ATLAS is one of the four major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The LHC is 27 kilometres in diameter, making it 1500 times larger than TRIUMF’s 520 MeV. The cyclotron can accelerate particles up to 75% the speed of light, while the LHC can accelerate beams of protons up to 99.999999% the speed of light.
Since 1992, ATLAS, the world’s largest particle detector, has convened thousands of researchers in pursuit of expanding the horizons of our knowledge about the Universe. It measures almost 50 metres long, and weighs 7,000 tonnes.
Within ATLAS, over a billion particle interactions happen every second. Six different detector systems to track particle collisions as they shatter into rare and short-lived forms of matter. But parses and records only the most interesting events, re-tracing specific kinds of particle interactions that help understand a wide range of physics, from dark matter to the search for new dimensions.
As part of an international network of high-performance computing centres, Canadian ATLAS researchers operate the Canadian Tier-1 Data Centre, one of ten global ATLAS Tier-1 Data Centres.