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Steve Nahn | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Breaking into the Blogosphere

Welcome dear reader to my own corner of the blogosphere. It is rather crazy that people want to read what is essentially a “stream of consciousness” in written form, but people are known to do all sorts of strange things, so there you go.

How did I come to be writing this (I keep asking myself as I type)? Just got back from a 15 month stint at CERN, where I and my colleagues work on the CMS detector at the LHC. The idea was to spend one year basking in the “glory of new faculty” (hah!) and then spend significant amount of time in CERN, actually working on getting the experiment ready for this fall… errrrr… next May. I am being facetious, and not in fact true to myself – I am not uptight about delays to the LHC, because I reason that the physics that we are trying to elucidate is time independent – the Higgs boson will not disappear in the next 6 months, so if we’re a little late in getting going, it isn’t a problem. After all, on the scale of how long it takes to build the experiment and accelerator, a few months here or there is nothing really. Besides, it is much better to be fully prepared than to rush but not really be ready. I agree with the idea that a deadline is a great way to inject some urgency into the process, but still, forging ahead blindly when none of the participants are in fact ready is not wise, and there is a delicate balancing one has to contend with to get it right.
But I digress (isn’t that ok in blogs?). So, I took my two sons (now 10 and 12), my spouse, and myself to Geneve for a year, and started working on the CMS tracker commissioning with an excellent post doc and some students. In the process, my wife invited an old friend and husband to Turkey Day dinner (Americans tend to go to several around Geneve on different nights, since it isn’t a holiday over there) and this friend happens to be involved with US press at CERN, so I became the unofficial tour guide for CMS Tracker and CMS in general, chatting with reporters/editors from the NYT, Boston Globe, Chicago Trib, MSNBC, Nova/WGBH, NPR, Scientific American, and probably some others I can’t recall right now, because I was available and could show people around with some reasonable amount of knowledge about how CMS works. On my departure in the end of August, she asked me if I wanted to blog, and since I’ve always been jealous of Debbie and Gordon among others on Quantum Diaries I couldn’t resist.
Ah, but it is time to read Artemis Fowl to the kids before bed (giggles from Adam and remonstration for putting his name here…) More later…

PS It would help to know who reads this…

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