6th July 2017 – Until now, the Higgs boson had been observed decaying to photons, tau-leptons, and W and Z bosons. However, these impressive achievements represent only 30% of the Higgs boson decays! The Higgs boson’s favoured decay to a pair of b-quarks, which was predicted to happen around 58% of the time and thus drives the short lifetime of the Higgs boson, had so far remained elusive. Observing this decay would fill in one of the big missing pieces of our knowledge of the Higgs sector. It would confirm that the Higgs mechanism is responsible for the masses of quarks and might also provide hints of new physics beyond our current theories. All in all, it is a vital missing piece of the Higgs boson puzzle!
23rd June 2017 – If you are interested in particle physics, you probably hear a lot about the huge amount of data that is recorded by experiments like ATLAS. But where does this data come from? Roughly speaking: first you have to plan, build and maintain an experiment and in the end you need people to analyse the data you’ve recorded. But what happens in between? What happens in the day-to-day life of people in the ATLAS control room, who are responsible for keeping all that great data coming?
21st June 2017 – From the chaotic moments after the Big Bang to present day proton collisions in the ATLAS Experiment, the new planetarium show Phantom of the Universe takes viewers on the hunt for dark matter. The show has been awarded an honourable mention for outstanding and innovative production at the 11th International FullDome Festival in Germany.
13th June 2017 – Discovered almost 100 years ago by Ernest Rutherford, the proton was one of the first particles to be studied in depth. Yet there’s still much about it that remains a mystery. Where does its mass and spin come from? What is it made of? To answer these questions, ATLAS physicists are using “jets” of particles emitted by the LHC as a magnifying glass to examine the inner structure of the proton.
7th June 2017 – More than 400 physicists from around the world visiting Shanghai to hear the latest LHC results, at the fifth annual Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP17) conference. It was a wonderful opportunity for Chinese particle physicists and students, who do not often have the chance to travel abroad! Even for me, although I have been working on the LHC for almost 10 years, this was still my first time attending such a high-level conference to hear the first-rate physics results from all four experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.
23rd May 2017 – Geneva, 23 May 2017. A new season of record-breaking kicked off today, as the ATLAS Experiment began recording first data for physics of 2017. This will be the LHC’s third year colliding beams at an energy of 13 tera electron volts (TeV), allowing the ATLAS Experiment to continue to push the limits of physics.
23rd May 2017 – The fifth annual Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP2017) conference was held this week at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in a leafy suburb in the former French concession in Shanghai, China. This year there were more participants than ever before: 470 people from universities across the globe. ATLAS presented an interesting set of new results exploiting the high statistics of the combined 2015 and 2016 dataset.
19th May 2017 – The start of the 2017 run marks the conclusion of a maintenance period known as the Extended Year-End-Technical-Stop (EYETS). This upkeep is vital for the health and well-being of the detector, ensuring that ATLAS can thrive for the months of high-intensity operation that follow.
18th May 2017 – Supersymmetry is an extension to the Standard Model that may explain the origin of dark matter and pave the way to a grand unified theory of nature. For each particle of the Standard Model, supersymmetry introduces an exotic new “super-partner,” which may be produced in proton-proton collisions. Searching for these particles is currently one of the top priorities of the LHC physics program. A discovery would transform our understanding of the building blocks of matter and the fundamental forces, leading to a paradigm shift in physics similar to when Einstein’s relativity superseded classical Newtonian physics in the early 20th century.
17th May 2017 – Supersymmetry (SUSY) is one of the most attractive theories extending the Standard Model of particle physics. SUSY would provide a solution to several of the Standard Model’s unanswered questions, by more than doubling the number of elementary particles, giving each fermion a bosonic partner and vice versa. In many SUSY models the lightest supersymmetric particle (LSP) constitutes dark matter.