Sometimes travel can be a curse. After barely 9 days at home in Munich, I’m again back in Asia, Japan this time. And getting here proved to be more annoying than usual, due to technical problems with the aircraft, something that would be called equipment failure in industry terms, I guess. So instead of getting on board, settling in and taking off, by the time we were already supposed to be in Russian airspace we were still sitting at the gate, with technicians all over the plane trying to fix a broken fuel computer. In the end, they gave up and we had to wait for another aircraft. Probably a smart choice, I can imagine better things than running out of kerosene 36 000 feet above eastern Sibera. But annoying none the less: Adding 3 hours at the gate to a flight that already takes more then 11 hours is not something you usually wish for. In the end, things turned out not so bad due to favorable winds, so only 2 hours later than expected I made it finally to my hotel close to KEK in Tsukuba, Japan, a bit more than 21 hours after leaving my office in Munich.
So, what is going on here at KEK? Most importantly, I’m here for a special run of the KEKB accelerator and the BELLE experiment, where we want to learn more about the background (meaning unwanted particles not related to interesting physics) we have to expect for the new pixel detector we are constructing for the BELLE-II experiment. The current word is that we’ll be on tomorrow, with 16 hours scheduled for us. Depending how things go, we might get a bit more time, even. Since this study requires extremely close collaboration with the accelerator operators, we’ll have a preparatory meeting with them in a bit more than an hour, to make plans for tomorrow.
In addition to the experiment, I’m also here to give a seminar at KEK this afternoon, about Particle Flow and Imaging Calorimeters, the jet reconstruction and detector technologies we are developing for a future Linear Collider. So, for once, this trip really covers my two main areas of research, all withing the space of a few hours.
It’s going to be a few intense days, and I hope I’ll have some interesting impressions from our experiment to talk about soon.