 2007. It will be the most powerful particle accelerator worldwide, smashing protons into one another at the energies about 50 times higher than those of the particle collisions at HERA, to search for the hitherto undiscovered Higgs particle and possible supersymmetric states of matter. At first sight, both facilities may not have much in common. However, the results obtained at HERA are invaluable for the physics program pursued at the LHC. Both research centers have now established a joint workshop in order to explore and intensify this connection, and to ensure that the HERA experiments will indeed carry out all the measurements relevant for the LHC. Nearly 200 scientists from all over the world will come together at CERN on March 26 and 27 for the start-up meeting of the workshop. Several more meetings are planned during the course of the year. The various working groups will present their results at a final meeting at DESY in January 2005.

The particle collisions at HERA and the LHC are very different in principle. At HERA, the electrons that penetrate the proton can be used to literally “scan” its innermost structure. The HERA experiments thus provide detailed information about the inner structure of the proton and measure the properties of the strong force at high precision at very small distances. This information is of highest importance as a basis for the interpretation and understanding of the extremely complex proton collisions that will take place at the LHC. “Until now, this potential has not been exploited in an optimal way,” emphasizes Hannes Jung, one of the chairmen of the organizing committee. “That is why we have established this joint workshop. Our goal is to identify particularly those measurements to be made at HERA that will help prepare the LHC experiments in the best possible way.” “We also wish to encourage and stimulate the transfer of knowledge between scientists at HERA and LHC, and thus create an active, long-term interaction between both communities, since there is a partial overlap of the physics interests at HERA and the LHC,” says Albert De Roeck, the other chairman of the organizing committee.