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Tony Hartin | DESY | Germany

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DESY back entrance

DESY back entrance

Welcome all to this round of quantum diaries and to my blog in particular! I view this as rather an interesting experiment as I’m not really sure what I will write about. So lets say it will be an emergent phenomenon.

Since I am still a relative newcomer at DESY (I have actually been here over 6 months, but it still feels new to me) then DESY will be my first subject. It seems appropriate as snow flakes drift past the window to put up a wintry picture of the “back” entrance. Opposite DESY is the refreshing Altonaer Volkspark and DESY itself has a surprising amount of wildlife including pheasants, heron and tortoises!

This is my first time working long term at a Laboratory (as opposed to a university without accelerators) and its a real joy to be able to walk from my desk and computer simulations, next door to the test beam and real experiments. But more on the testbeam in a forthcoming entry.

We just began a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of DESY, and so its seems appropriate to mention one noteworthy physics event that happened here. DESY is where the gluon was discovered by the Mark-J experiment in PETRA (Positron-Electron Tandem-Ring Facility) in 1979. I’ve reproduced a plot shown by Symmetry magazine (who acknowledged physicist Sau Lan Wu). It shows the three jet signature of the two quarks and a gluon, and the question for the day is, can we say which jet is the gluon?

TASSO 3-Jet event

TASSO 3-Jet event

In 1990 PETRA went on to serve as a pre-accelerator for the HERA (Hadron-Electron Ring Facility) accelerator which stands sadly quiet now since its shutdown in 2007 after a distinguished 17 years of operation (though data analysis is still ongoing). However there is actually a lot of construction going on for the exciting XFEL (European X-ray Free Electron Laser) project.

The PETRA ring itself is being converted into a synchrotron and this time lapse footage shows the inner construction of the experimental hall. I love that footage – its like something out of Aliens. I particularly feel for the guy at the end rolling out the top layer of the floor by himself! I’m reminded of the quote:

“Who built Thebes of the seven gates? In the books you will find the names of kings. Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?”
Brecht, Questions from a Worker who Reads, 1935

My work at DESY is within the Lepton Collider Research (FLC in German) group. FLC is involved in research towards the International Linear Collider (ILC). The group is busy preparing a bid for one of the future detectors for this facility. Within FLC, I work in quite a few areas including polarimetry, detector background studies and theoretical topics in Supersymmetry and Quantum Electrodynamics. I plan to describe each of these, in time and in more detail, in upcoming posts.

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