Microwave Journal

Agilent congratulates team at CERN for measuring what many thought immeasurable

September 18, 2012

Agilent Technologies Inc. offers its congratulations to the team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, more commonly known as CERN, for discovering — at 99.9999 percent confidence — what is almost certainly the long-sought Higgs boson, an elementary particle that had been predicted to exist for theoretical reasons. Agilent is proud to have provided technology that played a part in this landmark discovery.

Creating particle collisions at nanometer scale with picoseconds of duration requires extreme precision in spatial and temporal control. At facilities such as CERN, high-performance Agilent Acqiris digitizers are helping researchers achieve the precision and control needed to perform more and better experiments in less time.

With subatomic particles traveling near the speed of light, digitizers must provide fast measurement throughput, very short “dead time” between measurements and excellent measurement fidelity. This is one of the key reasons CERN is using Agilent digitizers in the control and diagnostics sections of the Large Hadron Collider and the accelerators it feeds.

“In laboratories around the world, Agilent instrumentation has become an integral part of advanced experimental systems,” said Guy Séné, president of Agilent’s Electronic Measurement Group. “We provide the extreme speed and precision needed for system monitoring and control, and for capturing data from the interactions and events in the experiments themselves.”

More than 100 Agilent digitizer modules are currently installed at CERN. These provide sample rates that range from 500 MSa/s to 8 GSa/s with resolution of 8 or 10 bits on one, two or four channels. The digitizers are used to perform wideband beam monitoring and to monitor forward and reverse RF signals in the accelerator cavities. In a literal sense, the beam-monitoring measurements are made possible by Agilent digitizers that provide sufficient speed and bandwidth to capture the signals of interest.

An overview of the Agilent Acqiris solution is available in a new application brief entitled “Monitoring and Controlling Particle Collisions at Nanometer Scale and with Picosecond Duration.” The brief is available for download from www.agilent.com/find/CERN_digitizers.

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