by Virginia Greco. Published: 11 June 2018

A Facebook live event was held at CERN to present the 2018 LHC data-taking season and the objectives of the experiments for Run 2.

Shooting the live evet about the 2018 LHC data-taking season in CERN building 40. Frome left to right: Steve Goldfarb, Edith Zinhle Buthelezi, Patrick Koppenburg, Louise Skinnari, Zach Marshall and Paola Catapano.


On May 30th, CERN hosted a Facebook live event oriented to the general public, with the aim of sharing the plans and expectations of the four LHC experiments for the current data-taking season. 

Hosted by Paola Catapano and Steve Goldfarb, the event took place in an unusual setting: the iconic building 40. In about one hour, its hall was transformed into a tv studio, without interrupting though the normal activities of the hundreds of scientists who work there. On the four corners of the building, a representative from each experiment was sitting or standing at a table and sipping some beverage, while waiting for their turn to talk about their experiment.

After the “Action!” call, the two hosts welcomed the public and made a quick introduction about the recently started LHC data-taking. Then, Paola moved over to the ATLAS station to talk with Zach Marshall, from LBNL (US). After a quick chat about ATLAS plans, she gave the floor to Steve, who asked Louise Skinnari, from the Cornell University (US), to report on CMS expectations. Then, it was the turn of Patrick Koppenburg, from NIKHEF (the Netherlands), who was interviewed by Paola on LHCb data taking.

Edith talking with Steve about the ALICE data-taking programme.


Last but not least it was the turn of ALICE. Sitting next to the model of the detector, in the ALICE corner in building 40, was Edith Zinhle Buthelezi, from the iThemba Lab of Cape Town (South Africa). Interviewed by Steve, she presented the ALICE data taking programme, highlighting its peculiarity and the importance of the Pb-Pb run that will take place at the end of 2018. Edith explained that, even though heavy-ion collisions are ‘our bread and butter’, proton-proton collisions are also very important, because ALICE is interested in investigating some phenomena observed in pp and p-Pb collisions – in particular, the strangeness enhancement in high-multiplicity events [link].

Once the tour of the four corners was completed, a common discussion started, based on the questions that the public was asking directly on the social media. A quiz was also thrown, to stimulate the curiosity and participation of the audience.

The live event, which lasted about one hour, was quite successful: nearly 30,000 people were reached and almost 8000 unique viewers connected to it. Many comments and questions were also posted, using the hastag #WhatsUpLHC. For those who could not connect, the recording is available at the following link

Looking forward to seven months of plentiful data-taking!

Edith talking with Steve about the ALICE data-taking programme.