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Posts Tagged ‘competition’

A beam of your own

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

As part of its 60th anniversary celebration and to help keep us young at heart, CERN has launched a special competition for students called: Beam line for schools.

CERN is inviting students aged 16 and upward from anywhere in the world to submit a proposal to do an experiment with a beam of particles from the Proton Synchrotron beam line. Each team can be composed of up to 30 students with at least one adult supervisor. This summer, up to nine students of the selected team will be invited to CERN to run the team’s experiment. Travelling and living expenses for the selected group will be covered by CERN.

PSA view of the Proton Synchrotron beam line.

The proposals will be pre-selected by a group of CERN scientists, and will then be reviewed by the same committee that validates all proposals for experiments at the laboratory’s Super Proton Synchrotron and Proton Synchrotron accelerators.

So what could you be doing? Essentially, you can investigate how beams of particles interact with matter. For example, you could study what happens when beams containing different types of particles hit targets made of various materials. The proposals will be judged on creativity, motivation, feasibility and adherence to the scientific method.

To help you understand what can be done, we have put together a short presentation that explains the basics about particles and beams. These short talks are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German and are part of a YouTube playlist that includes recordings of Google hangouts in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German, in which CERN scientists answer questions.

Here is your chance to come to run your own experiment at CERN. This will last about a week and take place in July, August or September. CERN physicists will be helping you to refine your idea before and during your stay at CERN.

Interested? Then you can stay up-to-date via the CERN website, #bl4s on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or YouTube.

Don’t hesitate and fill out the registration form before 31 January 2014. All you need to do at this point is send us the name of the school and of the participants as well as a tweet-of-intent stating why you think you should win this competition. You will still have until 31 March to prepare your full project, including a 1-minute video giving the highlights. Here is your chance!

Pauline Gagnon

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Un faisceau juste pour vous

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Dans le cadre de son 60ème anniversaire et pour nous aider à rester jeunes d’esprit, le CERN a lancé une compétition spéciale pour les étudiant-e-s appelée : Un faisceau  pour les écoles.

Le CERN invite donc les étudiant-e-s de 16 ans et plus de n’importe quel pays à soumettre une proposition pour venir effectuer une expérience avec un faisceau de particules du synchrotron à protons (PS). Chaque équipe peut compter jusqu’à 30 étudiant-e-s avec au moins un-e adulte responsable. Cet été, tout au plus neuf étudiant-e-s de l’équipe choisie seront invité-e-s au CERN pour réaliser l’expérience pour l’équipe. Les frais de déplacement et d’hébergement du groupe seront pris en charge par le CERN.

PSVue de l’accélérateur du synchrotron à protons ou PS.

Les propositions seront pré-sélectionnées par un groupe de scientifiques du CERN puis passées en revue par le même comité qui valide toutes les demandes d’expériences des laboratoires opérant au synchrotron à protons et au supersynchrotron à protons.

Alors que pourriez-vous faire? Essentiellement, examiner comment les faisceaux de particules interagissent avec la matière. Vous pourriez par exemple étudier comment des faisceaux contenant différentes particules interagissent avec des cibles de matériaux divers. On jugera les propositions sur leur créativité, leur motivation, leur faisabilité et l’adhésion à la méthode scientifique.

Pour vous aider à comprendre ce qui peut être fait, nous avons préparé de courtes présentations expliquant l’essentiel sur les particules et les faisceaux. Ces présentations sont disponibles en anglais, français, italien, espagnol et allemand. Vous les trouverez sur une liste de sélections sur YouTube qui comprend aussi les enregistrements de discussions sur Google en cinq langues où des scientifiques du CERN répondent à différentes questions sur le projet.

Courrez donc la chance de venir réaliser votre propre expérience au CERN. Le séjour durera environ une semaine et aura lieu en juillet, août ou septembre. Des physicien-ne-s vous aideront à raffiner vos idées avant et pendant votre stage au CERN.

Intéressé-e-s? Vous pouvez rester à jour via le site Web du CERN ou en suivant #bl4s sur Twitter, Facebook, Google+ ou YouTube.

N’hésitez pas et inscrivez-vous avant le 31 janvier 2014. Tout ce que vous avez faire à pour l’instant est de nous envoyer le nom de l’école et des participant-e-s, ainsi qu’un tweet expliquant pourquoi vous pensez que vous devriez gagner cette compétition. Vous aurez encore jusqu’au 31 mars pour compléter votre application, y compris une vidéo d’une minute soulignant l’essentiel du projet. Une occasion à ne pas manquer!

