Category Archives: ATLAS

15 years in ATLAS

Fifteen years ago, Tuesday 8 March 2005 at 9:57am, I received my CERN account, to start working for the ATLAS Experiment.

What started as an internship – chosen because of a lack of courses in the field I originally planned to pursuit, the physics of macromolecules – in the high-energy-physics group at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, turned into a stay at CERN during the Summer Student Programme and a Master’s thesis about the electron identification with the ATLAS transition-radiation tracker (internal) together with studies on a precision measurement of the W-boson mass.

During my PhD at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY in Zeuthen and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and various short stays at CERN I was mainly working on the commissioning of the ATLAS pixel detector (internal) and data-driven algorithms to determine the W+Jets background in events with pair-produced top quarks, and was involved in the startup of the German National Analysis Facility.

Going back to the Niels Bohr Institute as a postdoc, I started working on searches for unconventional signatures and long-lived particles and got stuck with that ever since.

I started out looking for heavy, charged long-lived particles, an analysis I continued also after moving to LMU Munich in 2014.  Since then, I had the pleasure of leading two ATLAS physics subgroups – supersymmetry with R-parity-violating and long-lived signatures as well as exotics with unconventional and exotic Higgs decays – and joined a community effort in documenting the current status and harmonise searches for long-lived particles at the LHC. Amongst other things, I am currently also working on searches for Soft Unclustered Energy Patterns as signatures of strongly coupled Hidden Sectors and just finished my habilitation.

Besides physics analysis, especially looking for long-lived particles, I was always interested in science communication and education and have been involved in outreach projects since 2006. Highlights were and are certainly the design of the ATLAS LEGO model in 2011, the creation of the ‘Build Your Own Particle Detector‘ programme in 2013 and running it since, the coordination of the ATLAS contribution to the 2019 CERN Open Days, and the still ongoing work on a new ATLAS Visitor Centre. Since 2018, I am also an Education & Outreach coordinator for the ATLAS Collaboration.

I hope to have quite a few more years within ATLAS and other collaborations …

Habilitation

Yesterday, I officially finished my habilitation at LMU Munich by picking up my diploma.
So from now on it’s not just Dr. rer. nat. it’s also Dr. habil.

My last deed in the process, I did already on 5 February with a scientific debate about my main research topic: “Searches for new physics in signatures of long-lived particles”. Hopefully soon, following some more paperwork, I will also have my venia legendi and be a Privatdozent for experimental physics at LMU Munich.

My 2019 physics wrap-up

It’s been quite the year …

On the physics side, our search for heavy, charged long-lived particles in ATLAS using 2015 and 2016 data as well as several analyses I had been on the ATLAS editorial board for or was involved in as ATLAS PubCom reader got published this year.
We continued exploring a first-ever search for Soft Unclustered Energy Patterns (SUEPs) as a sign of Hidden Valley / Hidden Sector models, and I was invited to give a talk about searches for long-lived particles at the LHC at this year’s Frühjahrstagung of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. I was able to join the Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference in Puebla, Mexico to talk about searches for long-lived particles as well as science communication in ATLAS and the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG).
In addition, the long-standing community white paper on searches for long-lived particles beyond the Standard Model at the Large Hadron Collider is finally under journal review.

On the outreach side, obviously the CERN Open Days have been the most visible activity this year, while a lot of other projects went on behind the scenes. I finally manage to get the ATLAS mural at Point 1 at CERN a make-over, ten years after its initial creation. And the renovation of the ATLAS Visitor Centre is, despite a few unforeseeable delays, in full swing and we hope to reopen in early 2020.

Luckily I also had multiple chances to see ATLAS this year, due to the Open Days preparations as well as several outreach projects we are working on, from more professional underground virtual visits to a 360 degrees virtual visit to the cavern.

And in the spirit of the holidays and competing with lasts year’s pictures, also this year we put together some season-inspired pictures … you’ll see more of that in the coming days ;)

Last but not least, I also handed in my habilitation report a few weeks before Christmas.
Let’s see if that helps in finding a new job net year …

LHCP2019

taken from https://indico.cern.ch/event/687651/
Conference picture taken from https://indico.cern.ch/event/687651/

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in the 7th edition of the Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference (LHCP) in Puebla, Mexico.

Besides talking about latest updates on “Searches for long-lived particles in ATLAS” and “Particle Physics Outreach as a Strategic Pillar for Society: A report from IPPOG”, as well as presenting posters on “Communicating ATLAS: adapting to an ever-changing media landscape” and “ATLAS Outreach: on the dissemination of High Energy Physics and Computer Sciences“, I also had the chance to see a – way too tiny – bit of Mexico during the week.

Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of my original flight to Mexico and the resulting late arrival, an extremely persistent jet lag waking we up at around 3am each day, and the fact that I already had to leave on Friday, there wasn’t really any time to explore much of Mexico. So I could only see a bit of Puebla’s city centre and – through the conference excursion – the archeological site of Teotihuacan.

Quite an intense week with lots of physics (see timetable), little sleep, lots of Mexican food and many people to meet. If only Mexico wasn’t a twelve-hour flight away …

Continue reading LHCP2019

Spring conferences

March is spring-conference time and ATLAS has presented some very nice results at the Moriond meeting in La Thuile over the past couple of days (and so have other experiments). Along with these results and the related publications we’ve been putting out several Physics Briefings highlighting some of the most interesting results and a summary piece.

In parallel, I’m at the spring meeting of the German Physical Society in Aachen this week. Our annual week with hundreds of talks and updates on particle physics in Germany and in general, this year enriched by talks on didactics and artificial intelligence.

On Tuesday I gave an invited-talk on “Searches for long-lived particles as signs of new physics at the LHC”, trying to convince a more people to join the hunt for long-lived particles ;)