China reinforces collaboration at the LHC

1 March 2004

A workshop in China provided the occasion for a rare event in particle physics – the simultaneous participation of the spokesmen for the four major experiments being prepared for the LHC.

The second CHINA-CERN Workshop took place from 31 October to 1 November 2003 in Weihai City in the Shandong province, some 800 km south-east of Beijing. Co-organized by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) – China’s main funding agency for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – and CERN, the workshop allowed the attending spokesmen to review the status of their collaborations with Chinese colleagues and funding agencies.

The first CHINA-CERN Workshop was held 1999, and at that time China participated mainly in the CMS experiment, and to a lesser extent in ATLAS. Since then, however, Chinese scientists have joined all four major LHC collaborations, three of which are now formally funded by China. The second workshop was attended by 62 participants. The 13 non-Chinese members of the LHC collaborations included the spokesmen Michel Della Negra (CMS), Peter Jenni (ATLAS), Tatsuya Nakada (LHCb) and Jürgen Schukraft (ALICE). Representatives from the Chinese funding agencies – the NSFC, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences – acted as reviewers and organizers. Chinese institutions and universities were also represented by 36 participants from: the Central China Normal University; the China Institute of Atomic Energy; the Central China Science and Technology University; the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP); the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Nanjing University; Peking University; Shandong University; Tsinghua University; and the University of Science and Technology in Hefei/Anhui.

The workshop consisted mainly of plenary presentations, and there were opening addresses from Peiwen Ji (NSFC), Diether Blechschmidt (CERN) and Tao Zhan, president of the host Shandong University. Zhan pledged continued support for the LHC programme at Shandong University, which has been a member of the ATLAS collaboration since 1999. The four spokesmen of the LHC collaborations then presented the status of their experiments, and representatives of the Chinese collaborators reported on their contributions to three LHC experiments: Guoliang Tong of IHEP reviewed work on the ATLAS experiment in China, and Chunhua Jiang and Yuanning Gao described progress on CMS and LHCb at IHEP and Tsinghua University, respectively.

The sessions continued with Yuqi Chen of ITP, reporting on the progress of theoretical studies in collider physics in China for the past two years, and Gang Chen of IHEP, who looked at the computing needs for future physics. Alexandre Nikitenko from Imperial College in the UK gave an outlook on the early physics reach of CMS, and Torsten Akesson of Lund presented the prospects for computing for ATLAS.

On the second day, reports on muon projects for ATLAS and CMS were given by George Mikenberg from the Weizmann Institute and Guenakh Mitselmakher of Florida, respectively. Chris Seez of Imperial College talked about the trigger system for CMS, and Antonio Pellegrino from NIKHEF reported on the outer tracking system for LHCb. Activities in China were presented by Guoming Chen of IHEP, who described his studies on Bc physics at CMS; Yong Ban and Sijin Qian, who reviewed the work at Peking University on the resistive plate chambers for CMS and on the CMS physics programme, respectively; and Chengguang Zhu, who reported on the production of the thin gap chambers for ATLAS in the host university of Shandong.

After almost one-and-a-half days of plenary sessions, Chinese physicists and their colleagues in the LHC experiments met in four parallel sessions – one for each experiment – to review progress, address problems and plan future work, especially for the upcoming LHC physics analysis. In the afternoon of the second day, there was a lively and broad discussion among all workshop participants on LHC computing, with Jürgen Knobloch of CERN’s Information Technology Division acting as convener. As a result of these meetings, the current situation and problems of computing and networking in China have become much clearer. As a next step, Chinese groups will have to find a solution to their problems with the help of CERN and supported by their funding agencies.

In summary, the 2003 CHINA-CERN Workshop provided an ideal forum to review the progress and commitment of China to the LHC programme. The venue and agenda were well prepared by the NSFC and CERN, and issues of common concern to all LHC experiments, such as computing and networking, were well addressed. The finding of appropriate solutions to such common issues is of key importance, not only to the LHC collaborations but also to their Chinese participants, who wish to harvest and analyse the overwhelming flow of physics data that the LHC experiments will provide as of 2007.

The workshop encouraged Chinese colleagues to participate more actively in various LHC conferences, especially in computing and LHC physics studies, so that ideas and research results can be promptly communicated within the whole collaboration community, and so that problems may be solved more effectively with help from experts at CERN and other institutes around the world.

In view of the success of the second China-CERN Workshop, it can be expected that similar workshops will be held in the future.

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