Marco Aurelio Diaz

Mountains are an enduring presence in the life of Marco Aurelio Díaz. “Wherever you are in Chile, the Andes are there, and they make an imprint in your mind that time does not erase,” he explains.

Profile | 04 May 2009

Borut Kersevan

How does Borut Kersevan spend his free time? “What free time? is the answer,” he says with a wry grin. But what little he has, he likes to spend on family, travel, and good conversation.

Profile | 06 Apr 2009

Higgs finds the Higgs at RAL

On Friday, March 13th, British high school student Jonathan Higgs discovered the elusive Higgs boson among the simulated particle tracks in Minerva – a special form of ATLAS' event display program, Atlantis, designed for students in the International Particle Physics Masterclasses.

News | 01 Apr 2009

A comic takes on CERN

If you want insight into the lives of graduate students, look no further than Jorge Cham’s Piled Higher and Deeper comic series, detailing the trials and tribulations of earning a PhD. He brought his well-honed observational humour to CERN, meeting with a few graduate students and post-docs for a slice of life at the world’s largest physics experiment.

News | 24 Mar 2009


Twenty-eight-year-old Josef Kristofoletti is a traveling artist. On the site documenting the work of his group,, he writes: "I am taking a survey of American mural painting in all of its forms, looking for the best pictures across the land, and painting some along the way." One of these paintings is an image of the ATLAS detector, a 13 x 7 metre mural on the side of the Redux Contemporary Art Center in South Carolina, entitled "Angel of the Higgs Boson".

News | 09 Mar 2009

Stanislav Němeček

In his more laid-back free time, Stanislav Němeček enjoys good detective novels and a production about a fictional Czech genius by the name of Jára Cimrman. The legends of Cimrman began in radio shows but later became plays in two parts: a lecture by a “professor” about recently uncovered work by this scientist/inventor/writer/philosopher and a scene played out by actors. The idea of Cimrman has been around since 1966, beginning as sort of a comic, literary protest to Communist rule. New episodes are performed every few years. Though a fictional genius, Cimrman is a symbol of Czech pride.

Profile | 09 Mar 2009

Tinseltown pays us a visit

ATLAS got a little taste of Tinseltown on February 12th, as director Ron Howard, and actors Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer rolled into town to promote their new film – an adaption of Dan Brown’s bestseller Angels and Demons.

News | 25 Feb 2009

The wanderer returns

Over Christmas, we followed the progress of ATLAS collaborator, Katharine Leney, as she and her boyfriend Pierre drove across Europe and Africa in a beaten up second hand car, to raise money for development charities working in Africa.

News | 12 Jan 2009

Anna and Lucia di Ciaccio

Physics, as a discipline, isn’t short of references to symmetry and balance. The tale of Anna and Lucia Di Ciaccio though is almost poetic in the way it weaves. They are non-identical twins, and interviewing them is both slightly surreal and a complete delight.

Profile | 12 Jan 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.

News | 15 Dec 2008

Anna Kaczmarska

Anna Kaczmarska is an artistic Polish physicist working as a software developer of the official ATLAS software package designed to detect tau leptons. Since Anna was a teenager, she has loved medieval arts: literature, architecture and music, whose rhythms, she says, help her to program ATLAS software.

Profile | 15 Dec 2008

Jonas Strandberg

“I think the money put in the summer school is among the best ways that CERN has to invest money!” says Jonas Strandberg, a Swedish physicist working on the Muon Spectrometer and Higgs Physics at ATLAS. He is another good example of the power of the CERN Summer School in drawing outstanding students into particle physics; since Jonas first came to CERN in the summer of 1998 as a physics undergraduate student, he always wanted to return.

Profile | 08 Dec 2008

Pippa Wells

For SCT Project Leader, Pippa Wells, thoughts of precision, timing, collaborative working, and getting things to work in harmony are familiar to her both in and out of work. Her passion is playing the violin – specifically in orchestras. “It’s always been playing music with other people that has motivated me,” says Pippa, who picked up her first instrument when she was just six years old.

