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


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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The discovery of the Higgs boson isn't like the average record listet in the Guiness Book of Records. Normally achievements listet in the book can be exceeded. Because of its scientific significance the discovery of the 'God Particle' was included in the Guiness Book of Records on occasion of the…

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Group members

E-mail address:
Phone number: +49 89 32354-extension
name function e-mail extension office
Barillari, Teresa, Dr. Scientist barilla 369 227
Bethke, Siegfried, Prof. Dr. Director bethke 381 219
Britzger, Daniel Postdoc britzger 453 229
Buchin, Daniel PhD-Student dbuchin 376 226
Casado Moran, David Student davidcm 119
Cieri, Davide, Dr. Postdoc dcieri 226 126
Delle Fratte, Cesare Scientist drfalk3n MPCDF 3299-1157 MPCDF
Duda, Dominik, Dr. Postdoc dduda 256 121
Grewe, Simon PhD-Student grewe 358 126
Guescini, Francesco, Ph.D. Postdoc guescini 416 207
Hadzic, Sejla PhD-Student hadzic 462 205
Hessler, Johannes Student jhessler 229
Hill, Siddha Student siddha 453 229
Holzbock, Michael, Dr. Postdoc holzbock 376 226
Jimenez Pena, Javier, Ph.D. Postdoc jajipe 265 206
Kado, Marumi, Prof. Director CERN 223
Kiryunin, Andrey, Ph.D. Scientist kiryunin 286 130
Kiwit, Florian Student fkiwit 220 129
Klinkenberg, Ludwig Student klinken 559 122
Kluth, Stefan, PD Dr. Scientist skluth 468 246
Kortner, Oliver, PD Dr. Scientist kortner 240 119
Kortner, Sandra, Dr. Scientist sandra 288 127
Kroha, Hubert, Prof. Dr. Scientist kroha 435 120
Leis, Ulrich Engineering leis 550 122C
Maly, Pavel Engineering pmaly 385 451
Menke, Sven, Dr. Scientist menke 410 209
Nisius, Richard, PD Dr. Scientist nisius 474 225
Reed, Alice PhD-Student reed 220 129
Rendel, Marian PhD-Student rendel 559 122
Richter, Robert, Dr. Scientist richterr 358 230
Sahinsoy Karacasu, Merve, Dr. Postdoc sahinsoy 565 206
Schacht, Peter, Dr. Emeritus pys 228 210
Schielke, Anja Secretary schielke 299 220
Schmidlechner, Michael Student schmidle 226 126
Soyk, Daniel Engineering soyk 374 443
Spalla, Margherita, Dr. Postdoc mspalla 286 130
Stonjek, Stefan, Dr. Scientist stonjek 296 221
Turkovic, Timur Student turkovic 559 122
Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr. Scientist andriish 453 229
Voevodina, Elena, Dr. Postdoc voevodin 559 122
Wenke, Nina PhD-Student wenke 767 229
Wesely, Bastian Student wesely 240 119
Zimmermann, Joerg Engineering joergzim 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