Defending Your Life (Part 2)

20th October 2014 – I’ve been working on our simulation software for a long time, and I’m often asked “what on earth is that?” This is my attempt to help you love simulation as much as I do. 

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Five schools virtually visit ATLAS, CMS and IceCube

15th October 2014 – The ATLAS and CMS experiments hosted a virtual visit together with the IceCube Experiment in the South Pole for students from five different European schools on 2 October. The visit allowed the students to interact with researchers in both the LHC experiments and the IceCube experiment. The virtual visit was a second event in the Open Discovery Space project series' 'Bringing Frontier Science to Schools'.

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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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Doing Physics in Vietnam

7th October 2014 – One of the perks of working in our field is the opportunities we get to go to exotic places for conferences. I always felt the HEP-MAD conference in Madagascar would top this list, but the one some of us went to in Vietnam can't be too far behind. The Rencontres du Vietnam conference series has been organised in the coastal town of Quy Nhon since 2011, covering different physics topics. This year, one of them was titled Physics at the LHC and Beyond, where I had the privilege of presenting ATLAS soft QCD results.

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Defending Your Life (Part 1)

5th October 2014 – Having spent many hours working on the simulation software in ATLAS, I thought this would be a good place to explain what on earth that is (H/T to Al Brooks for the title). Our experiment wouldn’t run without the simulation, and yet there are few people who really understand it.

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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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ATLAS Physicist Wins Young Scientist Prize

21st August 2014 – For her contribution toward the discovery of the Higgs boson, Kerstin Tackmann was awarded the Young Scientist Prize in Particle Physics 2014 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

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