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The ATLAS detector

Together with scientists from around the world, physicists at the MPP have developed and constructed the particle detector ATLAS. ATLAS is an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator at the CERN research center in Geneva. The LHC began operating in 2008. In March 2010, the research program got under way at this proton-proton accelerator, working with the highest energies achieved to date at any accelerator facility. With the help of the LHC, researchers from all over the world want to coax out the secrets of the structure of matter and the fundamental forces.

ATLAS records the results of proton-proton collisions produced by the LHC. In the process, conditions similar to those in the extremely early, hot and dense universe shortly after the Big Bang are created. From that, the researchers gain insights about the fundamental building blocks of matter as well as their interactions. They are looking for new phenomena, such as the existence of higher dimensions of space and time and the origin of the dark matter that holds our universe together.

The MPP was and is involved with the development of instruments essential to the ATLAS detector – the inner detector, the calorimeters, and the muon chambers – as well as the setup of the computing system. Technical upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2025. The goal is to increase the number of proton collisions in order to obtain more data. MPP scientists and technicians are working to make ATLAS fit for the coming surge of new data.

Successes of the ATLAS experiment

Image of a particle shower after a proton-proton collision
Image of a particle shower after a proton-proton collision (image: ATLAS/CERN)

The greatest success of the ATLAS experiment so far was the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. As early as the 1960s, Peter Higgs and François Englert had proposed the existence of this particle: As a building block of the Standard Model, it gives other elementary particles their mass. For this, the two physicists received the 2013 Nobel Prize.

Since June 2015, the LHC accelerator has been running with a record energy of 13 teraelectronvolts – nearly twice as much as in the years before. With that, the researchers hope to discover "new physics" – that is, particles and effects that do not occur in the Standard Model but which could help to solve the puzzles of the dark matter, the dark energy, and the missing antimatter in the universe.

Further information on the ATLAS experiment

News releases


The ATLAS detector is currently undergoing a substantial upgrade: The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) has developed novel drift-tube chambers to measure muon tracks. The Institute will supply 12 of these muon chambers to CERN, where they are due to be installed in the ATLAS detector early in...

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04/21/2016 Veranstaltung/event

After the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012 the particle physicists have been working even harder on the study of the properties of the Higgs boson and on the search for new particles. Particle physicist from all over the world will meet at the Max-Planck...

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01/13/2016 Neues aus dem MPP/new at MPP

Jagd auf neue Elementarteilchen – was einen jungen Physiker an seiner Forschung fasziniert

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10/01/2015 Veranstaltung/event

The search for rare particles continues unabated at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In fact, the LHC will not achieve its peak performance before 2025; by then the upgraded High Luminosity (HL) LHC will accelerate and collide considerably more proton bunches than before. Scientists will need to...

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09/23/2015 Veranstaltung/event

It’s all about high-energy and astroparticle physics at Wildbad Kreuth from Oct. 4 to 9, 2015, when the Max Planck Institute for Physics hosts this year’s International Symposium on Multiparticle Dynamics (ISMD). Held annually since 1970, the ISMD conference rotates from year to year among different...

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06/03/2015 Forschung/research

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....

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05/13/2015 Forschung/research

By analyzing their combined data the CMS and LHCb collaborations revealed the very rare decay of a B0s particle into two muon particles. The Standard Model, the theory that best describes the world of particles, predicts that this rare subatomic process happens about four times out of a billion...

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12/03/2014 Forschung/research

This week ATLAS launched the citizen science project "Higgs Hunters" in cooperation with Oxford University and New York University. The project gives volunteers the chance to help researchers deal with the huge amount of data that confronts them.

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11/24/2014 Forschung/research

On November 24th CERN launched its Open Data Portal where data from real collision events, produced by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will for the first time be made openly available to all. It is expected that these data will be of high value for the research community, and also be...

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Group members

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Barillari, Teresa, Dr.

