After a successful physics run overnight which collected 160/nb of integrated luminosity, the LHC has increased its luminosity again to double the previous record set a month ago. The latest run with 56 bunches per beam reached 20/μb/s at start surpassing expectations by successfully injecting higher intensity bunches.
The plan now indicates that they will further double the luminosity very soon by using 104 bunches, probably on Saturday. At that point they will be able to collect about 1/pb of data in each run. This is the first steps in a planned rapid increase of luminosity for the Large Hadron Collider over the next few weeks. This could provide up to 50/pb of data for this year which could be enough to reveal new physics in the ATLAS, CMS and LHCb detectors.
Update: The first 56 bunch run ran for 14 hours before the luminosity dropped to about half its starting value. At that point the run was ended after collecting 680/nb taking the total recorded to about 4.4/pb. 680/nb is about twice the amount used at the ICHEP conference so it is easy to see how they will soon have much stronger results.
They will attempt one more similar run this evening before doubling the luminosity again with a 104 bunch fill in which 93 bunches collide per turn. This will be injected in 13 trains of 8 bunches. After that they will have to switch to longer trains of 12 bunches because they don’t want to do more than about 16 injections for any run.
The stability of the beams is now proving to be exceptionally good so there is optimism that they can reach and even exceed the set targets for this year. In fact this fill was so good that CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer sent out a back-slapping message about it which you can find on the US LHC blog