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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.

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

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)

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

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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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.

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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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).

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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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.

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 newly developed chip for the new readout system of the muon chambers used in HL-LHC. (Photo: M. Fras/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 particles and much higher accuracy in the measurement of…

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Installation of a muon chamber 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 developed and constructed at the MPP, including…

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350 drift tubes in eight layers are mounted in each muon chamber.

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

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Group members

name function extension office www

Barillari, Teresa, Dr.

Scientist 369 227

Bethke, Siegfried, Prof. Dr.

Director 381 219

Britzger, Daniel

Postdoc 453 229

Cieri, Davide, Dr.

Postdoc 226 126

Delle Fratte, Cesare

Scientist MPCDF 3299-1157 MPCDF

Duda, Dominik, Dr.

Postdoc 256 121

Eberwein, Gregor

Student 358 230

Guescini, Francesco, Ph.D.

Postdoc 416 207

Hadzic, Sejla

PhD-Student 462 205

Holzbock, Michael, Dr.

Postdoc 376 226

Hönle, Andreas

PhD-Student 220 129

Jimenez Pena, Javier, Ph.D.

Postdoc 265 206

Kiryunin, Andrey, Ph.D.

Scientist 286 130

Kluth, Stefan, PD Dr.

Scientist 468 246

Kortner, Oliver, PD Dr.

Scientist 240 119

Kortner, Sandra, Dr.

Scientist 288 127

Kroha, Hubert, Prof. Dr.

Scientist 435 120

Leis, Ulrich

Engineering 550 122C

Maschek, Stefan

PhD-Student 358 121

Menke, Sven, Dr.

Scientist 410 209

Nisius, Richard, PD Dr.

Scientist 474 225

Rendel, Marian

PhD-Student 559 122

Richter, Robert, Dr.

Scientist 358 230

Rieck, Patrick, Dr.

Postdoc 376 226

Sahinsoy Karacasu, Merve, Dr.

Postdoc 565 206

Schacht, Peter, Dr.

Scientist 228 210

Schielke, Anja

Secretary 299 220

Soyk, Daniel

Engineering 374 443

Spalla, Margherita, Dr.

Postdoc 286 130

Stonjek, Stefan, Dr.

Scientist 296 221

Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr.

Scientist 453 229

Voevodina, Elena, Dr.

Scientist 559 122

Walbrecht, Verena

Postdoc 220 129

Wenke, Nina

PhD-Student 767 229

Wesely, Bastian

220 129

Zimmermann, Joerg

Engineering 446 442

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