Research at the energy frontier with the ATLAS Detector

1) Studies of the Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector

The Large Hadron Collider just outside Geneva, Switzerland, is currently delivering high energy proton-proton collisions that are being recorded by the ATLAS detector.
In the summer of 2017, we expect to have collected a very large new dataset of such collisions. Through analysis of this data, we can expand our knowledge of the fundamental nature of our world. One of the topics that will be investigated is studies of the Higgs boson, whose discovery was announced in the summer of 2012. This summer project involves physics analysis of the new data to explore kinematic and production properties of the Higgs boson in events where it decays either to two photons or to four leptons. The investigation will include working both with Monte Carlo simulated collisions and with the actual, new LHC data. As part of this project potential improvements of the reconstruction of the Higgs boson from its decay products will be investigated.


2) Characterization of the electrical properties of silicon sensors for the ATLAS detector upgrade at the LHC

In 2024-2025, the Large Hadron Collider and the ATLAS detector will undergo major upgrades to prepare for the High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) that will start in about 2026. HL-LHC will operate at a significantly higher intensity: the instantaneous luminosity of the proton beams will be seven times that of the design criteria. This significantly enhances the overall physics potential, but also makes the experimental conditions harsher and more challenging. The entire inner tracking detector of ATLAS will need to be replaced with a new silicon Inner Tracker detector (ITk) to cope with this situation.

The particle physics group at Carleton University is actively working on this detector upgrade, and is looking for interested students to work on the characterization and performance evaluation of the prototype ITk detector modules. This work will include the study of the state-of-the-art thin silicon sensors that will be probed by dedicated equipment in order to understand their physics performance under carefully controlled environmental conditions. As a separate task, the complete analog and digital characterization of the radiation-hard ABCstar readout chip will also be performed. The project will require C++-based analysis of the detector signals.

For more information on the ATLAS project at Carleton University, please consult


Professor Alain Bellerive, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Thomas Koffas, Department of Physics, Carleton University
Professor Dag Gillberg, Department of Physics, Carleton University