ATLAS releases new results in search for weakly-interacting supersymmetric particles

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of matter and the fundamental forces, leading to a paradigm shift in physics similar to when Einstein’s relativity superseded classical Newtonian physics in the early 20th century.

Physics Briefing | 18 May 2017

Hunting for the superpartner of the top quark

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.

Physics Briefing | 17 May 2017

New ATLAS precision measurements of the Higgs Boson in the 'golden channel'

With the huge amount of proton–proton collisions delivered by the LHC in 2015 and 2016 at the increased collision energy of 13 TeV, ATLAS has entered a new era of Higgs boson property measurements. The new data allowed ATLAS to perform measurements of inclusive and differential cross sections using the “golden” H->ZZ*->4l decay.

Physics Briefing | 15 May 2017

New insight into the Standard Model

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?

Physics Briefing | 09 May 2017

Making the most of the ATLAS detector

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.

Physics Briefing | 02 May 2017

Beams return to the ATLAS Experiment

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

News | 29 Apr 2017

Charged-particle reconstruction at the energy frontier

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.

Physics Briefing | 26 Apr 2017

Impressions from Moriond

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”.

News | 06 Apr 2017

Searching for new symmetries of nature

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.

Physics Briefing | 06 Apr 2017

Improving our understanding of photon pairs

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.

Physics Briefing | 05 Apr 2017

ATLAS highlights from Moriond

At this year’s Rencontres de Moriond, the ATLAS collaboration presented the first results examining the combined 2015/2016 LHC data at 13 TeV proton–proton collision energy. Thanks to outstanding performance of the CERN accelerator complex last year, this new dataset is almost three times larger than that available at ICHEP, the last major particle physics conference held in August 2016.

News | 02 Apr 2017

Quest for the lost arc

Nature has surprised physicists many times in history and certainly will do so again. Therefore, physicists have to keep an open mind when searching for phenomena beyond the Standard Model.

Physics Briefing | 21 Mar 2017

Particle-hunting at the energy frontier

There are many mysteries the Standard Model of particle physics cannot answer. Why is there an imbalance between matter and anti-matter in our Universe? What is the nature of dark matter or dark energy? And many more. The existence of physics beyond the Standard Model can solve some of these fundamental questions. By studying the head-on collisions of protons at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV provided by the LHC, the ATLAS Collaboration is on the hunt for signs of new physics.

Physics Briefing | 21 Mar 2017

Searching for signs of the “stop”

In new results presented at the Moriond Electroweak conference, the ATLAS Collaboration has sifted through the full available data sample of the LHC’s 13 TeV proton collisions in search of a specific SUSY particle: the heavy partner to the top quark, called the “top squark” or “stop”

Physics Briefing | 21 Mar 2017

The search for super-particles continues!

Many of the most important unanswered questions in fundamental physics are related to mass. Why do elementary particles, which we have observed and measured at CERN and other laboratories, have the masses they do? And why are they so different, with the mass of the top quark more than three hundred thousand times that of the electron? The presence of dark matter in our universe is inferred because of its mass but, if it is a particle, what is it? While the Standard Model has been a tremendously successful theory in describing the interactions of sub-atomic particles, we must look to even larger masses in search of answers and, potentially, new supersymmetric particles

Physics Briefing | 20 Mar 2017

ATLAS to present new results at Moriond

Every March for the past 50 years, particles physicists have been heading to the mountains. The terminus of this migration? Les Rencontres de Moriond, one of the year’s first major conference for high-energy physics.

News | 19 Mar 2017

New management at the ATLAS Experiment

Karl Jakobs from the University of Freiburg is a familiar face at CERN and in the ATLAS Experiment. He’s been part of the collaboration since the signing of the ATLAS Letter of Intent in 1992, having taken on various coordination roles, and followed the experiment through all its phases. Now, after twenty-five years with the collaboration, Karl is moving into the main office as spokesperson.

News | 03 Mar 2017

Award season at the ATLAS Experiment

From detector development to detailed searches for new physics, ATLAS PhD students publish dozens of outstanding theses every year. Since 2010, a few have been celebrated at the annual ATLAS Thesis Awards.

News | 28 Feb 2017

Meet the talented recipients of the ATLAS PhD Grant

Motivated. Outstanding. Enthusiastic. These are the criteria used when selecting the recipients of the ATLAS PhD Grant. It’s a tough competition.

News | 16 Feb 2017

How strange is the proton?

What precision measurement of the inclusive W+, W− and Z/γ∗ production cross sections can tell us about the true nature of the proton.

Physics Briefing | 25 Jan 2017

Return of the top quark!

For the first time, ATLAS has measured the kinematics of the top quark and of the tt̅ system in 13 TeV events containing two charged leptons, two neutrinos and two jets (called “dilepton” events).

Physics Briefing | 13 Jan 2017

The trouble with terabytes

2016 has been a record-breaking year. The LHC surpassed its design luminosity and produced stable beams a staggering 60% of the time – up from 40% in previous years, and even surpassing the hoped for 50% threshold. While all of the ATLAS experiment rejoiced – eager to analyse the vast outpouring of data from the experiment – its computing experts had their work cut out for them.

News | 14 Dec 2016

Measuring the W boson mass

The ATLAS collaboration is now reporting the first measurement of the W mass using LHC proton-proton collisions data at a centre-of-mass energy at 7 TeV. The ATLAS result matches the best single-experiment measurement of the W mass performed by the CDF collaboration.

Physics Briefing | 13 Dec 2016

Become a Higgs Hunter

HiggsHunters is the first mass-participation citizen science project for the Large Hadron Collider, allowing non-experts to get directly involved in physics analysis. Since its launch in 2014 on the Zooniverse platform, over 30,000 people from 179 countries have participated in the project. Their work has led to the project’s first publication on arXiv.

News | 05 Dec 2016

Is there life after physics?

Am I going to dedicate my entire life to high-energy physics? Am I qualified to work in another field, if I wish to? These are questions we may ask ourselves as we near the end of a contract. On Tuesday 29 November, the four experiments, ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and LHCb, organized a meeting with some of their former physicists who had decided to take the plunge into the business world.

Blog | 02 Dec 2016