year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 141



Photo Anna Pantelia, CERN
2018: A YEAR IN REVIEW | RESEARCH
they create particle debris that flies in
all directions, which are recorded by
detectors – two of which are ALICE
and ATLAS. The upgrades to the
ALICE experiment will take a massive
collaborative effort by physicists from
all over the world.
South African institutions are
shouldering responsibility for three
areas of the upgrade to ALICE:
readout electronics for the muon
identification detector, data processing
for the transition radiation detector,
and low-voltage power supply and
distribution for the muon tracking
detector.
UCT’s responsibilities lie mostly
with data processing for the transition
radiation detector and in the readout
electronics upgrade.
On completion of the LHC’s
upgrade, the rate of collisions will
increase fivefold. The new system will
be able to handle
100 times more data – about three
terabytes per second – which means
the software for processing the data
will have to be rebuilt as well.
Dr Tom Dietel, a CERN collaborator
from UCT’s Department of Physics,
sees the potential for growth in the
steep learning curve lying ahead for
SA-CERN and UCT.
“What makes this opportunity so
important is the fact that we get to
tap into a huge network of expertise.
CERN is an amazing environment to
work in in every respect.”
This will also be a time to upgrade
the experiments on the LHC circuit.
South African scientists, including
from UCT, will be among those
developing the new hardware,
installing it and testing it.
When particles inside the LHC
crash at almost the speed of light,
139

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