ATLAS at CERN
The ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) experiment at CERN near Geneva has been in operation since 2009, studying proton-proton collisions at the highest energies ever achieved in the laboratory. ATLAS is a general purpose experiment that searches for a wide variety of phenomena, and was one of two detectors at CERN to discover the Higgs particle. This discovery confirmed the mechanism by which fundamental particles have mass in the Standard Model of particle physics. In addition to refining Higgs boson measurements, ATLAS is now used to search for Beyond Standard Model (BSM) physics, including supersymmetry (susy), extra dimensions, dark matter and quark substructure.
The ATLAS collaboration involves many institutions worldwide, each of which tend to specialize in a few of the many physics searches being undertaken. Our group is currently focused on Higgs boson measurements in di-tau and WW final states, searches for physics beyond the standard model and quark substructure. The group is strongly involved with general ATLAS computing and ATLAS detector upgrades. The proposal for the Tier-1 data centre at TRIUMF was led by SFU, and the University is hosting a Tier-2 data centre which will provide a data access gateway. Our group is also contributing to several aspects of the ATLAS detector upgrades. For the new ATLAS Inner Tracking detector (ITk), SFU is building ITk silicon-microstrip modules and developing fully automated ITk module mounting onto the larger ITk detector structures (petals).
DØ at Fermilab
The DØ experiment at Fermilab near Chicago operated from 1992 to 2011, studying proton-proton collisions just like ATLAS does currently. Our group's activities on DØ focussed on top-quark physics, calorimetry, and computing. In particular we contributed to the first observation of electroweak top quark production, also known as "single top production". Top quarks had previously only been seen to be produced in pairs via the strong interaction, and the discovery of single top production provided a key insight. The three central contributors to this discovery were honoured for this work, with Dugan O'Neil awarded the BC Innovation Council's Young Innovator prize, Yann Coadou (research associate) awarded the Fermilab Tollestrup Award, and Dag Gilberg (graduate student) selected to give a plenary talk at the Fermilab Users' Meeting.
CDF at Fermilab
Faculty member Bernd Stelzer provided our group's connection to the CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab) experiment, which ran from 1985 to 2011. Bernd was involved with several key CDF analyses, including Higgs boson searches, top quark physics and BSM searches. Bernd was a founding member of the CDF single top analysis group, which he led from 2007 to 2009.