NYU joins ATLAS project to explore fundamental nature of matter

Jul 26, 2006

A team of New York University physicists has joined a world-wide collaboration to investigate the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape the universe. The collaboration, ATLAS, is based at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, and will employ CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which will be operational in the latter half of 2007.

Members of the NYU Experimental High Energy Physics group who will be working on this project include Professors Peter Nemethy and Allen Mincer, and researchers Rashid Djilkibaev, Rostislav Konoplich, Christopher Musso, and Long Zhao.

The Atlas collaboration, which includes 1800 physicists from 150 institutions in 35 countries, will measure collisions between bunches of protons occurring 40 million times a second. The LHC, which is being built in a 27 kilometer circumference tunnel and which upon completion will be the world's highest energy accelerator, will speed up and steer counter-rotating proton bunches so that they collide in the center of the ATLAS detector. The debris of the collisions reveals the nature of fundamental particle processes and may also contain as-yet undiscovered particles. The energy density in these high energy collisions is similar to that of the early universe less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Among other studies, ATLAS will search for the Higgs particle, which is the only predicted particle of the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has yet to be detected. The Standard Model of Particle Physics describes the universe in terms of its fundamental particles and the forces between them. The project will also seek to detect a host of new particles not described in the Standard Model of Particle Physics but predicted by many Beyond the Standard Model theories such as Supersymmetry.

The NYU physicists will contribute to the endeavor by developing a method for culling collisions relevant to their investigation from the large number occurring. At about 2 Mega Bytes of information per event, storing 40 million bunch-crossings per second would require one thousand 80 gigabyte disks (the size of a hard disk on a typical personal computer) per second. As it is not possible to deal with so much data, ATLAS uses three stages of storing and discarding collisions that ultimately lets the researchers store about one out of 200,000 events. The NYU team is currently focusing on one property of these interactions that allows separation of meaningful from insignificant collisions.

For more on ATLAS, go to atlas.ch/

Source: New York University

Explore further: Physicist's Nobel Prize up for auction, $325,000 to start

Related Stories

Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

26 minutes ago

Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome ...

Recommended for you

On-demand X-rays at synchrotron light sources

17 hours ago

Consumers are now in the era of "on-demand" entertainment, in which they have access to the books, music and movies they want thanks to the internet. Likewise, scientists who use synchrotron light sources ...

New model sheds light on 'flocking' behaviour

May 26, 2015

Understanding how turbulence can alter the shape and course of a flock of birds, a swarm of insects or even an algal bloom could help us to better predict their impact on the environment.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.