• Happy birthday, CMS! Image composition credit: Marzena Lapka

  • The cover of the original CMS Letter of Intent

The CMS Letter of Intent was completed 20 years ago this month.

We propose to build a general purpose detector designed to run at the highest luminosity at the LHC. The CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) detector has been optimized for the search of the SM Higgs boson over a mass range from 90 GeV to 1 TeV, but it also allows detection of a wide range of possible signatures from alternative electro-weak symmetry breaking mechanisms.”

— Abstract of the CMS Letter of Intent, submitted to the LHC Experiments Committee (LHCC) on 1 October 1992.

CMS has certainly come a long way from conception to making its first discovery. Here are some colourful recollections from two of the founding fathers of the collaboration:

The LHC project was really launched, when Carlo Rubbia and Giorgio Brianti announced in the LHC Aachen workshop, 4-9 Oct. 1990 that a 16 TeV proton-proton machine with 1034 luminosity could be built in the LEP tunnel. Carlo presented an optimistic plan by which the LHC could be commissioned in 1998…”

— Michel Della Negra, first CMS Spokesperson. Read more…

The first time I really heard from CMS was in November 1990 when Michel (Della Negra), Jim (Virdee), Radi (Ernst Radermacher) and Karsten (Eggert) invited me for lunch at the Amphytrion restaurant in Saint-Genis to show me a small sketch of a possible experiment for LHC arranged around a large and powerful superconducting solenoid. They were looking for an engineer to develop their concept for the preparation of a Letter of Intent…”

— Alain Hervé, first CMS Technical Coordinator. Read more…