detector operation

In conversation with Masaya Ishino, a key player behind ATLAS' successful Run 2

Masaya Ishino is a researcher and professor with the University of Tokyo. He joined the ATLAS Collaboration in 2001, and has been instrumental to the development, construction and operation of the muon spectrometer. Masaya was elected ATLAS Run Coordinator in 2017, playing a key role in the record-breaking Run 2 operation.

7th October 2019

Waiting for physics: Stable beams!

Following the first “beam splash” tests in early-April, the ATLAS experiment awaited the next milestone on the road to data-taking: "stable beams". This is when the LHC proton beams are aligned, squeezed, focused and finally steered to collide head-to-head. It is an important test, as it allows us to verify that the collision mechanism is ready to take data that are good for physics studies.

11th May 2018

ATLAS starts new year of data-taking

On 28 April, the ATLAS Experiment began recording the first data for physics of 2018. This will be the final year of Run 2 operation of the Large Hadron Collider and will mark the conclusion of the rich 13 TeV data harvest. Starting in 2019, the accelerator and its experiments will enter a long upgrade and maintenance period.

30th April 2018

ATLAS on track for 2018 data taking

It’s kick off at the Large Hadron Collider! Proton beams are circulating once again in the accelerator, marking the start of a new year of exploration for the ATLAS experiment.

31st March 2018

How to run a particle detector

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?

23rd June 2017

ATLAS kicks off a new year at 13 TeV

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

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

29th April 2017

Counting collisions

Whether searching for signs of new physics, or making precise measurements of known interactions, it is essential to know the total number of proton-proton collisions that the LHC delivers in ATLAS. This parameter, known as “luminosity”, is a vital part of ATLAS analysis.

27th October 2016
27th October 2016

A busy day in the life of high energy physicist

My work involves analyzing data to try to understand how nature works at the most fundamental level, by searching for new particles and ways in which they interact. Specifically, I am looking at the top quark, which is the heaviest fundamental particle known to exist, with a mass of about 180 times that of a proton.

27th June 2016

An insider view of the "marten affair"

Friday morning, 29 April 2016: what was expected to be a productive shift turned out to be very different.

7th June 2016

Spring awakening for the ATLAS experiment

This morning the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) circulated the first proton-proton beams of 2016 around its 27 kilometre circumference. The beams were met with great enthusiasm in the ATLAS Control Centre as they passed through the ATLAS experiment.

24th March 2016

One week to do it all – Days 4-7: Diffractive data taking

On Thursday morning the first fill reached “Stable Beam”.

19th February 2016

One week to do it all – Day 3: Preparing for Stable Beam

Tuesday at 23:55 I called the ATLAS shift leader and told them to stop the elastic physics run and ramp down the inner detector as the elastic program was over.

18th February 2016

One week to do it all – Day 2: Elastic data-taking

No time to waste after the alignment.

17th February 2016

One week to do it all – Day 1: Setting up

I have the pleasure to work for a very special sub-detector of ATLAS, called “Absolute luminosity For ATLAS” or ALFA in short.

16th February 2016

ATLAS completes first year at 13 TeV

As 2015 draws to a close, the ATLAS experiment wraps up its first phase of operation at a record-breaking energy frontier.

16th December 2015

A summer evening in the ATLAS control room

The sun has already set over Geneva when I finally walk out from the ATLAS control room. We have been waiting for beams to be injected into the machine since the early hours of the afternoon, but without much success so far. Just a regular day for the most ambitious particle accelerator mankind has ever built, but a pretty boring afternoon for our entire shift crew.

4th August 2015

From ATLAS Around the World: Faster and faster!

Faster and Faster! This is how it gets as soon as LS1 ends and the first collisions of LHC Run 2 approaches. As you might have noticed, at particle physics experiments we LOVE acronyms! LS1 stands for the first Long Shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider.

24th June 2015

Impressions from the control room

As final preparations were made for the start of the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC) Run 2, the ATLAS Control Room was the centre of activity. Here are images from the three days that were landmark events...

17th June 2015

ATLAS begins recording physics data at 13 TeV

Today ATLAS and other particle physics experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) began recording physics data from 13 TeV proton collisions, which allow for precision studies of the Higgs boson and other Standard Model particles, as well as the search for new particles with higher masses. The new data will bring a deeper understanding of nature.

3rd June 2015

ATLAS records first test collisions at 13 TeV

On 20 May at around 22:24, ATLAS recorded the first 13 TeV test collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider. The proton collisions set a new high energy record, marking the beginning of ATLAS' journey into unexplored physics frontiers as we prepare for production data-taking, scheduled to start in early June.

22nd May 2015

Coordination for collisions

There is the Large Hadron Collider and then there are its experiments. When the collider is ready to circulate proton beams, the experiments have to be ready to receive them.

14th May 2015

First collisions at injection energy

On the morning of 5 May 2015, ATLAS recorded the first scheduled proton beam collisions since the Large Hadron Collider and its experiments started up after two years of maintenance and repairs.

8th May 2015

Splashes for synchronization

ATLAS uses "beam splash" events to provide simultaneous signals to large parts of the detector, and verify that the readout of different detectors elements are fully synchronized. After the first 2015 Large Hadron Collider beam circulation on Easter Sunday, a run dedicated to taking beam splash events was set up on Tuesday evening, 7 April.

15th April 2015

The Symphony of ATLAS

Bringing the nine-storey high, many-layered ATLAS detector back to life and preparing it for the Large Hadron Collider's next run is a complex task. Each sub-detector is setup and thoroughly tested before they are joined and the detector as a whole can begin recording data again.

