ATLAS is a particle physics experiment that will explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe. Starting in mid-2008, the ATLAS detector will search for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy. ATLAS is one of the largest collaborative efforts ever attempted in the physical sciences. There are 1800 physicists (including 400 students) participating from more than 150 universities and laboratories in 35 countries.
The protons will be accelerated in the Large Hadron Collider, an underground accelerator ring 27 kilometers in circumference at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The particle beams are steered to collide in the middle of the ATLAS detector. The debris of the collisions reveal fundamental particle processes. The energy density in these high energy collisions is similar to the particle collision energy in the early universe less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Other ATLAS Links:
ATLAS Computing at Illinois
ATLAS TileCal Project
News-Gazette article on 2013 Nobel Prize
Angels and Demons
2.38 TeV collisions on December 8, 2009