Pauline Gagnon

Pour être averti-e lors de la parution de nouveaux blogs, suivez-moi sur Twitter: @GagnonPauline ou par e-mail en ajoutant votre nom à cette liste de distribution



Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

People often wonder how we at ATLAS feel about those bozos our good friends at CMS, and vice versa.  The two experiments are trying to discovery exactly the same things, and as Monica discussed a while back, trying to keep from getting scooped by the other experiment will be nerve-wracking.  Personally, I like to think of CMS as the baseball team on the other side of town.  Yes, we plan to beat them at everything, every time — but deep down, we know that if they weren’t there, we couldn’t play baseball.

Obviously we don’t literally need there to be a competing detector in order to record events at the ATLAS detector or look for new physics in them, but having two detectors is actually critical to the LHC’s overall goals.  At many places — especially where new things are being tried — the detectors use different technologies.  For example, the T in ATLAS and S in CMS represent the very different magnet configurations used for the two detectors’ muon systems.  The “worst-case” reason for this is that one detector might incorporate something that never works — and while that would be terrible for the people on that experiment, it’s a lot better to have a backup that can still do the job.  But, in fact, ATLAS and CMS both work just fine so far, and we expect them to continue doing so, which brings me to the second reason that they’re complimentary: we need somebody to check our results.  Of course, we at ATLAS want to (and, needless to say, will) discover everything first — but if CMS never sees the same thing, a discovery will be pretty hard to believe.  The particle physics community really needs two detectors with different designs and different teams and different analysis strategies to get the same answer before we can be sure of what we’ve found.  (Ideally, we’d have different accelerators too, but that’s a little out of our price range nowdays.)

I’d even say it’s a friendly rivalry, more like the San Francisco Bay Area than New York or Chicago.  Although it’s hard to say — I’ve seen hats that say A’s on one side and Giants on the other, but I have yet to see any ATLAS/CMS merchandise.


Hello World

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

spoons copic michael and the Alps

Hello World! I another new US LHC blogger, drafted by my friend and ATLAS Control Room buddy, Monica Dunford. That’s me in the picture above, next to Mont Blanc, my husband Dan Spoonhower, and our friend Michael. I’m a postdoc for Columbia University, working on the ATLAS experiment, and I’ve been working at and living near CERN for over a year.

I was working in the ATLAS control room a few weeks ago the day that the LHC had its … major malfunctions. I had been hoping that we might have the first collisions that weekend. I was sitting at the same desk that Adam had been sitting at, waiting and hoping the week before.  Instead of waiting for collisions after the news came in, we were waiting for more details and talking amongst ourselves. There were a bunch of people in the control room that I knew, from working on ATLAS or from previous jobs. Each person could provide a different perspective, and talking to people got me thinking about the small world of High Energy Physics. It’s true that we work with thousands of scientists on ATLAS and CMS, but we get used to seeing a lot of the same faces around.

For example, Monica was in the control room that weekend, too. I work on ATLAS with a few of the bloggers on this site: Monica, Adam and Seth. Working at the same desk with me that weekend was my friend Louise, and it happened that she knew Monica not because they both work on ATLAS, but from their previous experiment, SNO. Before coming to CERN, I had been working at Fermilab, outside of Chicago, and many people at other desks in the control room that weekend had been Fermilab folks, too.

Some familiar people to readers of this blog, Steve and Ken, were also colleagues of mine at Fermilab on the CDF experiment. I worked in the same group at the University of Michigan with Ken, while he was a postdoc and I was a graduate student. Steve worked with a different group, but he was one of the people that I remember hanging around the CDF control room all the time. He helped answer my questions when I spent my first summer there as a student. Now, I’ve become the postdoc who is hanging around the ATLAS control room all the time, trying to answer other people’s questions. Ken and Steve and I have gone from CDF collaborators to (good-natured!) ATLAS-CMS competitors.

Even people that I didn’t work much with, I still saw around — I remember going to a Chicago Cubs game a few years ago with another CMS blogger, Freya, and some mutual friends.  More recently, in Geneva, when friends of mine were looking for a used sofa for their new apartment, I went with them to help move the sofa they had found online. It turned out to be Freya’s sofa! Of course. It is a small world after all…