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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

Group members

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Baier, Thomas

Student --- 226

Barillari, Teresa, Dr.

Scientist 369 227

Baron Perez, Nicolas

Student 462 205

Bethke, Siegfried, Prof. Dr.

Director 381 219

Bongratz, Patrick

Student 256 121

Brandenstein, Chiara

Student --- 122

Britzger, Daniel

Postdoc 453 229

Chikkaballi Ramalingegowda, Abishek

Student 416 207

Cieri, Davide, Dr.

Postdoc 358 230

Delle Fratte, Cesare

Scientist MPCDF 3299-1157 RZG

Duda, Dominik, Dr.

Postdoc 256 121

Gadow, Philipp

PhD-Student 220 129

Gruener, Inken

Student 256 121

Guescini, Francesco, Ph.D.

Postdoc 416 207

Hadzic, Sejla

PhD-Student 462 205

Hönle, Andreas

PhD-Student 220 129

Jimenez Pena, Javier, Ph.D.

Postdoc 265 206

Junggeburth, Johannes

PhD-Student 226 126

Kiryunin, Andrey, Ph.D.

Scientist 286 130

Klinke, Maximilian

Student 376 226

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 358 230

McCarthy, Thomas George, Ph.D.

Postdoc 540 210

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

Schmidt-Sommerfeld, Korbinian

PhD-Student 376 226

Soyk, Daniel

Engineering 374 443

Spalla, Margherita, Dr.

Postdoc 286 130

Stonjek, Stefan, Dr.

Scientist 296 221

Tafula, Sergio

Scientist MPCDF 3299-1542 RZG

Veneris, Sophia

Student 256 121

Verbytskyi, Andrii, Dr.

Scientist 453 229

Voevodina, Elena, Dr.

Scientist 559 122

Voithenleitner, Michael

Student 462 205

Walbrecht, Verena

PhD-Student 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