I am a member of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider is the world's highest energy particle accelerator, currently delivering 13-TeV proton-proton collisions. The ATLAS experiment records and analyzes these collision events. ATLAS is an international collaboration of 3000 physicists from more than 170 universities and laboratories in 38 countries, with a large Canadian effort.
In 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced the discovery of the Higgs boson. As a consequence, particle physicists now understand why some particles have mass while others, like the photon, are massless. My own research on ATLAS is the search for another hypothetical particle, the magnetic monopole. A magnetic monopole is a particle postulated to carry only a south or a north pole. If a magnetic monopole exists, theory shows that this would explain why there appears to be a fundamental unit of electric charge.