Welcome to the UChicago ATLAS Group

We pursue discovery science at the highest laboratory energies

Join us


Our group collaborates in the ATLAS Experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This is not just the world's largest scientific instrument, it is a global human endeavor. Together, we probe the smallest scales to address the biggest questions in physics.

Physics analysis

The LHC enables proton-proton collisions at unprecedented center-of mass energies of up to 14 TeV. This recreates the conditions in the early universe, revealing phenomena never seen before. We lead flagship physics analyses and performance studies of the rich data collected at 7 TeV (2010-2011), 8 TeV (2012), and 13 TeV (2015-18).

Following the landmark discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, our group now studies its fundamental properties and performs cornerstone tests of the Standard Model. We also devise inventive searches for new particles and forces such as supersymmetry, which could explain the engimatic dark matter pervading the cosmos.

Instruments and computing

The group built much of the readout electronics and is embarking on their upgrades for the hadron calorimeter (TileCal), an essential instrument for measuring the quarks and gluons produced copiously at the LHC.

We play central roles in the trigger system that identifies interesting collisions. We are commissioning a new hardware-based calorimeter trigger (gFEX) while preparing a novel hardware track trigger (HTT) for the High-Luminosity LHC.

Big data underpins our physics efforts, which are supported by powerful computing resources. This includes an ATLAS Tier 3 computing system dedicated to Chicago physicists, and one of the five US ATLAS Tier 2 facilities.

Our team

The UChicago group comprises five faculty members (Kim, Miller, Oreglia, Shochet, Pilcher) along with research personnel and students. We enjoy working together in close-knit teams and collaborating internationally. Several group members are in full-time residence at CERN, with the rest at the Enrico Fermi Institute in Chicago.

We welcome interested undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers to join our group.

Our Science

Big Questions

Big Questions

How does the Higgs boson endow matter with mass?

What is the mysterious dark matter in the cosmos?

What new physics lies beyond the Standard Model?

Tile Calorimeter

Tile Calorimeter

Precision energy measurements of quarks and gluons

Operations and calibration for LHC data-taking

Radiation-hard upgrades of front-end electronics


Trigger System

Real-time decision making and high-speed electronics

Global event reconstruction with calorimeter trigger

Online collision vertexing with hardware track trigger

Image: CERN

News and Highlights

April 18-21, 2021: 🎤Lacey Rainbolt, Michael Hank, Kristin Dona, and Jesse Liu present their research at the APS April Meeting 2021; Young-Kee Kim is a panelist in the plenary session "Science on a Global Scale"
March 23, 2021: 🎓Todd Seiss (Advisor: Mel Shochet) successfully defends his thesis (Constraining the Higgs Boson Self-interaction Strength with the ATLAS Detector)
March 19, 2021: 💡First ATLAS search for vector-boson fusion production of Higgs bosons decaying to dark matter or dark photon with a photon in the final state is a Moriond 2021 highlight, co-ordinated by Doug Schaefer with involvement from Casey Frantz, Lacey Rainbolt, Ellie Rath (ATLAS-CONF-2021-004)
January 25, 2021: 🎉Congratulations Cecilia Tosciri on being awarded the 2020 ATLAS Thesis Award!
November 19, 2020: 💡UChicago News highlights Tova Holmes, Lesya Horyn, Xiaohe Jia, and Young-Kee Kim on their pioneering search for displaced leptons (arXiv:2011.07812)
October 21, 2020: 🎓Lesya Horyn (Advisor: Young-Kee Kim) successfully defends her thesis (A Search for Displaced Leptons in the ATLAS Detector)
September 14, 2020: 🔬A warm welcome to Cecilia Tosciri who joins the group as a postdoctoral researcher after completing her DPhil at the University of Oxford on machine learning and Higgs boson physics in bottom quark final states
August 15, 2020: 💡Jesse Liu co-authors a CERN Courier article highlighting photon collision results featuring his new measurement using ATLAS Forward Proton (arXiv:2009.14537)
July 29-August 6, 2020: 🎤ICHEP2020 features talks by Tova Holmes on supersymmetric long-lived particles and Jesse Liu on the ATLAS Forward Proton detector
May 26, 2020: 🎤Doug Schaefer presents at the LHCP2020 Conference impressive results on Higgs boson decays to invisible dark matter particles (ATLAS-CONF-2020-008)
February 13, 2020: 🎉UChicago News covers the National Science Foundation commitment to fund ATLAS Upgrade projects for the High-Luminosity LHC
December 16-20, 2019: ✈️US ATLAS Hadronic Final State Forum is hosted by the Chicago group co-organized by David Miller featuring lively discussions and projects on jet physics
June 17, 2019: ATLAS Collaboration Week this week at CERN features reports from Max Swiatlowski on Jets and Missing energy, Lesya Horyn on the Early Career Scientist Board, and Doug Schaefer on Vector boson fusion and scattering measurement and modelling
June 12-14, 2019: Emily Smith and David Miller present results and future possibilities for machine learning using Multi-Processor System-on-Chip (MPSoC) hardware devices at the first System-on-Chip Workshop
May 12-17, 2019: Young-Kee Kim presents the Perspective on the European Strategy from the Americas at the Open Symposium - Update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics
May 9, 2019: Emily Smith is featured in the Physical Sciences Division Spotlight