What experiments do we work on?
The acronym ATLAS stands for A Toroidal Large hadron collider Aparatus. ATLAS is a detector designed, primarily, to detect the Higgs particle. It is in the process of being built at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, and is expected to be completed and running by 2007. The ATLAS Experiment for the Large Hadron Collider is under construction at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Its goal is to explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe. ATLAS is the largest collaborative effort ever attempted in the physical sciences. There are 2000 physicists participating from more than 150 universities and laboratories in 34 countries. You can see a bit more about the work that Melbourne is doing for ATLAS at our ATLAS Activities page.
The Belle Collaboration is an international group of more than 400 physicists and engineers from 62 institutes across 16 different countries dedicated to investigating the differences between matter and antimatter. Located at the KEK accelerator facility in Tsukuba, Japan, this experiment examines the decay of B-mesons produced by the KEKB B-factory, a 10.58 GeV asymmetric collider. The University of Melbourne is heavily involved in many facets of this experiment, with projects including the hardware, software and physical analyses aspects Belle and its successor Belle II. Check out our Belle experiment page for more details
Positron Emission Tomography is an medical imaging technique, which allows 3-Dimensional imaging of internal organs within the body via the use of positron emitting radioisotopes. The resultant positron self-annhilates producing two anti-parallel gamma-ray photons. PET scanners detect these coincident pairs of gamma-photons using a ring that surrounds the patient. The Melbourne Experimental Particle Physics (EPP) group in collaboration with the Medical Radiation Physics Group at the University of Wollongong is involved in the design of a new PET detector module. The new design utilise silicon pixel detectors coupled to both pixellated scintillators and readout electronics. The new detector module will provide an improvement in spatial resolution in comparison with standard PET cameras.