Particle Physics: SuperB Flavour

Mon 11th October 2010

Last week a new particle physics facility was officially proposed by INFN (the Italian nuclear physics institute) and its international partners. SuperB aims to be a flagship experiment examining flavour physics, the study of the elemental changes which can occur at sub-atomic levels. The team has been working on the proposal for over 6 years now, and has been making use of the grid infrastructure during this time.

Since GridPP started in 2001 its focus has been the LHC and its four experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb). However over the last 9 years the collaboration has helped numerous different disciplines and countless researchers. The area of greatest interest is other particle physics experiments (hence the PP in GridPP). These include T2K and MICE but also the proposed new facility outside Frascati, SuperB.


Superbteam
The SuperB team

At around the same time as CERN was getting off the ground INFN started building a facility at Frascati near Rome. This accelerator was the first of many to grace the site, and SuperB hopes to join the area soon. SuperB is designed as a Super Flavour Factory, this means that they will be looking for new physics relating to the changes in the properties of elementary particles like quarks. This will complement the LHC’s work and combining the results of both will help illuminate what is being seen at each.

For the past year SuperB has been using the grid infrastructure to run simulations of both what they expect to see in the detectors and also test the analysis they plan on using on the events coming out of SuperB. Dr Adrian Bevan, from Queen Mary, University of London, is a physics coordinator for SuperB and is excited at the potential of SuperB “This experiment has the potential to complement the LHC’s ability to find new physics. SuperB is not about just finding evidence for new particles, but it is integral to decoding the behaviour of those particles: in effect helping to reconstruct the Lagrangian of new physics. The use of the grid by our computing experts has been fantastic. We are able to generate billions of events, and are now starting to talk about generating samples of Monte Carlo corresponding to a year of data taking at nominal luminosity. This would not have been possible if we had relied on conventional computing resources.”

SuperB has already used over 1 million hours of CPU time in the UK and will continue to use the grid to test their physics and hopefully in the future will be using it to analyse real physics being produced by the machine.


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