One in a few million

ATLAS has been designed to detect rare events in high energy proton-proton collisions. ATLAS ultimate goal is to measure events as rare as one in several thousand billions, but we are modest (for the time being) waiting for the luminosity to rise.

Blog | 24th April 2010

Its All About The Lumi!

Now that the LHC has established colliding stable beams at a center of mass energy of 7 TeV, the next step to maximize its physics reach is to provide the most luminosity possible. As Leo posted, we need to increase the number of proton - proton collisions to make sure we have a chance of seeing the physics that we are looking for. The reason for that is because different p.hysics processes have different probabilities. These probabilities are referred to as cross-sections (in a vague reference to the particle's size). If one multiplies a cross section by a luminosity than what you get is a number of events.

Blog | 6th April 2010

Life Imitating Reality

I was home sick today, probably from the stress of getting ready for "M-Day" (aka Media Day), more likely though I finally succumbed to the cold that had been spreading through the Control Room. As it so happened, my laptop had been in the shop because it experience an "incident" (actually I just dropped it) last Monday (the week before Media Day), and I just picked it up yesterday.

Blog | 2nd April 2010

Increasing collision rate

Many collisions will be needed to unveil the secrets eventually hidden at the 7 TeV energy regime.

Blog | 1st April 2010

Let The Physics Begin!

After decades of planning. After years of delays and immeasureable amounts of patience and hard work. The physics operations of the LHC has begun!

Blog | 30th March 2010

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.

Blog | 30th March 2010

Expecting beam in 30 minutes!

During this morning LHC has been working to give us the beam conditions for collisions.

Blog | 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.

Blog | 28th March 2010

Approaching the End...and a New Beginning

This Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, will mark the end of a very long journey for many High Energy Physicists. The first 7 TeV Collisions will signal the end of the the commissioning period of the LHC and its experiments.

Blog | 28th March 2010

Big step forward in LHC operation last night

Last night a new very important milestone has been reached by the LHC: two counter-circulating proton beams have been accelerated for the first time to 3.5 TeV, the energy that they should routinely reach in the 2010-2011 running period.

Blog | 19th 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.

Blog | 15th March 2010

ATLAS celebrating the International Women's day!

Today ATLAS celebrates the role of women in physics its own way. ATLAS has encouraged its staff and users to place as many women as possible on shift in the control room and to serve as guides for official visits.

Blog | 8th 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.

Blog | 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.

Blog | 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.

Blog | 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.

Blog | 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.

Blog | 6th January 2010

Just a taste

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

Blog | 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.

Blog | 11th December 2009

First collisions with the pixel detector

It's been a busy weekend for ATLAS. Last night, well, actually early this morning, we received the "stable beam" flag from the LHC.

Blog | 7th December 2009