Scientist 369

Beyer, Julien-Christopher

PhD Student 462

Brickwedde, Bernard


Delle Fratte, Cesare

Scientist 089 3299 1157

Ecker, Katharina

PhD Student 220

Gadow, Philipp

PhD Student 220

Graw, Jonas

Student 256

Hönle, Andreas

PhD Student 376

Junggeburth, Johannes

PhD Student 226

Kiryunin, Andrey, Ph.D.

Scientist 286

Klimpel, Fabian

Student 453

Kluth, Stefan, PD Dr.

Scientist 468

Knue, Andrea, Dr.

Scientist 453

Kortner, Oliver, PD Dr.

Scientist 240

Kortner, Sandra, Dr.

Scientist 288

Krauss, Dominik

PhD Student 559

Kroha, Hubert, PD Dr.

Scientist 435

Köhler, Nicolas

PhD Student 240

La Rosa, Alessandro, Dr.

Scientist +41.22.766.36.00

Macchiolo, Anna, Dr.

Scientist 265

Maschek, Stefan

PhD Student 358

McCarthy, Thomas George, Ph.D.

Scientist 540

Menke, Sven, Dr.

Scientist 410

Müller, Felix, Dr.

Scientist 256

Nisius, Richard, PD Dr.

Scientist 474

Oberlack, Horst, Dr.

Scientist 202

Oswald, Kieran

Student 416

Pearson, Ben L., Ph.D.

Scientist 265

Rendel, Marian

Student 559

Renkl, Lorena

Student 462

Richter, Robert, Dr.

Scientist 358

Rieck, Patrick, Dr.

Scientist 256

Röhrig, Rainer

PhD Student 226

Salihagic, Denis, Dr.

Scientist 469

Savic, Natascha

PhD Student 416

Schacht, Peter, Dr.

Scientist 228

Schmidt-Sommerfeld, Korbinian

PhD Student 376

Schulte, Sebastian

Student 453

Scyboz, Ludovic

PhD Student 299

Spettel, Fabian

PhD Student 386

Stonjek, Stefan, Dr.

Scientist 296

Tafula, Sergio

Scientist 089 3299 1542

Takasugi, Eric Hayato, Ph.D.

Scientist 376

Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr.

Scientist 453

Walbrecht, Verena

PhD Student 220

Wildauer, Andreas, Dr.

Scientist 371

Zinonos, Zinonas, Ph.D.

Scientist 559

Key publications

Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC
ATLAS Collaboration (Georges Aad (Freiburg U.) et al.). Jul 2012. 29 pp.
Published in Phys.Lett. B716 (2012) 1-29
DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.020
The ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider
ATLAS Collaboration (G. Aad (Marseille, CPPM) et al.). 2008. 437 pp.
JINST 3 (2008) S08003
DOI: 10.1088/1748-0221/3/08/S08003
Measurements of the Higgs boson production and decay rates and coupling
strengths using pp collision data at √s=7 and 8 TeV in the ATLAS experiment
ATLAS Collaboration (Georges Aad (Marseille, CPPM) et al.). Jul 16, 2015. 64 pp.
Eur.Phys.J. C76 (2016) no.1
arXiv:1507.04548 [hep-ex]
DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-015-3769-y

Measurement of the top quark mass in the tt¯→ lepton+jets
and tt¯→ dilepton  channels using √s=7 TeV ATLAS data
ATLAS Collaboration (Georges Aad (Marseille, CPPM) et al.). Mar 18, 2015. 35 pp.
Published in Eur.Phys.J. C75 (2015) no.7, 330
DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-015-3544-0
Search for the electroweak production of supersymmetric particles in √s=8 TeV pp
collisions with the ATLAS detector
ATLAS Collaboration (Georges Aad (Marseille, CPPM) et al.). Sep 23, 2015. 61 pp.
Published in Phys.Rev. D93 (2016) no.5, 052002
arXiv:1509.07152 [hep-ex]
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.93.052002