Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Picture of the Small Wheel (1st Endcap Muon station) after it was installed in the ATLAS experiment.
The Small Wheel (1st Endcap Muon station) after it was installed in the ATLAS experiment. The aluminum trapezoids are Cathode Strip Chambers made at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Courtesy MIT.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), at Cambridge, MA, is involved in both the ATLAS and CMS experiments. MIT's Lepton-Quark Studies Group works with ATLAS and is led by Frank Taylor, a research faculty member and senior research scientist who collaborates with other members of the Boston Muon Consortium. A 33-member MIT group collaborates with the CMS experiment; the group includes 6 faculty, 11 scientists, 16 graduate and 6 undergraduate students.

The ATLAS Experiment

Construction Contributions

MIT's Lepton-Quark Studies Group was a founder of the Boston Muon Consortium. We helped establish the muon chamber factory at Harvard and provided engineer and student labor.

Our group has provided leadership for the US ATLAS Muon Construction Project and US ATLAS Muon Maintenance and Operations. We conducted many early simulations of the ATLAS muon system performance to assess the impact of various design choices and developed a second level muon trigger algorithm.

We were also involved in MDT chamber design and construction. Our group constructed and tested all 27,000 tubes for BMC chamber construction. The mechanical design of the Faraday Cages that shield the on-chamber electronics was largely designed and managed by MIT. We designed Faraday cages and setup procurement. We developed and posted all MDT chamber assembly drawings and designed high voltage connection and distribution.

We managed the US MDT chamber installation at CERN, including the big and small wheels (both pictured here). The Small Wheel (1st Endcap Muon station) is about 10 meters in diameter while the Big Wheel (2nd Endcap Muon Station) is about 25 meters in diameter. 

An MDT Big Wheel (2nd Endcap Muon station) as it was being assembled in the ATLAS cavern at Point 1 of the LHC.
An MDT Big Wheel (2nd Endcap Muon station) as it was being fabricated by the BMC (MIT made the tubes). Courtesy MIT.

Current Projects and Future Goals

Currently, we are engaged in the end-stages of commissioning the muon system at CERN. We are running shifts and preparing for first beam.

In the future, we intend to study multi-muon final states at the LHC using the muon system. We will search for resonances, which may be evidence for the Higgs scalar, a sequential EW gauge boson or extra dimensions.

The CMS Experiment

Construction Contributions

The MIT-CMS group has a strong interest in both proton-proton collisions and heavy ion collisions, and as such has contributed in various ways. Our long term involvement has been in the DAQ, particularly the D2S system, from the CMCs through FRLs, the Myrinet switches, and into the RUBuilders.

In addition, more recently we have added responsibilities for the Storage Manager and its upgrade as well. The heavy ion physicists have also made a substantial contribution to the HLT, both in the hardware and development of algorithms optimized for heavy ion data collection. Outside of DAQ, starting with the TIF in 2006 MIT has played a strong role in the integration, commissioning, and operations of the tracker, which carries through to today at Point 5.

Finally, MIT is a founding institute for the data operations project, making sure data and processing power is available for all collaborators independent of location, including at our own Tier-2 center in the US.

The MIT-CMS Team
The MIT-CMS Group. Courtesy MIT.


Current Projects and Future Goals

On top of carrying through on the maintenance and operations of the projects mentioned above, with the first data we are focusing on Electroweak and QCD measurements, in particular charged particle multiplicities, Quarkonia studies, and W and Z cross sections. These measurements are intrinsically connected to the discovery physics that we are interested in, particularly in the Higgs sector and the exploration of heavy ion collisions at an order of magnitude high energies.

Once we have understood the detector using the Standard Model barometers, we expect to move our focus to the discovery physics that higher luminosity will enable.