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.

ATLAS at the MPP

Chip technologies play an important role in particle physics: they process experimental data, for example from collision experiments, telescope recordings or dark matter detection instruments (Photo: matejmo/iStock)

MPI for Physics launches international initiative for chip technology

First meeting of the FPGA Developers’ Forum from 11-13 June, 2024

Whether telescopes, collision experiments or detectors for the detection of dark matter, in experimental particle physics, nothing works without FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). Thanks to their reprogrammable capacity and their great…

Read more
The large-scale "ATLAS detector" project was initiated 30 years ago. (Photo: Claudia Marcelloni/CERN)

30 years of ATLAS - 30 years of ATLAS at the MPP

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…

Read more
A collision event in the ATLAS detector: Higgs boson coupling to top quark (Picture: ATLAS/CERN)

10 years of the Higgs boson

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…

Read more
Team work in the clean room: MPP employees are mounting an optical measuring system onto the drift tube layers. It monitors potential deformations due to the self-weight of the muon chamber. The signal wires in the drift tubes are positioned with an accuracy of 1 hundreth of a millimeter. (Photo B. Wankerl/MPP)

ATLAS muon chambers in series production

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…

Read more
Transport of a muon chamber to its destination (Photo: H. Kroha/MPP)

Installation of new muon detectors in the ATLAS experiment

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…

Read more
A candidate event display for the production of a Higgs boson decaying to two b-quarks (blue cones), in association with a W boson decaying to a muon (red) and a neutrino.

There it is: ATLAS observes Higgs boson decay to a pair of bottom quarks

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…

Read more
ATLAS candidate event for the Higgs boson production in association with two top quarks. The Higgs boson is detected through its decay into two photons (light blue lines), while the top quark decays are reconstructed from six hadronic showers (yellow and blue cones).

Scientists observe coupling of the Higgs boson to top quarks

New Results from the ATLAS Experiment

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…

Read more
A candidate for a Higgs boson decay into two electrons (blue) and two muons (red), recorded in September 2015 with the ATLAS detector at the LHC.

Exploring the unknown with the Higgs boson - new ATLAS results released

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…

Read more
The newly developed chip for the new readout system of the muon chambers used in HL-LHC. (Photo: M. Fras/MPP)

ATLAS Muon Detector Readout Electronics Workshop, 03-04 July 2017 at MPP

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…

Read more
Installation of a muon chamber in the ATLAS detector

New muon chambers successfully installed in the ATLAS detector

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…

Read more

E-mail address:
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Abovyan, Sergey abovyan 503 A.2.15
Akbiyik, Melike, Dr. Visiting Scientist makbiyik 503 A.2.15
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
Cuppini, Elena PhD Student cuppini 376 A.2.21
Delle Fratte, Cesare Senior Scientist cdf 518 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 462 A.2.17
Grewe, Simon PhD Student grewe 358 A.2.19
Griniushin, Viktor Student griniush 503 A.2.15
Hanser, Elias Student hansere 503 A.2.15
Hebbar, Pradyun Student hebbar 373 A.2.28
Hessler, Johannes PhD Student jhessler 453 A.2.28
Hildebrandt, Richard Student hildebra 453 A.2.33
Honal, Johannes Student honaljo A.2.21
Kado, Marumi, Prof. Dr. Director kado 382 A.2.45
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 A.2.15
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
Park, Tae Hyoun, Ph.D. Postdoc taehyoun 559 A.2.23
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
Resende, Francisco Student resendef A.2.23
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 PhD Student elia 552 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
Tanasini, Martino, Ph.D. Visiting Scientist tanasini 462 A.2.17
Toler, Andrew Student tolera 503 A.2.15
Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr. Senior Scientist andriish 453 A.2.30
Voevodina, Elena, Dr. Postdoc voevodin 559 A.2.23
Wenke, Nina PhD Student wenke 767 A.2.19
Zhou, Fan Student fanzhou 503 A.2.15
Zimmermann, Jörg Engineering joergzim 446 B.2.35

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