Contribution Oral presentation
Performance of the Atlas Liquid Argon Calorimeter after three years of LHC operation and plans for a future upgrade
The ATLAS experiment is designed to study the protonproton collisions produced at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Liquid argon sampling calorimeters are used for all electromagnetic calorimetry covering the pseudorapidity region up to 3.2, as well as for hadronic calorimetry in the range 1.4-4.9. The electromagnetic calorimeters use lead as passive material and are characterized by an accordion geometry that allows a fast and uniform azimuthal response. Copper and tungsten were chosen as passive material for the hadronic calorimetry; whereas a parallel plate geometry was adopted at large polar angles, an innovative one based on cylindrical electrodes with thin argon gaps was designed for the coverage at low angles, where the particles flow is higher. All detectors are housed in three cryostats kept at 88.5 K. After installation in 2004-2006, the calorimeters were extensively commissioned over the three years period prior to first collisions in 2009, using cosmic rays and single LHC beams. Since then, around 27 fb⁻¹ of data have been collected at a unprecedented center of mass energies between 7 TeV and 8 TeV. During all these stages, the calorimeter and its electronics have been operating with performances very close to the specification ones. After 2019, the instantaneous luminosity will reach 2-3×10³⁴ cm⁻²s⁻¹, well above the luminosity for which the calorimeter was designed. In order to preserve its triggering capabilities, the detector will be upgraded with a new fully digital trigger system with a refined granularity. In 2023, the instantaneous luminosity will ultimately reach 5-7×10³⁴ cm⁻²s⁻¹, requiring a complete replacement of the readout electronics. Moreover, with an increased particle flux, several phenomena (liquid argon boiling, space charge effects...) will affect the performance of the forward calorimeter (FCal). A replacement with a new FCal with smaller LAr gaps or a new calorimeter module are considered. The performance of these new calorimeters is being studied in highest intensity particle beams. The talk will cover all aspects of the first three years of operation. The excellent performance achieved will be especially detailed in the context of the discovery of the Higgs boson announced in July 2012. The future plans to preserve this performance until the end of the LHC program will be also presented.