The search for the dark side of the Universe

13th April 2016 – ATLAS scientists have just released a new publication with results based on an analysis of the early Run 2 data collected in 2015 using 13 TeV proton-proton collisions. 

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Wanted: SUSY particle still at large

7th April 2016According to classical electrodynamics, the electromagnetic energy (and mass) of a point-like electron should be infinite. This is of course not the case! The solution of the riddle is antimatter - the ‘vacuum’ around every electron is filled with a cloud of electrons and anti-electrons and the combined energy turns out to be finite. 

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One does not simply give a talk at Moriond

5th April 2016 – The third day of the Moriond QCD conference was dedicated to quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory that describes strong interactions itself. 

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Bumps in the light

4th April 2016 – Here we are at the second blog from the Moriond QCD conference and, as promised, I will discuss a bit of physics.

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Spring awakening for the ATLAS experiment

24th March 2016 – This morning the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) circulated the first proton-proton beams of 2016 around its 27 kilometre circumference. The beams were met with great enthusiasm in the ATLAS Control Centre as they passed through the ATLAS experiment.

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First impressions from the Moriond conference

24th March 2016 – My name is Mario Campanelli, and I am a physicist who has been working for about 9 years on the ATLAS experiment, as part of the academic staff of University College London. This is the first time I write a blog, but I do have quite an experience in communicating science to the public, having guided visitors around CERN since I started working there as a PhD student 20 years ago, and also having written two books for the general public. Since Saturday I have been in La Thuile, a mountain resort in the Italian Alps, for the Rencontres de Moriond - arguably the most important winter conference in particle physics.

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Searching beyond the Standard Model with photon pairs

22nd March 2016 – The ATLAS Collaboration uses two selections in this search, one optimised for Higgs-like particles that are expected to have a strong signal compared to background with both photons in the central region of the detector (the “spin-0” selection) and a second optimised for graviton-like particles (the “spin-2” selection) which often have at least one photon close to the LHC proton beam axis. 

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Chasing after elusive B meson decays into muons

22nd March 2016 – Almost four years following the discovery of the Higgs boson, LHC experiments are now more than ever exploring the possibility of new particles and new effects beyond the Standard Model.

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Are there more Higgs bosons?

22nd March 2016 – The results presented by the ATLAS collaboration during the Moriond Electroweak 2016 conference set new limits on a potential extended Higgs sector.

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ATLAS presents new results at Moriond conference

21st March 2016 – This year’s 50th anniversary edition of the “Moriond Electroweak and Unified Theories” conference at La Thuile in Italy featured the presentation and discussion of first results from the LHC full-year 2015 data samples (“Run 2”) collected by the LHC experiments at unprecedented 13 TeV proton-proton collision energy.

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Meet 7 inspiring women from the ATLAS experiment

8th March 2016 – Women play key roles in the ATLAS Experiment: from young physicists at the start of their careers to analysis group leaders and spokespersons of the collaboration. Celebrate International Women’s Day by meeting a few of these inspiring ATLAS researchers.

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ATLAS Announces Thesis Award Winners

3rd March 2016 – On 25 February 2016 in CERN's Main Auditorium, the ATLAS collaboration announced the winners of the 2015 ATLAS Thesis Awards: Javier Montejo Berlingen, Ruth Pöttgen, Nils Ruthmann, and Steven Schramm. The winners were selected by the ATLAS Thesis Awards Committee for their outstanding contributions to the collaboration in the context of a PhD thesis. A total of 33 nominations were received, all of a very high standard and encompassing major achievements in all areas of ATLAS results and activities.

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ATLAS PhD Grant Recipients Announced

26th February 2016 – Three young physicists – Ruth Jacobs, Artem Basalaev and Nedaa B I Asbah – have been named the recipients of the 2015 ATLAS PhD Grant.

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One week to do it all – Days 4-7: Diffractive data taking

19th February 2016 – On Thursday morning the first fill reached “Stable Beam”. We had prepared a sequence to move the ALFA detectors so, with the push of a bottom, they were all moved to exactly the right position for loss maps. The fill had 42 bunches (as opposed to the 3 bunches used in elastic data taking), so the trigger rates were much higher than before.

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One week to do it all – Day 3: Preparing for Stable Beam

18th February 2016 – Tuesday at 23:55 I called the ATLAS shift leader and told them to stop the elastic physics run and ramp down the inner detector as the elastic program was over. But that’s when the problems started. For some reason, the inner detector could not ramp down and ATLAS requested – for the safety of the inner detector – that the LHC team touch nothing until the problem was solved. While this actually gave us more time taking data for elastic physics, LHC operators and representatives from the other experiments in the CERN Control Centre were really not too happy about the situation.

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One week to do it all – Day 2: Elastic data-taking

17th February 2016 – No time to waste after the alignment. We had moved the detectors to about 2.8 mm from the beam, but the rates of particles passing the detectors indicated a very high background (mainly particles from the beam halo) so we decided to move the detectors out to about 3.5 mm. Now it was time for data taking. Since the detectors were so close to the beam, the LHC could not declare “Stable Beam”. Therefore ATLAS was prepared to manually override the normal safety feature, which only allows the tracking detectors to be powered fully once the LHC declares “Stable Beam”.

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One week to do it all – Day 1: Setting up

16th February 2016 – I have the pleasure to work for a very special sub-detector of ATLAS, called “Absolute luminosity For ATLAS” or ALFA in short. ALFA aims to measure protons at very small angles relative to the beam. To measure these small angles, ALFA is installed on the beam pipe about 240 m away from the interaction point (IP) of ATLAS. The ALFA detectors can move inside the beam pipe in order to get very close to the beam. The detector is only used a few days out of the year when LHC is running with a very special beam setup.

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The hills are alive, with the sound of gravitational waves

15th February 2016 – It’s 16:00 CET at CERN and I’m sitting in the CERN Main Auditorium. The room is buzzing with excitement, not unlike the day in 2012 when the Higgs discovery was announced in this very room. But today the announcement is not from CERN, but the LIGO experiment which is spread across two continents. Many expect the announcement to be about a discovery of gravitational waves, as predicted by Einstein in 1916, but which have remained elusive until today…

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Heavy Ion Collision in ATLAS

ATLAS Completes First Year at 13 TeV

16th December 2015 – As 2015 draws to a close, the ATLAS experiment wraps up its first phase of operation at a record-breaking energy frontier.

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ATLAS High Performance Computing Initiative Wins Award

11th December 2015 – The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has awarded members of the ATLAS computing community first prize for their novel use of supercomputer infrastructure.

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