ATLAS is a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN that is searching for new discoveries in the head-on collisions of protons of extraordinarily high energy. ATLAS will learn about the basic forces that have shaped our Universe since the beginning of time and that will determine its fate. Among the possible unknowns are extra dimensions of space, unification of fundamental forces, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the Universe. Following the discovery of the Higgs boson, further data will allow in-depth investigation of the boson's properties and thereby of the origin of mass.
Late 2009 -- Startup of LHC and first event collisions at a total energy of 0.9 TeV and later at 2.36 TeV (above the previous world record).
March 2010 -- Event collisions at a total energy of 7 TeV. This led to about eight months of data taking before a few weeks of heavy ion collisions and the usual winter shutdown. Many papers with early results have come as a result of the 2010 run.
March 2011 -- A year of intensive data taking was followed by a few weeks of heavy ion collisions and a winter shutdown. Event collisions at a total energy of 7 TeV. (Dec. 2011 - Apr. 2012).
April 2012 -- Event collisions at a total energy of 8 TeV. A year of intensive data taking will be followed by a few weeks of heavy ion collisions.
2013 -- A long shutdown to prepare for an increase of the total energy towards 14 TeV.
Next 2015-2030 years -- Continued data taking with publication of results on an ongoing basis.