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One of the early collision events with stable beams recorded by ATLAS in 2016. (Image: ATLAS Experiment/CERN)

The Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP2016) conference kicked off today in Lund, Sweden. Held annually, the LHCP conference is an opportunity for experimental and theoretical physicists to discuss results from across the high-energy physics community. From Standard Model Physics and Heavy Ion Physics to Supersymmetry and other Beyond Standard Model investigations, the conference unites the disciplines to examine recent progress and consider future developments. 

ATLAS scientists will be presenting the latest analyses of 2015 data at 13 TeV, as well as new analyses of 8 TeV Run 1 data. Many of these results include refined calibration and analysis techniques that have further developed the understanding of the ATLAS data, ensuring that the detector, trigger, computing and analysis run as efficiently as possible. This will prove essential as the experiment moves into the upcoming period of data-taking. 

Results using early 2016 data will also be presented at LHCP2016, with a focus on the performance of the detector. 

“The completion of many analyses of Run 1 and 2015 data for LHCP shows the scope and breadth of the ATLAS physics programme,” said Rob McPherson from the University of Victoria, ATLAS Deputy Spokesperson.  “The stage is now set for 2016, with new results with a much larger data set at the highest LHC energies expected by mid summer.”

13 June 2016: physicists present results at LHCP conference in Lund, Sweden. (Image: Clara Nellist/ATLAS Collaboration)

One of the greatest challenges faced by the ATLAS experiment is the increasing “pile-up” seen in Run 2 data. “Pile-up” consists of numerous additional proton collisions that do not result in what physicists would consider interesting physics, and can drown out signals of much sought-after heavy particles. As the LHC increased its luminosity in 2016 by squeezing the intersecting bunches by a factor of two, this “pile-up” doubled! But thanks to months of hard work to improve detector performance and incorporate all-important calibration measurements, ATLAS physicists are now able to navigate these challenging new waters. 

Results using early 2016 data will also be presented at LHCP2016, with a focus on the performance of the detector. While this year’s run is still in its infancy, ATLAS is already seeing good agreement between the data taken in 2015 and 2016. The hard work of ATLAS analysis teams has paid off – an excellent sign of things to come!

ATLAS released Physics Briefings highlighting key new results presented at the LHCP2016 conference. Make sure to check out: