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Peter Steinberg | USLHC | USA

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Jamboree

No it’s not the golden age of rock and roll — in effect the pre-history to the continuing rock era — but the crazy pre-history of the LHC era. Here at BNL, the high energy folks are hosting the (for now) twice-yearly “US ATLAS Analysis Jamboree”, and there are ATLAS people all over the Physics department this week. While being a nuclear type keeps me a bit on the sidelines, I’m playing the fly-on-wall and listening excellent updates on many aspects of the physics analysis effort. There are also interesting talks on how experience at previous collider experiments (especially the Tevatron) will point to early physics topics at the LHC. Of course, some of us (ahem) are taking their cues from experience at RHIC and are thinking about first hour physics topics, rather than first year.  But that’s just us; the early physics in the first year LHC will be essential to serious searches for new physics, clearing the way to the Higgs and SUSY and extra dimensions by bread-and-butter measurements of top quarks, jets, photons, taus, etc.  More importantly, it’s a little-mentioned but widely-understood phenomenon that a precise measurement of something “basic” can often yield anomalies that point the field in new directions.

USATLAS Jamboree at BNLBut another important subtext here is the ramp up to hundreds of people getting their hands on the first data, and access to the software tools is the key. One of the real struggles is the tension between the incessant drive to develop new features and tools to keep up with new ideas, and the need to maintain some stability in the interfaces and functionality such that people can develop sophisticated codes over longer time scales. As usual with this kind of thing, the tension is inevitable, but meetings like this do make a huge difference, putting many of the interested parties in one place to sit in rooms with each other. Much better than EVO, if you ask me.

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