Until yesterday the highest luminosity measured in a hadron collider was 402.4/μb/s achieved at the Tevatron last year. Last night the Large Hadron Collider smashed this record with a luminosity of 481/μb/s using a 480 bunch filling scheme. This takes them nearly half way to this years target of 1/nb/s . In fact they are likely to reach that level in the next few weeks and can go well beyond if they stick to the 50ns bunch spacing.
The superior energy of the LHC over the Tevatron means that it now has every advantage. Strong hints of new physics from about 70/pb of collision data are already showing up, yet CERN could collect 200 times that amount before the end of 2011. This could be a good year to be doing particle physics! (The data collected in 2011 now amounts to 90/pb in each of ATLAS and CMS to add to the 40/pb from 2010)
CERNs new record follows a visit on Wednesday by Jose Barosso, president of the European Commission who said “CERN is a true European centre of excellence: a place where our collective talent is pooled and produces cutting-edge research, European in its foundations but global in its outlook.”
Update 23-Apr-2011: The latest run collected a record 15/pb taking this year’s total to over 100/pb. Until at least Monday they plan to stay with 480 bunches. At this level they should collect 20/pb per day. With about 150 days of proton physics left this year that would already provide 3/fb. However it will probably not be long before they continue to push up the luminosity. Another factor of four should be possible if they can go all the way to 1404 bunches and use nominal intensities.
Update 27-Apr-2011: Now they are filling with 624 bunches. This could take luminosities up to 750/μb/s