Physics Briefings

ATLAS collision event with two charm-tagged jets.

In search of super charm

9th January 2015 – If all the experimental evidence supports a theory, why should anyone want to dream up additional particles? Yet exactly this situation arose in the late 1960s. At that time, when the complete table of the known hadrons could be explained with just three quarks, theorists were already proposing a fourth, which they whimsically called “charm”.

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Quenching jets in the hot dense matter produced by colliding lead ions

13th November 2014 – The Large Hadron Collider is known to collide protons, but for one month a year, beams of lead ions are circulated in the 27-km tunnel and made to collide in the centre of the experiments. The ATLAS experiment has made new precise measurements of the suppression of jets as they blast through the dense matter created by the lead ion collisions.

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New ATLAS Precision Measurements of the Higgs Boson – Observation of WW Decay

7th October 2014 – The Standard Model makes many different predictions regarding the production and decay properties of the Higgs boson, most of which can be tested at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  Since the discovery, experimentalists from the ATLAS collaboration have analysed the complete dataset recorded in 2011 and 2012, have improved the calibration of the detector, and have increased substantially the sensitivity of their analyses.

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Searches for new physics with photons produced at vertices displaced from the collision point

22nd September 2014 – Theories, such as supersymmetry, propose the existence of new types of particles to explain important questions about the universe, such as the nature of dark matter. ATLAS has performed a search for one such type – exotic heavy particles that have lifetimes long enough that they travel partway through the detector before decaying, at what is called a displaced vertex. 

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Higgs boson production measurements from the channels of discovery

10th September 2014 – The discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations in 2012 marked a new era in particle physics because it completed the Standard Model and gave us another tool to explore territories beyond. The Standard Model predicts precisely the interactions of the Higgs boson to all other elementary particles once its mass is measured.

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First observation of Z-boson production via weak-boson fusion

10th September 2014 – The fusion of two weak bosons is an important process that can be used to probe the electroweak sector of the Standard Model. Measurements of Higgs production via weak-boson fusion are crucial for precise extraction of the Higgs-boson couplings and have the potential to help pin down the charge conjugation and parity of the Higgs boson. A similar process, weak-boson scattering, is sensitive to alternative electroweak symmetry-breaking models and to anomalous weak-boson gauge couplings. These processes are extremely rare and the experimental observation of the production of heavy bosons via weak-boson fusion has become possible only recently with the large centre-of-mass energy and luminosity provided by the LHC. Extracting the signals from the huge backgrounds in the high pile-up conditions at the LHC is a major challenge.

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ATLAS finds evidence for the rare electroweak W±W± production

10th September 2014 – The Standard Model of particle physics has been extremely successful in predicting a vast variety of phenomena – so successful, that it is easy to forget that some of its predictions have not yet been verified. A very important one, related intimately to electroweak symmetry breaking, is that the gauge bosons (γ, W and Z) can interact with each other through quartic interactions.

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