Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics
An Organized Research Unit at UC Santa Cruz

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Theoretical Reserach



ATLAS is one of two main particle detectors that will perform experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a 16.8 mile (27 km) diameter accelerator ring located 328 feet (~100 m) underground at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. By colliding particle beams into each other within the detector, physicists can observe the intrinsic behavior of subatomic particles to help understand more about the Standard Modeland to unlock valuable information about the origin and nature of our universe. The Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics is one of several organizations involved in the development, construction and exploitation of the ATLAS detector.

One of SCIPP's local projects is BaBar.  BaBar stands for the two meson particles being researched, B and B-bar. This experiment makes use of electron-positron (a positron is an anti-matter electron) annihilation to produce a very massive state of matter known as the bottom meson.  Detailed studies of the time-dependence of the decay patterns of this unstable form of matter is expected to shed light on the nature of so-called "CP Violation" (Charged Parity) in the fundamental interactions of nature.  The figure above is the SLAC accelerator ring. It was developed to create the collision rate needed for electrons and positrons, coming from opposite directions, to hit and collide in order to produce meson B particles.  The experiment also hopes to answer questions of relevance to cosmologists about how it came to be that the universe is made up of particles without the same number of anti-particles, their counterparts. This may begin to explain the dynamics of the origin of the universe.


This page created and maintained by Vicki Johnson

Updated: August 25, 2011