Topic: "The Little Bang: First Physics from the LHC" (Video)
ABSTRACT: The recent history of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland has been a alpine range of dizzying peaks and harrowing valleys. Befitting its massive size, both the successes and the failures of the LHC, and its four experiments, ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, and LHCb, have been on a grand scale. We have now entered a particularly exciting phase of the project, with first proton-proton collisions at high energy having been produced recently. I will review the long and eventful path that brought us to this hopeful stage, discuss our recent accomplishments, and speculate on future directions we might take. As a member of the ATLAS collaboration, I will illustrate our journey with recent results from first data collected with that experiment. One truth we've already discovered though is: expect the unexpected! Who knows what surprises await us between now and the time of this colloquium?