Teaching buy-out to coordinate the data taking activities of the ATLAS experiment

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


To study the physics of elementary particles the conditions which governed the universe at its
beginning are reproduced in collider experiments: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been build
at CERN, a particle accelerator which probes deeper into the processes of the Big Bang than ever
before. In 2008 it started to collide beams of protons, and collected data-sets at 7 and 8 TeV
centre-of-mass energy that enabled the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2012, which lead to the
attribution of the 2013 Noble price in Physics to Francois Englert and Peter Higgs. The LHC resumed
operation in 2015 at nearly twice the collision energy, and first results presented in
December 2015 have sparked excitement amongst scientist about the possibility of physics not described
by the Standard Model of particle physics.

Ultimately, LHC will need to deliver more collisions to have a decisive answer if the results presented in
December 2015 were the first indication of new physics or a statistical fluctuation. LHC is preparing
to produce up to 20 times the number of collision in the run-2 period during the next 2 years, and the
ATLAS experiment is preparing to take data with the highest possible efficiency.

In October 2015 AO was elected to become the next "Run Coordinator" of the ATLAS experiment by the
collaboration board, representing the 174 collaborating institutes and about 3000 scientists.
The prestigious "Run Coordinator" role is a position of high responsibility and visibility, with the
mandate to coordinate the operation of the entire ATLAS experiment. It is the mandate of the
Run Coordinator to supervise and ensure the continuous and efficient operation of the ATLAS detector.

Planned Impact

The ATLAS experiment is ramping up its data taking activities to collect 20 times the data compared to the
first data taking period with 13 TeV collision energy in 2015. The discovery potential of the ATLAS experiment
is directly linked to the efficient operation and data taking of the apparatus, which in turn depends on
the detector performance, the data quality and collection efficiency, and the coordination with the other experiments
and the accelerator operations. The Run Coordinator supervises and ensures the efficient operation of the ATLAS
experiment. This includes supervising the day-by-day run planning involving coordination with the LHC machine
and the Physics program, the organisation of the shift-crew, and first level on-call support, including
the staffing and training. The run period in the next two years will be a critical phase where the luminosity is expected
to reach its highest value of up to 1.6e34 s^-1 cm^-2, and the sub-detector systems, the
trigger, and the data-acquisition system will be pushed to the technical design limits.

The support of the Run Coordinator role has a direct impact on the success of ATLAS data-taking in run-2,
and therefor enables the discovery of possibly new physics as the first results of the 2015 run suggest,
and definitely allows to conclude with a firm statement on the observed excesses.
The general public will benefit from the impact of new discoveries and the exploration of the new energy
regime with sufficient statistical precision to confirm or rule out new models and extensions to the standard models.
The data set will also provided guidance about the future direction of particle physics experiments by providing information
about the scale where new physics can be expected, and thus facilitate major funding decision into new particle physics experiments.

More generally the ATLAS experiment is not only build at the technological frontier of detector, data acquisition and processing
technology, but has also attracted interest from the social sciences to study the organisational challenges of a multi-national
and very dynamic flat hierarchy. The successful exploitation allows to demonstrate viable concepts, and to spin-off new technologies and concepts into related fields.


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Description LHCC Open Session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Nominated speaker to present the status of ATLAS at the 133rd LHCC Meeting - OPEN Session. The purpose is to present to the LHC Committee members and the public (physicists from other experiments and the LHC), the status of the ATLAS experiments, comprising the activities on sub-detector systems during the yearly shut down period, the status of physics analysis and the presentation of the most recent results, and on the experimental upgrade projects for Phase-1 and Phase-2 of the LHC. Around 100 physicists attended live in the room, much more were watching the live webcast of this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://indico.cern.ch/event/692482/
Description facebook live event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Facebook live event about kick-off for the 2017 LHC physics season.
Description: Facebook Live, focusing on physics: "So the LHC is up and running, with collisions happening. What physics questions will we be investigating this year?"
Where: CCC, LHC island and central table
Purpose: Inform the general public about the start-up of the LHC in 2017 and the goals of the experiment for this data taking period.
Outcome: Engaged with general facebook audience live in the channel, Q&A session, disseminated information about the goals of particle physics and the current experimental and theoretical landscape.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://home.cern/about/updates/2017/05/kick-2017-lhc-physics-season