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 measurements, ATLAS is now used to search for Beyond Standard Model (BSM) physics, which includes supersymmetry (susy), extra dimensions, 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 focussed on Higgs physics, tau production, supersymmetry, and quark substructure, and we are also strongly involved with general ATLAS computing. The proposal for the Tier-1 data centre at TRIUMF was led by SFU, and the university itself will soon host a Tier-2 data centre which will provide a data access gateway. We are also involved with real time detector performance and physics monitoring via the ATLAS Global Monitoring infrastructure, which helps with data preparation for the whole collaboration.
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 particle searches, top quark physics, electroweak physics and BSM physics. Bernd was a founding member of the CDF single top analysis group, which he led from 2007 to 2008, collaborating with the DØ team in the discovery of this important process.