New insight into the Standard Model

9th May 2017 – Ever since the LHC collided its first protons in 2009, the ATLAS Collaboration has been persistently studying their interactions with increasing precision. To this day, it has always observed them to be as expected by the Standard Model. Though it remains unrefuted, physicists are convinced that a better theory must exist to explain certain fundamental questions: What is the nature of the dark matter? Why is the gravitational force so weak compared to the other forces?

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Making the most of the ATLAS detector

2nd May 2017 – Up to now, ATLAS has measured the energies and positions of jets using the finely segmented calorimeter system, in which both electrically charged and neutral particles interact. However, the inner detector tracking system provides more precise measurements of charged particle energies and positions. A recent ATLAS paper describes a particle flow algorithm that extrapolates the charged tracks seen by the inner detector to the calorimeter regions. 

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Beams return to the ATLAS Experiment

29th April 2017 – With the year’s first proton beams now circulating in the Large Hadron Collider, physicists have today recorded “beam splashes” in the ATLAS experiment

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Charged-particle reconstruction at the energy frontier

26th April 2017 – A new age of exploration dawned at the start of Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider, as protons began colliding at the unprecedented centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. The ATLAS experiment now frequently observes highly collimated bundles of particles (known as jets) with energies of up to multiple TeV, as well as tau-leptons and b-hadrons that pass through the innermost detector layers before decaying. These energetic collisions are prime hunting grounds for signs of new physics, including massive, hypothetical new particles that would decay to much lighter  and therefore highly boosted  bosons. 

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Impressions from Moriond

6th April 2017 – The 52nd Rencontres de Moriond conference was held in La Thuile, Italy, from the 18 March to 1 April. The first week, which ran until 25 March, was devoted to the theme "Electroweak interactions and unified theories", while the second week was based on the theme of “QCD and high energy interaction”.

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Searching for new symmetries of nature

6th April 2017 – The fundamental forces of nature are intimately related to corresponding symmetries. For example, the properties of electromagnetic interactions (or force) can be derived by requiring the theory that describes it to remain unchanged (or invariant) under a certain localised transformation. Such an invariance is referred to as a symmetry, just as one would refer to an object as being symmetric if it looks the same after being rotated or reflected. The particular symmetry related to the forces acting among particles is called gauge symmetry.

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Improving our understanding of photon pairs

5th April 2017 – High-energy photon pairs at the LHC are famous for two things. First, as a clean decay channel of the Higgs boson. Second, for triggering some lively discussions in the scientific community in late 2015, when a modest excess above Standard Model predictions was observed by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations.

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