23rd June 2014

ATLAS reaches milestone: 5 inverse femtobarns of data!

In an amazing year that has exceeded our expectations, the Large Hadron Collider has delivered, and ATLAS has recorded, over 5 inverse femtobarns (fb-1) of collisions. These units correspond to having 3.4 x 1014 or 340 000 000 000 000 total collisions. Most analyses presented at the last major conference (the Lepton Photon Symposium in August in Mumbai) made use of about 1 fb-1, so this is a big jump.

28th October 2011

ATLAS never sleeps

Working in an international laboratory like CERN is incredibly exciting, and I’m not just talking about Higgs hunting. People in the outside world are endlessly curious about what happens on the sprawling two-kilometre-long site, and I get asked all kinds of questions, ranging from the funny to the profound.

22nd September 2011
22nd September 2011

Re-hashing reconstruction

Now that the big summer conferences are under our belts, we’re busy reprocessing the data ATLAS has taken so far in 2011. The raw data we collect at ATLAS – basically millions of electrical signal values from the different bits of the detector – has to be treated (‘reconstructed’) to turn it into meaningful physics data that can be analyzed for signs of new physics.

11th September 2011
11th September 2011

Frantic for femtobarns...

In particle physics, we describe the number of interesting particle collisions that we have in our data in terms of the "integrated luminosity", which is measured in units called inverse femtobarns. In the whole of 2010, the LHC delivered about 0.04 inverse femtobarns (about 3 million million collisions). Nowadays, it can deliver twice that in a single day!

19th August 2011

First 7 Tev collisions have been recorded in ATLAS

After ramping of the beams to 3.5 TeV and tuning, final checks, and some emotions due to an unforeseen beam dump, the 7 TeV collisions finally appeared on the on-line monitors of the ATLAS Control Room.

30th March 2010

How will it happen?

So how will this whole "First 7 TeV Collisions" event happen? Well, here is my (somewhat naive) understanding of what will happen.

28th March 2010
28th March 2010

3 Firsts for ATLAS in 2010

It has been a BUSY weekend! The LHC has been working around the clock get the machine commissioned, and ATLAS has been enjoying the many Firsts that have resulted.

15th March 2010

A titan awakes

At approximately 2:40 am Central European Time, ATLAS saw particles from the LHC for the first time in 2010. As in previous LHC turn-on periods the first thing we see are beam splashes from the LHC beams as they slowly thread the beam through the LHC ring for the first time.

1st March 2010
1st March 2010

The calm before the storm

The Control Room is quiet. The configurations are set. The trigger menu is uploaded. The shifters are ready. All that is left is for the LHC to deliver beam.

27th February 2010

Gearing-up for the 2010 run!

ATLAS has been taking cosmic rays data this month exercising new features of the data acquisition, including protocols to start and control the run.

25th February 2010

First Integrated Run in 2010

Today ATLAS has started the integrated runs. This has happened before, nevertheless this is the first time ATLAS subdetectors get together after the winter break, a lot of work has been done since then.

2nd February 2010

All Bunched Up!

High Energy Physicists have been waiting for many years to see the LHC turn on. Now that it has been turned on, the network of physicists around the world have quickly been harnessed. It can be considered a phase transition in particle physics.

6th January 2010
6th January 2010

More collisions at 2.36 TeV

This early morning Dec.14 at 2.40, after a 8 minutes ramp, the energy of the two LHC beams has been brought up to 1.18 TeV again.

14th December 2009

Just a taste

At 21:32 pm on December 8th, the LHC did something that no other accelerator has ever done before.

11th December 2009
11th December 2009

ATLAS increases its active channel count by one order of magnitude

On Sunday December 6, 2009 at 8.00 the ATLAS Pixel Detector has measured, for the first time, tracks emerging from LHC collisions. It has been a very smooth start.

11th December 2009

First collisions in ATLAS

A few days ago, loud cheers and happy faces filled the ATLAS Control Room while the whole detector lit up: protons are back at the experiment's door, and everybody forgot in a second the long year of waiting for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to resume operation.

23rd November 2009

LHC beams and events back in ATLAS

Loud cheers and happy faces fill the ATLAS Control Room while the whole detector lights up: protons are back today at the experiment's door, and everybody forgets in a second the long year of waiting for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to resume operation.

21st November 2009

ATLAS Preparing for Collisions in Late-2009

The most recent schedule envisions beam reaching ATLAS in late November with low-energy collisions shortly thereafter.

15th November 2009

ATLAS preparing for collisions in mid-2009

The full ATLAS Experiment has been operational and taking cosmic ray data since September 2008, and high-energy collisions are scheduled for late summer 2009. Data from cosmic rays that hit the ATLAS detector are valuable to calibrate and synchronize the many detector elements. Even more exciting were the so-called “splash events” that occurred as the LHC was being tuned up starting 10 September 2008.

15th December 2008

First beam and first events in ATLAS

ATLAS experimenters celebrated today as the first beams circulated the Large Hadron Collider in both directions. While everyone was cheering in the LHC control room, the cheers were echoed in the ATLAS and other control rooms, and in several auditoriums around CERN.

10th September 2008

Development of the ATLAS control room

The ATLAS control room will become the brain of the detector operations. At the moment six of the final fifteen stations are already in place.

15th December 2006

The ATLAS Detector safety system

The ATLAS Detector safety system (DSS) has the mandate to put the detector in a safe state in case an abnormal situation arises which could be potentially dangerous for the detector. It covers the CERN alarm severity levels 1 and 2, which address serious risks for the equipment.

15th December 2006