Many members of the ATLAS Experiment Collaboration have been at the European Physical Society's HEP 2011 conference in Grenoble, France, this week, revealing the results of 35 new and exciting physics analyses for the very first time.
The results are based on painstaking examinations of a large amount of data collected by the ATLAS Experiment as it combed the gleanings from high-speed proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. This data amounted to one inverse femtobarn, which equates to around 70 million million collisions. Even more data will be taken during the coming months.
The new results build on extensive measurements already made by ATLAS to study physics processes related to the Standard Model of particle physics - physicists' current best theory describing fundamental particles and how they interact. ATLAS results presented at EPS narrow down the mass range where the much talked-about Higgs boson - the final missing piece of the Standard Model - could possibly be hiding. This is just the tip of the iceberg in the quest for new physics, though, and ATLAS is simultaneously exploring many possible scenarios, all of which were presented at the conference. Such topics include supersymmetry, extra dimensions of space, particles more fundamental than quarks, particles of new forces, and much more.
ATLAS physicists blogged live from HEP 2011, which gathered over 700 physicists and dozens of journalists from around the world.