On July 4, 2012, scientists on the CMS and ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson. Fermilab was heavily involved in both the construction of the LHC – designing magnets that focus the particle beams into a collision – and the science conducted with the accelerator that led to the Higgs discovery.
Scientists from the United States, including 100 Fermilab employees, make up approximately a third of the CMS collaboration, one of the two main experiments operating on the LHC. Fermilab serves as the hub for U.S. researchers working on the international experiment. Fermilab is home to the LHC Physics Center, a physics analysis hub for physicists from U.S. institutions on CMS. It also hosts the LHC Remote Operations Center, which allows physicists to help operate the CMS detector and monitor the LHC accelerator from afar.
Fermilab serves as a Tier-1 computing center, one of two main computing centers in the United States that store, process and distribute LHC data from CERN. The United States provides 40 percent of the computing power for the CMS experiment, using high-speed networks to transfer data in real time, and Fermilab is the centerpiece of that effort.