Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics
Summer 2018 job posting
Job number TR18-2-36

Position Title:

ATLAS data analysis summer student 

Name of Project:

Measurement of gauge boson couplings in ATLAS data from the Large Hadron Collider at 13 TeV 


Following a major upgrade after the original discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012, the LHC has been delivering data to the ATLAS detector at a record-breaking 13 TeV centre-of-mass energy since 2015 and will continue to do so for another year before pausing for further upgrades. Now is the time to prepare analyses that can take advantage of this entire dataset to scrutinize the Standard Model of Particle Physics in unprecedented detail and look for hints of new physics beyond the Standard Model (SM). Key predictions of the SM include the strengths of the couplings between the electro-weak gauge bosons - the force carriers of the electromagnetic and weak interactions. By identifying samples enriched in events containing self-interactions of the electro-weak gauge bosons, and measuring their angular distributions, it is possible to make very detailed comparisons with the predictions of the SM and to look for additional contributions from various types of anomalous couplings, which would be evidence for new physics.


ATLAS data are complex products of a cathedral-sized detector with millions of readout channels of dozens of different types, but a very large software toolkit has been developed over many years to reconstruct and analyze them. The student will follow online tutorials and, in consultation with the supervisors, assemble an analysis based on existing tools and frameworks to select enriched samples of real and Monte-Carlo-simulated events and make statistical comparisons to measure one or more couplings simultaneously.

Skills learned during this work experience:

The student will learn about how data are collected in high-energy-physics collider detectors.

They will learn to work in a highly collaborative shared code development environment, assembling something new and original out of existing software building blocks.

The candidate will have the opportunity to learn or improve their existing knowledge of Python, C++, ROOT (a numerical analysis package used primarily but not exclusively in particle physics).

They will also have the opportunity to study the underlying physics of the processes being investigated, at a level commensurate with their personal experience and inclinations.

They will be expected to summarize their work on a regular basis, as well as writing a final report, and will have opportunities to present their work to their peers.


Ideal candidates will be second- to final-year physics or engineering physics students (or other engineering or computer science students with a strong interest in physics).

The project is primarily analysis programming, so some experience in at least one major programming language is required. Python is probably the most useful, but prior experience of Python is not a requirement.

Candidates should have taken at least one general course in modern physics covering the basics of special relativity. Additional courses in particle or nuclear physics, statistics, machine learning, classical mechanics, and electromagnetism would be useful assets.

Good communication skills, curiosity and enthusiasm for the subject matter, and the ability to work well in a team are all essential.

Shiftwork required:


Period of work:

May - Aug 2018  
Salary is commensurate with academic progress and previous relevant work experience, and ranges from $ 2080 to $ 2800 per month plus 4% vacation pay.
TRIUMF pays round-trip airfare (this does not apply to Vancouver/Victoria students); for Vancouver Island students, TRIUMF will pay ferry costs.

TRIUMF is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in the workplace, and we welcome applications from all qualified undergraduate students as defined below:

  • Canadian undergraduate students or Canadian Permanent Resident undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited post secondary institution in Canada (or outside Canada) who are studying in a vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Foreign full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level, and who are studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration, and who have a valid Canadian study permit which allows for employment off-campus, and who have applied for a Social Insurance Number
  • Foreign undergraduate students enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program of study abroad who have accepted, or are in the process of accepting, an "Invitation to Apply" for a work permit under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program

Applications must be received at TRIUMF by 4:00pm Pacific time on 2018-01-22.

One complete PDF for EACH position must be submitted. Please save the PDF as lastname-job number (eg Smith-15.pdf)

Email to:

Mail to:

TRIUMF Student Program
Job Number TR18-2-36
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, B.C.
V6T 2A3

No phone calls please. TRIUMF wishes to thank all applicants for their interest, and regrets that only those being considered will be contacted.

TRIUMF is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia.
For more information, visit our web site