ATLAS leader bound for CERN

January 20, 2012

SFU physics professor Michel Vetterli, project leader for the ATLAS Canadian Data Analysis Centre at TRIUMF, Canada’s national particle and nuclear physics laboratory, has been appointed deputy chair of the ATLAS Publications Committee (PubCom), effective this March.

The ATLAS particle detector at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, dubbed the world’s biggest physics experiment, is probing the fundamental forces that have shaped the universe since the beginning of time. It could shed light on the origins of mass and other dimensions of space.

Vetterli will take over as chair of the ATLAS PubCom in March 2013 and move to Geneva for a year. The PubCom is responsible for reviewing all papers and scientific notes published by ATLAS, an international collaboration of nearly 3,000 physicists and engineers.

“It’s like being on a thesis supervisory committee, but you’re interacting with more senior people so it’s more challenging,” says Vetterli of his new role. “As part of the executive board, you’re in on many high-level discussions and you get to express your opinions.”

One of the six LHC particle-detector experiments, ATLAS uses proton-proton collisions at the highest energy ever achieved in a laboratory to look for the Higgs Boson, christened the “God particle,” central to the current model of how subatomic particles attain mass.

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