Research at the Large Hadron Collider

Photo of the enormous Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator. It is round and full of magnets.

Learn what nature looks like at 10^-20 meters and study the Higgs boson, dark matter, and other huge questions about our universe.

Project description

We perform research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland. There are a large number of tasks that can be done over the academic year and in the summertime (the latter are paid internships that involve travel to CERN or the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago, IL).

There are hardware-based tasks, where you will participate in construction and quality assurance tasks while we build the next generation of detectors at the LHC, or study the detector performance of the current detectors already installed.

There are software-based tasks, which may include machine-learning based reconstruction and identification techniques, calibration of energy and directions of particles in our detector, or other tasks.

There are analysis-based tasks, which may include analysis of collisions to understand the tiny quantum-mechanical interactions that occur at the LHC, including things like the Higgs boson and the top quark, or even more exotic things like dark matter.

Project outcome

The project outcomes have varied in the past. Previous students have: 

  • Constructed part of the LHC detectors. 
  • Written papers detailing work on analysis of LHC data. 
  • Given presentation at major international research conferences. 
  • Spent summers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, CERN, and Cornell participating in the CMS Project.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Long (longer than a semester, 6-9 months)
Start time Any time 
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic Credit, Stipend
Who is eligible Undergraduate students with 1 semester of physics (PHY 107/117 or equivalent) and 1 semester of programming (CSE 113/115 or equivalent)
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

Fermi National Accelerator Lab, Chicago, IL

Project mentor

Salvatore Rappoccio

Associate Professor

Physics

335 Fronczak Hall

Phone: (716) 645-6250

Email: srrappoc@buffalo.edu

Preparation

To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. These badges will:

  1. Guide you in setting your goals and intentions as well as gaining additional context,
  2. Enhance your collaboration with your mentor/partner,
  3. Support your reflection and help you integrate your learning with your academic and professional goals.

All students who wish to participate in a project on the Project Portal must first complete the Project Preparation Digital Badge. First, contact the project mentor to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge.

Preparation guidance

Once you have registered for the Project Preparation Digital Badge, you will receive further instructions related to the activities you will need to complete. In addition, you will also complete the following preparation activities for this particular project: