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Sheffield ATLAS group

ATLAS is the world's largest physics experiment and operates at the 27km Large Hadron Collider (LHC) (the world's largest machine) located at CERN in Geneva. ATLAS is designed to study the fundamental constituents of the Universe with goals including understanding the origin of mass and the nature of dark matter. The ATLAS Collaboration comprises over 3000 members from 177 universities in 38 countries.

Group activities

The Sheffield ATLAS group has been active in all aspects of the experiment, from its design and construction through to the analysis of the final data. A lot of our work is generating impact and industrial collaborations. We have a wide range of activities carried out by our group members.

SCT construction and operation

We played a major role in the construction of the Semi-Conductor Tracker (SCT) detector and continue to take leading roles in its operation and monitoring:

  • Construction and assembly of the SCT end-caps
  • SCT Database, conditions and data acquisition development
  • SCT monitoring and data quality
  • Decommissioning of the Inner Detector

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Physics analysis

Our physics analysis interest extends from searches for new physics phenomena to measurement of Standard Model properties:

  • Measurement of the Higgs boson properties in the 4-lepton, tau-tau and Zgamma channels
  • Searches for partners of the top and bottom quarks predicted by supersymmetry
  • Measurement of the ttZ production cross-section and properties
  • Measurement of the double inelastic cross-section in pp collisions

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ITk development and construction

For the future, the group is very active in preparations for the construction of a new ATLAS tracking detector for operation at the high luminosity upgrade of the LHC.

  • Assembly and test of the sensors and hybrids of the Strip detector
  • Development and assembly of the CO2 cooling system for the upgrade inner tracker
  • Development of the upgrade of the software for the high-luminosity LHC

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Software and combined performance

Our work on the software and combined performance provides the basic tools needed for successful physics analysis:

  • Development and maintenance of the electron/photon reconstruction software
  • Development and operation of the general reconstruction software
  • Validation of the ATLAS software
  • Development of new particle-flow algorithms to reconstruct ATLAS events

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Radiation environment

Our work on the simulation and understanding of the radiation environment in ATLAS is essential to understand the behaviour of the detector in the current and future running conditions:

  • Simulation of the radiation in the current inner detector and comparison with Run-2 data
  • Simulation of the radiation environment for the high-luminosity LHC upgrade
  • Test of irradiated sensors 

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Transfer of Knowledge

The research and development we carried out for ATLAS led to innovative technology that is applied outside particle physics:

  • The welding technique used for the ITk cooling loop has industrial aerospace applications (more information)
  • The robotic handling needed to operate in the radioactive ATLAS environment has applications in the Nuclear industry (more information)
  • The radiation simulation developed for ATLAS have application in the Nuclear and Space industries

Davide Costanzo (updated Oct '16)