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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. A major technical upgrade is scheduled to start from 2026. 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.

30 years of ATLAS

The history of the truly big experiment began on October 1, 1992, when close to 90 research instituitions signed a common letter of intent to build a detector for proton-proton collisions. The Max Planck Institute for Physics was one these, its scientists contributed to the devolopment of major ATLAS components.

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


30 years ago, 88 research institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the ATLAS experiment at CERN. To date, ATLAS is the largest particle detector ever built. The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) has been in the lead from the very beginning: MPP scientists drove the large-scale…

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Exactly ten years ago, the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced a resounding success: Little less than three years after the launch of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the last missing piece in the Standard Model of particle physics had been found: The Higgs boson, a kind of messenger of the…

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Despite the corona pandemic, the production of next-generation ATLAS muon chambers at the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is proceeding as planned. Due to the current contact restrictions, the technicians are only permitted to work in shifts that vary on a daily basis. Nevertheless, the…

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Operation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator has been resting since January of 2019. Although “resting” is not quite the right word: During the planned shutdown until early 2022, intensive work is being done on technical improvements – including the ATLAS experiment. The Max…

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The ATLAS Collaboration at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has – at long last – observed the Higgs boson decaying into a pair of bottom (b) quarks. This elusive interaction is predicted to make up almost 60% of the Higgs boson decays and is thus primarily responsible for the Higgs natural width.…

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New Results from the ATLAS Experiment

Scientists observe coupling of the Higgs boson to top quarks

Almost exactly six years ago, CERN discovered the Higgs boson, which is responsible for the mass of other elementary particles. Since then, the Higgs particle has been the focus of extensive research. For the first time, scientists from the ATLAS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, with the…

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Exactly five years after the Higgs boson discovery at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, new studies of this particle, involving significant MPP contributions, are presented at the EPS-HEP conference in Venice. The results are based on Run-2 proton-proton collision data collected by the ATLAS…

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The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will be upgraded to ten times higher beam intensity by the year 2025, the high-luminosity Phase-II of the LHC, called HL-LHC.  It which will lead to a further increase of the discovery potential for new particles and much higher accuracy in the measurement of…

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The MPP has spent the last few weeks equipping the ATLAS detector, the largest physics experiment in the world, with twelve new muon chambers. These instruments operate with much higher precision and read-out speed than their predecessors. They were developed and constructed at the MPP, including…

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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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Group members

E-mail address:
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Bangaru, Nayana Student bangaru 240 A.2.15
Barillari, Teresa, Dr. Senior Scientist barilla 369 A.1.41
Bethke, Siegfried, Prof. Dr. Director bethke 381 A.2.05
Bharthuar, Shudhashil, Dr. Postdoc shudhash 462 A.1.39
Britzger, Daniel, Dr. Postdoc britzger 453 A.2.31
Buchin, Daniel PhD Student dbuchin 376 A.2.21
Cieri, Davide, Dr. Senior Scientist dcieri 226 A.2.10
Delle Fratte, Cesare Senior Scientist cdf MPCDF 3299-1157 A.1.77
Etzel, Lando Melvin von Student etzel 462 A.2.15
Fallavollita, Francesco, Ph.D. Postdoc fallavol 256 A.3.01
Feng Lin, Storm Student storm A.2.17
Grewe, Simon PhD Student grewe 358 A.2.19
Hanser, Elias Student hansere 299 220
Hessler, Johannes PhD Student jhessler 453 A.2.28
Hill, Siddha Student siddha 453 229
Holzbock, Michael, Dr. Postdoc holzbock 376 A.2.23
Kado, Marumi, Prof. Dr. Director kado 382 A.2.45
Kakati, Nilotpal PhD Student nkakati nnn A.2.30
Kiryunin, Andrey, Ph.D. Senior Scientist kiryunin 286 A.0.91
Kluth, Stefan, PD Dr. Senior Scientist skluth 468 A.2.37
Kortner, Oliver, PD Dr. Senior Scientist kortner 240 A.2.12
Kortner, Sandra, Dr. Senior Scientist sandra 288 A.2.14
Kroha, Hubert, Prof. Dr. Senior Scientist kroha 435 A.2.29
Leis, Ulrich Engineering leis 550 A.1.67
Li, Changqiao, Ph.D. Postdoc changqia 265 A.2.30
Maly, Pavel, Ph.D. Engineering pmaly 385 B.2.FL2
Meier, Nick Student meiernic 240 119
Menke, Sven, Dr. Senior Scientist menke 410 A.1.37
Murnauer, Josef Student josef 453 A.2.28
Nisius, Richard, PD Dr. Senior Scientist nisius 474 A.1.43
Piacquadio, Giacinto, Dr. Visiting Scientist giacinto 416 A.2.26
Proto, Giorgia, Dr. Postdoc proto 559 A.3.01
Reed, Alice PhD Student reed 220 A.2.19
Rendel, Marian PhD Student rendel 559 A.2.21
Richter, Robert, Dr. Senior Scientist richterr 358 A.1.15
Sahinsoy Karacasu, Merve, Dr. Postdoc sahinsoy 565 A.2.30
Schacht, Peter, Dr. Emeritus pys 228 A.1.15
Schielke, Anja Secretary schielke 299 A.2.47
Schmidt, Elia Student elia 462 A.2.17
Soyk, Daniel Engineering soyk 374 B.2.FL2
Spalla, Margherita, Dr. Postdoc mspalla 286 A.3.03
Stonjek, Stefan, Dr. Senior Scientist stonjek 296 A.2.39
Tabriz, Meisam IT tabriz 603 A.1.77
Turkovic, Timur Student turkovic 559 122
Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr. Senior Scientist andriish 453 A.2.33
Voevodina, Elena, Dr. Postdoc voevodin 559 A.2.23
Wenke, Nina PhD Student wenke 767 A.2.19
Zimmermann, Jörg Engineering joergzim 446 B.2.FL2

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