Profile | 18 Nov 2008

Amelia Maio

If the ATLAS detector assembly could be compared to a marathon, then Amelia Maio would be best described as a long-distance runner! This Portuguese physicist and Associate Professor at Lisbon University has been involved in the design of the ATLAS detector since its very conception. In addition, since the late 1980s, Amelia has also been a very active ‘outreach’ physicist.

Profile | 10 Nov 2008

Andi Salzburger

When ATLAS physicist Andi Salzburger finished his PhD in May 2008, he thought of doing something really special to celebrate such a milestone in his life. He ended up walking 430Km, traveling the whole length of Iceland from North to South on foot.

Profile | 20 Oct 2008

Steve Lloyd

Talking to Steve Lloyd, you can’t help but get the sense that the influence of this softly spoken, polite Brit is woven into the very fabric of CERN. As the author of the improved ATLAS Computing Workbook, he has certainly touched the working lives of all new members of ATLAS since 2005, but his reach extends further than that.

Profile | 13 Oct 2008

Soshi Tsuno

Soshi Tsuno didn’t know much about particle physics until he met professor Hiroshi Takeda in his fourth year at Kobe University in 1996. At the time, ATLAS collaborators there were already developing the thin gap muon chambers (TGCs) that reside in both the large and small wheels, and Soshi joined this work.

Profile | 29 Sep 2008

Anthony Morley

̉Walk through Restaurant 1 at about 1 p.m. on a weekday, and you can’t fail to notice the plethora of languages being spoken. Not only that, the diversity of accents twisting themselves around English or French conversations reveals just how many nationalities are represented at CERN. Nevertheless, listening to Anthony Morley mid-flow is still a bit of a novelty, given that he’s one of only a handful of Australians working on-site on ATLAS.

Profile | 22 Sep 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.

News | 10 Sep 2008

Football and Modern Art for ATLAS

This time the outside ATLAS overview week was held in a somewhat unusual venue for a physics meeting. All the plenary sessions were organized inside the VIP area of the famous soccer stadium "Stade de Suisse" just outside the city center of Bern. I was one of the few participants of the meetings that had previously been in this stadium and moreover I was honored to be the coach of one of the two ATLAS soccer teams composed specially for the meeting. Thus when I was asked to give my impressions from the meeting, I thought I should mostly share my analysis and personal view of the first ATLAS soccer game and I happily accepted.

News | 08 Sep 2008

Socio-Economic Perspectives on ATLAS

Building the ATLAS detector has been a mammoth and innovative project. Sociologists, economists, and entrepreneurs have studied how such projects benefit society and the economy. The ATLAS collaboration has a number of unique characteristics, because of the size of the project, together with its complex scientific nature. It is the largest collaborative effort ever attempted in the physical sciences with more than 2200 physicists from 38 countries.

News | 15 Jun 2008

From Exotic Particles to Possible Solutions for Blindness

The search for exotic particle has led Alan Litke and his ATLAS colleagues to design a system that has allowed the discovery of a new type of cell in the retina of primates, and this technology is helping to find solutions for certain types of blindness.

News | 10 Jun 2008

German Chancellor Merkel visits ATLAS

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel made a historic visit to CERN at the end of last month. During her brief 1.5 hours on site, she was taken on a whistle-stop tour of the ATLAS control room and cavern, and given the chance to look down on the largest particle physics experiment in the world from a dizzying height of 100 metres through the access shaft which links the massive underground cavern to the surface.

News | 01 May 2008

Argentina, Chile and Colombia Join ATLAS Experiment

The ATLAS collaboration is continuously expanding, and recently its message has reached new shores – South America. Three new countries, Argentina, Chile and Colombia joined the collaboration at the beginning of the year, when Peter Jenni, ATLAS spokesperson, signed collaboration agreements formalising the presence of the Latin American research teams within the ATLAS experiment.

News | 15 Apr 2008

Great Interest as ATLAS and CERN Open to Public

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but how would recent attempts in a Hawaiian court to stop the opening of the LHC because of safety concerns affect the general public’s perception of CERN? The Open Day on 5-6 April gave the ATLAS Collaboration a chance to find out.

News | 07 Apr 2008