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Dr. Thomas Koffas

Carleton University

Date of Live Presentation: tba
Location: tba


A new paradigm for a new era: The ITk detector for the High-Luminosity LHC at CERN


In 2026 the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) at CERN will begin its decade-long operations. With a rate of proton collisions more than ten times that of its predecessor the LHC, the HL-LHC will be the most powerful particle collider built in human history. In order to cope with the novel experimental conditions, the ATLAS detector will be equipped with a new charged particle tracker, the ITk. Designed to withstand radiation levels typically found in the core of a commercial nuclear reactor and employing state-of-the-art thin silicon wafers as the main detecting devices, the ITk will be the largest all semi-conductor tracking detector ever assembled, and will allow the study of extremely rare physics processes. For example, the interactions among several Higgs bosons, an effect that has never been observed but could prove to be one of our best portals to discover new physics phenomena, and further improve our understanding of the universe. In this lecture, the motivation, research and development work associated with the construction of the ITk will be presented. Particular emphasis will be given to the technological breakthroughs required to enable the work. The physics potential and its possibilities for new discoveries will also be examined. The Canadian contributions will be clearly outlined in each phase. The lecture will also describe how the ITk project has enabled synergies with other disciplines such as, micro-electronics engineering, material science, signal processing, as well as with the high-tech industry. One thing is certain, more than anything else the ITk is initiating a major evolution in detector technology, assembly and operation. It provides a real example of how science, technology and industry can collaborate in answering important questions about the universe. This is a fundamental shift in the experimental particle physics paradigm and it is the appropriate beginning of a new

Short bio

Dr. Thomas Koffas is an Associate Professor of Physics at Carleton University. He completed his Ph.D. at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 1999. His work provided the first experimental observation of the creation of an electron-positron pair in inelastic light-by-light scattering. It inaugurated a new era in experimental particle physics, that of non-linear QED measurements. He remained at Stanford as a Research Associate and was one of the founding members of the EXO collaboration and he was instrumental in the development of a novel liquid-xenon Time-Projection detector (TPC). This formed the basis of the EXO-200 detector that till recently had delivered the most competitive limit on the absolute neutrino mass measurement through the search of a phenomenon known as the neutrinoless double-beta decay. In 2004 he joined CERN as a fellow and then as a staff physicist and became a member of the ATLAS collaboration. He participated in the commissioning of the current ATLAS Inner Tracker and in the successful operation of the LHC for which he was awarded the CERN Director’s General award in 2009. He then played a major role in the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012. He was invited to present the Higgs-boson discovery

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