ATLAS Week: through the eyes of students

18 October 2023 | By

It's no secret that the success of ATLAS depends on the close collaboration of research teams located at member universities and laboratories worldwide. So, every year ATLAS members are invited to meet in person to discuss ongoing projects, exchange ideas for new physics analyses and discuss the future of particle physics.

Today marks the beginning of a new ATLAS Week at CERN. Among the hundreds of physicists and engineers who are attending, students will certainly be the most excited about the opportunity to present and discuss their work.

ATLAS students, Sarah and Bruna, were at the last ATLAS Week in Vancouver, Canada, and share what the experience was like:

Sarah Alshamaily, University of Victoria (CA)

Taking part in the ATLAS Week in Vancouver was an incredible and beneficial experience for a student like myself! I was exposed to the different research being conducted within the ATLAS Collaboration, from projects that I have worked on to projects that I have only heard of. Being exposed to the work within all of these areas has shown me how big a collaboration like ATLAS really is, and how the different moving parts all come together to contribute effectively to scientific discovery and achievement.

Moreover, because I was given the opportunity to present my research work, I built my public speaking and communication skills. I was able to interact with like-minded professionals, ranging from professors to graduate students. It was a great way for me to expand my current network.

Lastly, it was all together a very fun and packed event! Every attendee was given the chance to go on an excursion, as well as attend a cruise boat dinner. Partaking in these social events was very entertaining!

Bruna Pascual Dias, Universite de Montreal (CA)

I found this experience particularly motivating and insightful, as we were reminded once again of the importance and the broad range of activities that the ATLAS Collaboration performs. We also got the chance to meet incredible people and share the feeling that we are part of something bigger. To meet the people we work with on a daily basis, but that we only have interacted with virtually, was also particularly rewarding, as we get to know each other better and strengthen bonds.

For me, one highlight was the poster session. To be able to discuss my work with physicists from all different backgrounds allowed for interesting insights and suggestions that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Realising that people working in a completely different part of the detector are facing exactly the same challenges as you paves the way to finding better solutions together. And realising that your follow-up email will now be way more effective than one sent after a virtual meeting!

I could not help but feel once again the excitement of the first days of studying physics, when we had before us the whole universe to discover – well, we still have a lot to do, so let's keep exploring!

ATLAS students explain their posters

ATLAS students were invited to present their work during ATLAS Week in Vancouver.