Charged-particle reconstruction at the energy frontier

26th April 2017 – 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. 

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Impressions from Moriond

6th April 2017 – 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”.

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Searching for new symmetries of nature

6th April 2017 – 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.

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Improving our understanding of photon pairs

5th April 2017 – 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.

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ATLAS highlights from Moriond

2nd April 2017 – 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.

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Quest for the lost arc

21st March 2017 – 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.

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Particle-hunting at the energy frontier

20th March 2017 – 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.

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Searching for signs of the “stop”

20th March 2017 – 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”

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The search for super-particles continues!

20th March 2017 – 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

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ATLAS to present new results at Moriond

19th March 2017 – 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.

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ATLAS Spokesperson Karl Jakobs

New Management at the ATLAS Experiment

3rd March 2017 – 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.

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Award season at the ATLAS Experiment

28th February 2017 – 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.

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Meet the talented recipients of the ATLAS PhD Grant

16th February 2017 – Motivated. Outstanding. Enthusiastic. These are the criteria used when selecting the recipients of the ATLAS PhD Grant. It’s a tough competition.

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Integrated fiducial cross sections times leptonic branching ratios

How strange is the proton?

25th January 2017 – What precision measurement of the inclusive W+, W− and Z/γ∗ production cross sections can tell us about the true nature of the proton.

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Return of the top quark!

13th January 2017 – 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). 

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The Trouble with Terabytes

14th December 2016 – 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.

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Measuring the W boson mass

13th December 2016 – 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.

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Become a Higgs Hunter

5th December 2016 – 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.

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Is there life after physics?

2nd December 2016 – 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.

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What happens when energy goes missing?

3rd November 2016 – Here at ATLAS, we like to consider ourselves pretty decent at tracking down particles. In fact, we do it every day. Just because a proton-proton collision doesn’t produce the next Nobel Prize winning particle doesn’t mean we can ignore it. Teams of physicists are still combing through every single event, rebuilding known particles out of the signals they leave us

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