Tufts Department of Physics and Astronomy has close ties with the Physics community and utilizes collaborations to enable students and staff to experience research opportunities on as well as off-campus. Some of our current collaborators include:


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centers for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.

Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionize our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.


ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the LHC. It will investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. ATLAS will record sets of measurements on the particles created in collisions – their paths, energies, and their identities.  This is accomplished in ATLAS through six different detecting subsystems that identify particles and measure their momentum and energy.

Another vital element of ATLAS is the huge magnet system that bends the paths of charged particles for momentum measurement.  The interactions in the ATLAS detectors will create an enormous dataflow. To digest these data, ATLAS needs a very advanced trigger and data acquisition system, and a large computing system.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory advances the understanding of the fundamental nature of matter and energy by providing leadership and resources for qualified researchers to conduct basic research at the frontiers of high energy physics and related disciplines.

At Fermilab, a robust scientific program pushes forward on three interrelated frontiers: energy, intensity and cosmic. Each frontier has a unique approach to making discoveries, and all three are essential to answering key questions about the laws of nature and the cosmos. Some questions can only be addressed by experiments at one frontier, but others require investigation on multiple fronts to create a complete picture.

These scientific frontiers form an interlocking framework that addresses fundamental questions about the laws of nature and the cosmos.

Boston Muon Consortium

Tufts University is a member of the Boston Muon Consortium that was formed in the 1990s and includes Boston University, Brandeis, Harvard, MIT and UMass-Amherst. This collaboration designed and built monitored drift tubes for the ATLAS muon detector, which was used for study of the four-lepton final state decays of the new particle.