Xavier Cortada & Pete Markowitz

[Pete Markowitz CMS FIU/USA]

Digital art, 2013

Working together, Cortada and Markowitz developed an art installation: five banners give the different strategies to sift through the voluminous collisions recorded by the CMS experiment in the search for the Higgs particle. The foreground of each banner shows an event which is a possible candidate for each of these different decays of the Higgs-like particle to a final state: two photons, two Z, two W, two bottom quarks or two tau leptons. The backgrounds reflect the additional breadth of the physics program. Each depicts selected pages from every article published by the collaboration. In a very real sense, the banners serve as an homage to the CMS collaboration's more than 4000 scientists and engineers whose work is disseminated through those very publications. At the same time the complexity of the work illustrates the challenge in paring down the myriad of interactions to select those scatterings which might have produced a Higgs boson.
The resulting exhibit is about honouring the people who have increased our understanding of the universe -- those scientists, engineers, technicians and others from around the entire planet whose work and names are showcased in these banners.
The art banners (created by digitally manipulating models, publications, logos and charts produced by the CMS collaboration) evoke the CMS experiment's dual legacy: inspiring a future generation of scientists by building upon the work of those who came before.