ATLAS News

The wanderer returns

12th January 2009 – Over Christmas, we followed the progress of ATLAS collaborator, Katharine Leney, as she and her boyfriend Pierre drove across Europe and Africa in a beaten up second hand car, to raise money for development charities working in Africa.

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ATLAS Preparing for Collisions in Mid-2009

15th December 2008 – The full ATLAS Experiment has been operational and taking cosmic ray data since September 2008, and high-energy collisions are scheduled for late summer 2009. Data from cosmic rays that hit the ATLAS detector are valuable to calibrate and synchronize the many detector elements. Even more exciting were the so-called “splash events” that occurred as the LHC was being tuned up starting 10 September 2008.

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First beam and first events in ATLAS

10th September 2008 – ATLAS experimenters celebrated today as the first beams circulated the Large Hadron Collider in both directions. While everyone was cheering in the LHC control room, the cheers were echoed in the ATLAS and other control rooms, and in several auditoriums around CERN.

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Football and Modern Art for ATLAS

8th September 2008 – This time the outside ATLAS overview week was held in a somewhat unusual venue for a physics meeting. All the plenary sessions were organized inside the VIP area of the famous soccer stadium "Stade de Suisse" just outside the city center of Bern. I was one of the few participants of the meetings that had previously been in this stadium and moreover I was honored to be the coach of one of the two ATLAS soccer teams composed specially for the meeting. Thus when I was asked to give my impressions from the meeting, I thought I should mostly share my analysis and personal view of the first ATLAS soccer game and I happily accepted.

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Socio-Economic Perspectives on ATLAS

15th June 2008 – Building the ATLAS detector has been a mammoth and innovative project. Sociologists, economists, and entrepreneurs have studied how such projects benefit society and the economy. The ATLAS collaboration has a number of unique characteristics, because of the size of the project, together with its complex scientific nature. It is the largest collaborative effort ever attempted in the physical sciences with more than 2200 physicists from 38 countries.

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From Exotic Particles to Possible Solutions for Blindness

10th June 2008 – The search for exotic particle has led Alan Litke and his ATLAS colleagues to design a system that has allowed the discovery of a new type of cell in the retina of primates, and this technology is helping to find solutions for certain types of blindness.

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German Chancellor Merkel visits ATLAS

1st May 2008 – German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel made a historic visit to CERN at the end of last month. During her brief 1.5 hours on site, she was taken on a whistle-stop tour of the ATLAS control room and cavern, and given the chance to look down on the largest particle physics experiment in the world from a dizzying height of 100 metres through the access shaft which links the massive underground cavern to the surface.

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Argentina, Chile and Colombia Join ATLAS Experiment

15th April 2008 – The ATLAS collaboration is continuously expanding, and recently its message has reached new shores – South America. Three new countries, Argentina, Chile and Colombia joined the collaboration at the beginning of the year, when Peter Jenni, ATLAS spokesperson, signed collaboration agreements formalising the presence of the Latin American research teams within the ATLAS experiment.

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Great Interest as ATLAS and CERN Open to Public

7th April 2008 – They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but how would recent attempts in a Hawaiian court to stop the opening of the LHC because of safety concerns affect the general public’s perception of CERN? The Open Day on 5-6 April gave the ATLAS Collaboration a chance to find out.

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Atlas.ch Website Surpasses 1 Million Hits in 2007

1st April 2008The anticipation on site in Switzerland is tangible as the final steps in the construction of the ATLAS detector get underway, ahead of the LHC switch-on later this year. But whilst all the hard work is going on down in the pit, a small team of people are toiling equally hard to bring that sense of excitement and wonder out into the wider world, and throw open a window onto what will be the biggest experiment in the history of human kind.

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ATLAS completes world's largest jigsaw puzzle

29th February 2008 – Celebrations are underway in the ATLAS Experiment, as the final element of the detector was lowered into the cavern on Friday February 29th, 2008. The second “small wheel” is also the final part of the muon subsystem, but the wheels themselves are small in name only. At 9.3 metres in diameter, and weighing in at 100 tons each, moving them from their construction warehouse, at the north-west tip of the CERN site in Geneva, to the underground ATLAS cavern was a challenge which was anything but small.

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Intrepid Rappellers Descend Into ATLAS Cavern

15th February 2008 – It could be a scene from a James Bond movie. But this action shot of two intrepid rappellers (abseilers) was in fact taken in the ATLAS experimental cavern one night in December. François Butin, the ATLAS experimental area manager, tells the story behind the photograph.

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Cables: The “blood vessels” of ATLAS

15th January 2008 – The cables within the ATLAS detector may be thought of as the blood vessels and nervous system of the experiment; they carry power to the detector, they deliver messages to control its functions and they relay the data taken, ready for analysis. Just as blood vessels and nerves criss–cross and connect the organs and tissues of the human body, cables penetrate the whole of the ATLAS volume, reaching each and every one of its elements.

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Dress Rehearsal for ATLAS debut

15th December 2007 – Dave Charlton and his team have a mammoth job on their hands; Charlton has been tasked with coordinating the Full Dress Rehearsal (FDR) of the computing and data analysis processes of the ATLAS experiment, a run–through which he describes as "essential, almost as much as ensuring the detector itself actually works".

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Norwegian teachers visit ATLAS

11th December 2007 – "It's amazing that you have to build something so huge to measure such extremely small things," said Tom Christiansen from Telemark in Norway, after visiting the ATLAS cavern. His sentiment about the size of the ATLAS detector was shared by the thirty–one other physics teachers who, together with Tom, attended the first Norwegian Teacher Programme run at CERN, in November 2007.

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Progress on Toroid Magnets

10th December 2007 – The magnets on either end of the ATLAS detector (called end–cap toroid magnets) dominated November’s work in the experimental cavern. The ATLAS magnet team took a significant step towards finishing work on the ATLAS detector as testing of the magnets began.

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The pixels find their way to the heart of ATLAS

28th June 2007 – Leading up to the lowering of the pixel detector into the ATLAS cavern, final preparations were proceeding quickly.

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ESA/NASA astronaut Christer Fuglesang visits the ATLAS cavern

14th June 2007 – On 14 June, 2007, ESA/NASA astronaut Christer Fuglesang visited the ATLAS cavern. A former CERN fellow working on ATLAS, Christer went on to become the first Swedish astronaut and participated in the STS-116 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station last December.

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The complex and spectacular lowering into the cavern of the huge end-cap toroid magnet on side A

13th June 2007 – On 13 June 2007 the first of two giant toroid magnet end-caps was lowered into the ATLAS cavern on the A side. This complex and spectacular operation was completely successful.

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Triggering and measuring bent cosmic muon tracks with the muon spectrometer barrel for the first time

22nd December 2006 – Data have recently been collected with the toroidal magnetic field will provide for the first time the measurement of the cosmic ray muons' momenta in the ATLAS experiment and allow studies on trigger optimization, chamber calibration, chamber alignment and magnetic field maps. More than one million events were acquired. They are now being analyzed by enthusiastic members of the collaboration.

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