ATLAS experiment

The ATLAS experiment is one of two general-purpose detectors located on the Large Hadron Collider. When the LHC runs at full energy and intensity, about 600 million proton-proton collisions take place every second inside the vast ATLAS detector.

The data the ATLAS detector records during these high-energy particle collisions allows scientists to study the properties of known particles, such as the Higgs boson, and search for new physics and phenomena. More than 3,000 scientists from 37 countries sift through this data in search of tiny signals that could answer some of mankind’s biggest questions.

More than 700 physicists, engineers, and graduate students from US universities and national laboratories contribute to ATLAS. Supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation, US ATLAS contributes to all of the detector’s systems. Resources from six US ATLAS computing centers are integrated into the global LHC computing network. US scientists develop and test vital parts of the cutting-edge data acquisition system, which converts raw data from the ATLAS detector into a digital form that physicists use to search for and measure fundamental particles and forces.



Total weight: 7,700 tons
 (more than a fully loaded Airbus)

Overall diameter: 82 feet

Overall length: 150 feet (same as the height of the Statue of Liberty)

Detection elements: 100 million

Collaborating scientists:

  • 3,000
  • 700 from the United States


  • 38 countries
  • 21 US states
  • 40 US universities
  • 4 US national laboratories

Ph.D. US physicists: 348

US graduate students: 203

Cost of US construction project: $164 million

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