• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Flip Tanedo | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

My “Workbench”

One of my favorite sections of Seed magazine—whose catchphrase is “science is culture”—is a feature called Workbench where they highlight a scientist’s research space. Today I’ll blatantly emulate their model as I present my own ‘workbench,’ one of the theory student offices at Cornell’s Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics.

img_0116

1. Chalkboard. This is an essential tool for my research; it helps facilitate physics conversations by providing a handy place to draw diagrams and work out calculations. As highlighted in a 2007 issue of Symmetry magazine, theorists are big fans of chalkboards.

2. Toys. Perched atop my window are three plush neutrinos from the Particle Zoo (the rest of the Standard Model is scattered on my desk). I like to have little trinkets lying around to provide small distractions from research. Below I have a set of juggling balls that I occasionally play with while trying to work through an idea.

3. The view. I’m lucky to have a nice view from my window. Outside you can see some undergraduate dorms and the tip of Cayuga lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes and home to some good wineries. This picture was taken in early spring before all the trees grew new leaves.

4. Books. Most of my many books are in a bookshelf that’s not pictured. As an undergrad I worked as a research assistant and student tour guide and spent most of my net earnings on textbooks. It’s really geeky, I know, but has been handy since the university’s library system has decided to close its physics library as part of a cost-cutting measure (don’t get me started on that).

5. Laptop. A wise grad student once said that, “the major reason faculty seem so damn smart is because when they were graduate students there was no Internet.” These days, laptops are critical in daily research activities from reading new papers to video conferencing with collaborators.

6. Notebook. A lot of my work is pen-and-paper-based, this is where it goes.

7. Radiator. During the cold winter months this keeps my office slightly above freezing temperatures. During the rest of the year I use it as a shelf (for plush particles) and as a place to put up photos and post-it note reminders. Also visible are containers of loose-leaf tea and a plant.

8. “To do” stack. A continuously-growing stack of papers that I keep meaning to read through. This seems to be a common feature for grad students.

9. Symmetry Magazine. Yes, this is a shameless plug. Symmetry magazine is a free particle physics outreach publication from SLAC and Fermilab. See also the Symmetry Breaking (get the pun?) blog for community news.

Share