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Commissioning and alignment of the SCT detector in the ATLAS experiment at CERN


The ATLAS experiment for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is under construction at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. Its goal is to explore the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape our universe. One of the most important parts of t he ATLAS detector will be the Semiconductor Tracker (SCT), which is a sophisticated modern detector especially designed for the very accurate measurement of tracks of particles emerging from the high energetic collisions of protons at LHC. The main objective of this project is the technical realisation of the precise alignment of the SCT detector with the help of a novel method called Frequency Scanning Interferometry developed at the University of Oxford. The accurate alignment of the SCT is absolutely essential for achievement of the designed precision of the SCT measurements. Due to the thermal distortions inside the ATLAS detector, it is expected that the SCT detector will not be mechanically stable within the desired precision on a day scale. Therefore the alignment procedure must be done in a time dependent way, making the alignment difficult and challenging.

Another goal of the project is testing and commissioning of the SCT detector during and after its building. We would also like to study physics processes that are well known from earlier high energy physics experiments, like masses and decay widths of W and Z bosons and of the top quark, which will be used to crosscheck functionality and performance of the SCT detector. The previously mentioned processes will form the main backgrounds to most of the discovery channels of the ATLAS experiment. We believe that the proposed project increases chances of the LHC programme to discover a new physics beyond the Standard Model and improves the precision of the results measured by the ATLAS collaboration. In this way, the project would strengthen the research excellence of the European science.

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