The LHC accelerator uses 120 tons of helium to keep its magnets at 1.9°K, which is colder than outer space.
The ATLAS Experiment is a general-purpose particle physics detector located at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. It is one of the detectors that will take advantage of the state of the art accelerator known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC, after a problematic startup in Sep 08, is scheduled to begin collisions in Fall 09, at which time it will be the highest energy accelerator in the world. The LHC collides two beams of protons, each of energy 7 TeV and so travelling only 3 m/s slower than the speed of light. The extra energy, a factor of 7 more than the current highest-energy machine, the Tevatron at Fermilab, will allow us, for the first time, to probe nature via collisions at an energy that will test crucial features of our understanding of basic physics, and possibly reveal a wide range of new physics, from new symmetries, new forces, and new particles, to new dimensions.
ATLAS stands for (A) (T)oroidal (L)HC (A)pparatu(S), which is admittedly a bit of a stretch for an acronym. A very, very detailed description of the detector has now been published and can be found online here. An introduction to the detector, more suited for a general audience can be found at the public ATLAS webpages at CERN. A wealth of additional information, images, news and other ATLAS resources can be found there as well.
Our group is involved in the central tracker of ATLAS, known as the Inner Detector. In particular, we are part of the team building the Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT) component -- a straw-tube based tracker that also serves as an electron identification component. Details on the TRT, and our part in the Data Acquisition System electronics can be found under the TRT ROD section. Many talks, from introductions to the concept of a Transition Radiation Detector, to details on testing and implementation, can be found under the talks section.
These pages are mostly working pages for the UBC ATLAS group and other members of the ATLAS TRT community, and many internal pages, such as those on unpublished analyses, electronics testing, etc. require authorization to access. However, where possible we have tried to allow visitors to view, but not alter, the information.