First fresh LHC-Run3 data from ATLAS detector stored at SARA in Amsterdam

6 July 2022

The very first new raw measurement data from the ATLAS detector at CERN were stored Tuesday from Geneva at computer center SARA in Amsterdam. From there, the data are now also available to research groups around the world.

Amsterdam is one of the so-called Tier1 data centers for CERN: places outside CERN where the data from the measurements at the Large Hadron Collider are stored for further research into the fundamentals of physics.

On Tuesday afternoon, the LHC accelerator at CERN restarted after three years of maintenance work and the first collisions of protons at the record energy of 13.6 TeV took place in the detectors. The accelerator will deliver proton beams at that energy in what is called run3 over the next four years, is the plan.

Instant signals

At ATLAS, CERN’s and the world’s largest particle detector, signals from the collisions were immediately visible. Initially, these are used mainly to see if the detector and all its elements are working properly.

“No earth-shattering pictures, but it all looks good in the first order,” says ATLAS program leader Wouter Verkerke of Nikhef. The awarding of the first date to SARA is rather coincidental. “But still nice to have them close by.”

Verkerke expects the first physical results from the new measurement series in the fall of 2023.


The two other CERN experiments in which Nikhef plays an important role are ALICE and LHCb, which underwent major renovations and improvements during the shutdown in recent years. These two detectors do take data from proton collisions in the LHC but only for further tuning of the measurement equipment.

Only when physical measurements come in at ALICE and LHCb will they be sent from CERN to a Tier1 data center for storage, including possibly in Amsterdam.