Research Area(s): Particle Physics
Beate Heinemann received her Diploma (1996) and PhD (1999) from the University of Hamburg in Germany. From 1999-2002 she had a postdoctoral fellowship from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. From 2002-2004 she had a PPARC Advanced Fellowship and from 2004-2006 a fellowship from the Royal Society at the University of Liverpool. In 2006 she was appointed Associate Professor of Physics at the University of California Berkeley.
Particle Physics is trying to understand at a very fundamental how our Universe works. What is matter made of, what forces are there and why, what happened in between the Big Bang and now to cause the Universe to be as it is?
By now we know that there are two kinds of matter, leptons and quarks, and four forces that act, the electromagnetic, the strong the weak and the gravitaional force. However, we have still many unanswered questions, e.g. cosmological data tell us that there is a lot of so-called "Dark Matter" in the Universe and the Nature of this Dark Matter is not yet understood within particle physics. Also, the fact that nowadays there is only matter and no anti-matter in the Universe is as yet unexplained within particle physics. High energy accelerators create conditions that allow us to shed light on such phenomena. At high energies new particles may be produced that could e.g. be the dark matter.
In 2012 the LHC addressed the question whether there is a fundamental Higgs boson as was first suggested in 1964. This particle would interact with all other fundamental particles and give them mass. On July 4th 2012 the ATLAS and CMS collaborations made preliminary announcements that they see a new particle that is consistent with being a Higgs boson and ATLAS published this result end of July 2012.
Since 2015 the LHC is operating at a higher energy than ever before, 13 TeV. This higher energy opens up new possibilities for finding new particles and new laws of Nature.
The ATLAS experiment is a big enterprise: about 3000 scientists and many engineers and technicians are currently involved in operating the experiment and analyzing it's data. The opportunities for making a new discovery are great which is why so many scientists work on ATLAS and its rival experiment CMS. The experiments are also so complex that it takes so many physicists plus many many technicians and engineers to first construct and now operate these detectors.
The LHC program has only just started. It is expected to run until about 2035 and collect more than 100 times the amount of data collected so far.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Search for heavy lepton resonances decaying to a Z boson and a lepton jj in pp Collisions at /s =8 TeV with the ATLAS Detector", JHEP 09 (2015) 108. Linked here.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Evidence for Electroweak Production of W+-W+- jj in pp Collisions at /s =8 TeV with the ATLAS Detector", Phys. Rev. Lett. 113 (2014) 141803. Linked here.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Improved luminosity determination in pp collisions at /s=7 TeV using the ATLAS detector at the LHC", Eur. Phys. J 73 (2013) 2518. Linked here.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Search for doubly-charged Higgs bosons in like-sign dilepton final states at /s=7 TeV with the ATLAS detector”, Eur. Phys. J 72 (2012) 2244. LInked here.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Observation of a new particle in the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the ATLAS detector at the LHC", Phys. Lett. B 716 (2012) 1. Linked here.
ATLAS Collaboration, "Measurement of the Inelastic Proton-Proton Cross-Section at /s=7 TeV with the ATLAS Detector", Nature Commun. 2 (2011) 9. Linked here.
CDF Collaboration (A. Abulencia et al.), “Measurement of the b jet cross-section in events with a Z boson in p anti-p collisions at /s= 1.96 TeV”, Phys.Rev.D 74 (2006) 032008. Linked here.
A. Bhatti, F. Canelli, B. Heinemann et al., “Determination of the jet energy scale at the collider detector at Fermilab”, Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 566 (2006) 375. Linked here.
CDF II Collaboration (D. Acosta et al.), “Measurement of W gamma and Z gamma production in p anti-p collisions at /s = 1.96-TeV”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 (2005) 041803. Linked here.
H1 Collaboration (C. Adloff et al.). “Measurement of neutral and charged current cross-sections in electron - proton collisions at high Q2”, Eur. Phys. J. C 19 (2001) 269. Linked here.
H1 Collaboration (C. Adloff et al.) “Measurement of neutral and charged current cross-sections in positron proton collisions at large momentum transfer” Eur. Phys. J. C 13 (2000) 609. Linked here.