Tech student on-hand as Large Hadron Collider sets world record

Apr 1, 2010 | Engineering and Science, General News, Research and Development

Louisiana Tech graduate student Ram Dhulipudi was on hand in Geneva, Switzerland when the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) set a world record on March 30 for proton-proton collisions as two proton beams collided at an energy of seven trillion electron volts. Dhulipudi, who is working on his Ph.D. in engineering and physics, has been working with the Louisiana Tech contingent on the ATLAS experiment at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. “This collider will be tool for exploring nature at the smallest distance scales”, said Dr. Lee Sawyer, director of chemistry and physics at Louisiana Tech and Dhulipudi’s research advisor. “Being part of the first high energy collisions of the LHC is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I am so proud that Ram was there to represent us.” The collider has been accelerating the beams at lower energies since November in the LHC’s 17-mile tunnel located on the border of Switzerland and France. The March 30 experiment could be the beginning of a long period of running the accelerator with beams at higher energy.  Many scientists compare the LHC experiments to Christopher Columbus sailing for the New World in 1492, when he knew what he was looking for but did not know what he might find.  The LHC may help scientists discover new properties of nature and help answer fundamental questions such as why Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, which describes the world on a large scale, doesn’t jibe with quantum mechanics.  Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science is a nationally recognized leader in educational innovation whose goal is to become “the best college in the world at integrating engineering and science in education and research.”  Louisiana Tech is one of fourteen universities nation-wide to become affiliated with the Center for Advancement on Scholarship in Engineering Education (CASEE), a unit of the National Academy of Engineering. Written by Catherine Fraser –