ATLAS is a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The aim of ATLAS detector is to search for new physics phenomena in the proton+proton collisions at ultra-high energies. At such extreme energies the ATLAS detector has a unique potential to answer fundamental questions of the basic nature of our universe, like: What is the origin of mass? Are there extra dimensions of space? Do microscopic black holes exist? What is the origin of dark mater? What is the fate of our universe?
The ATLAS experiment is also dedicated to study nucleus-nucleus interactions at LHC energies. The aim of these studies is to uncover the physics of strongly interacting matter at large energy densities. It is expected that in heavy-ion collisions at large energies a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma(QGP), can be formed. Properties of the new phase of matter, consisting of deconfined quarks, antiquarks and gluons, will be studied by ATLAS and other LHC experiments, leading, hopefully, to full understanding of confinement phenomenon and chiral-symmetry restoration.
Our Department has played an active role in ATLAS since its very beginning. Activities in our Department involve (for more details see history and activities):
- Power supply, monitoring and control system of SemiConductor Tracker (SCT) and Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT)
- ATLAS Trigger and Data Acquisition system (T/DAQ)
- Testing of SCT modules
- Construction of support structures and cooling system
- Measurement of LHC luminosity
An extensive effort has been undertaken in our Department to study the overall ATLAS detector performance for the identification and measurements of tau-leptons. tau-lepton is important for extracting signals of new physics (Higgs, SUSY and exotic particles).
Physicists from our Department also study nuclear collisions (e.g. Pb+Pb) which will be measured in the ATLAS detector. Members of the Heavy-Ion Kraków Group determine global event properties like charged particle multiplicities, charged particle pseudo-rapidity densities, transverse energy production and collective flow effects. The global variables are of key interest, providing information on the dynamics of the collision process. The study on nuclear collisions in ATLAS greatly benefits from our experience from the PHOBOS experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The ATLAS experiment will deliver a vast amounts of data which can only be fully analyzed by using distributed computing resources, like Grid system. Members of our ATLAS group are involved in the Grid computing activities in collaboration with the Academic Computer Center CYFRONET AGH. The configuration and coordination of the activities at Polish Tier2 sites are performed in collaboration with the parent Tier1 GridKa site at Karlsruhe. We also configure and administrate the Tier3 cluster at INP PAN (see the picture).