Theatre of Dreams: LHCb looks to future

April 11th 2016

Summary: A workshop is held to discuss the longterm future of the experiment and proposals for upgrades in the next decade and beyond.

Image: Workshop participants at the University of Manchester museum plan for the LHCb experiment to avoid the fate of Stan the T-Rex.

(Credit Sam Tygier)

80 physicists gathered in Manchester on April 6th and 7th to discuss the future of the LHCb experiment. LHCb is currently constructing a significant upgrade to its experiment which will be installed in 2019/2020. Frederic Teubert of CERN and co-organiser of the meeting explained “We entitled the meeting ‘Theatre of Dreams: Beyond the LHCb Phase I Upgrade’, and this was the first workshop on exploring the longer term future of the experiment so that the flavour physics potential of the LHC can be fully exploited”.

In the mid-2020s the LHC will be upgraded for the high luminosity LHC operations. At this time the ATLAS and CMS experiments plan to undertake major phase II upgrades of their experiment. These works will necessitate a long-shutdown of at least 2.5 years duration. The meeting discussed enhancements to the LHCb experiment, dubbed a Phase Ib upgrade, that could be installed at this time. Although relatively modest, these improvements could bring significant physics benefits to the experiment. These included an addition to the particle Identification system using an innovative Cherenkov light based time of flight system; placing detector chambers along the sides of the LHCb dipole to extend the physics reach by reconstructing lower momentum particles; and replacing the inner region of the electromagnetic calorimeter with new technology thus extending the experiment’s measurement programme with photons, neutral pions and electrons.

Around 2030 the LHCb upgrade experiment that is currently under construction will reach the end of its foreseen programme. At this time a Phase II upgrade of the experiment could be foreseen. The experimental physics programme, the heavy flavor physics theory perspectives, and the anticipated reach of Belle II and the other LHC experiments were considered.  The goal would be to collect an integrated luminosity of at least 300 fb-1, with an instantaneous luminosity a factor ten above the upgrade that will operate in the 2020s. Promising high luminosity scenarios for LHCb from the LHC machine perspective were shown which would potentially allow this goal to be reached, and each of the elements of the LHCb experiment presented their first thoughts on how these goals might be achieved. Chris Parkes of the University of Manchester, UK scientific lead for the LHCb experiment, summarized that “Many promising ideas were presented at the workshop and these will be followed up in the forthcoming period to identify the requirements and the R&D programmes that will be needed”.

The meeting was sponsored by the  Institute of Physics, Institute of Particle Physics Phenomenology ,STFC, and the University of  Manchester.


Prof Chris Parkes, Chris.ParkesATNOSPAM


The UK participation in the international LHCb experiment is from eleven institutes.

University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, University of Warwick

UK participation in the experiment is funded by the Science and Technology Facillities Council (STFC), with contributions from the participating institutes, the Royal Society and European Union.