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Adam Yurkewicz | USLHC | USA

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Happy 2009!

Happy 2009 (or 12009 for those of us using the Holocene calendar)!  I was on a New Year’s Eve flight back from the US to Geneva, so I got to have Champagne over the Atlantic to celebrate the start of what will hopefully be a very fruitful 2009 for particle physics.
It didn’t start so wonderfully as the heat at CERN wasn’t turned on until Monday morning when CERN re-opened.  It also has been an especially cold winter for Geneva so far, so we have had to keep ourselves warm with the happy thought that since the calendar flipped to 2009, collisions are finally back to being later THIS year instead of NEXT year.
I had a good time visiting family and friends in the US.  Even in my third year of living in France, it doesn’t get any easier to say goodbye to everyone and get back on the plane across the Atlantic.  I do miss my country as well, although not the plethora of 24-hour news channels so much.
I had a few conversations with people over the past few weeks about CERN (inevitably covering the chance of Earth’s destruction by the LHC), and realized we definitely still have work to do in getting the message out about what we are doing here at CERN.  Fortunately we have some pretty fascinating days ahead in 2009 that should interest just about everyone.
It should be interesting in the next few months as repairs are completed to the LHC, it is cooled down to operating temperature, and then protons are sent spinning around again.  We are still planning to see some high energy collisions in the summer, which will make the wait all worth it, and give us an even better reason to drink Champagne.

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