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Andres Florez | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Are you dumb or what?

Are you dumb or what?

As part of my research, I have been getting involved with several projects: Tau trigger, Pixel DCS (Detector Control System) and Tau physics analysis. I have been doing what we call service work for CMS for almost 3 and a half years. It has been an interesting experience, but at the same time I was feeling frustrated for not being able to get involved with a physics analysis. Fortunately, my advisor is a very supportive person and he gave me the degree of freedom to go and start a physics analysis, he just told me go for it!

After two classes of quantum field theory and one class of particle physics, I found that I didn’t know what kind of physics that I wanted to do! So, that made me realize: man, I am freaking lost! After doing some research about what I could do in physics, I found an interesting group to work with. To make the long history short, I will just say that I will be working on the study of a Z’ decaying into an electron plus a tau. This is part of the Lepton Flavor Violation (LFV) studies that some people have been working on for some time. When I talked to the leader of the group that studies the Z’ and Neutralino decays that imply LFV, he explained the basic motivations for this study. Soon after that, I was talking to a friend about this (who by the way is very smart but a little bit proud about himself some times) and his first words were: Are you dumb or what?  I don’t think that that analysis is possible. Of course these words coming from him made me feel like an idiot! As any other human being, I have strengths and weaknesses. One of my weaknesses is that I am very sensitive (yeah, I know, I am a girl 🙂 ), but one of my strengths is that I take situations that hurt me and try to learn from them to become better. The words of my friend motivated me to put my service work for couple days on the side and just spend some time to read papers about the subject. It was so cool to find out so many interesting things about this topic (LVF) and the experiments and theories that people have been working on for long time. A good example of it is the MEG experiment, a search experiment, currently being prepared at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, which is going to start running soon.

I have known for a long time that there are many people smarter than me, but even if I were the smartest person on earth it doesn’t give me the right to call anybody dumb. I think that there are many different types of intelligence. My dad was a very claver guy for math and science but he was not very smart emotionally and he didn’t succeed much in life. I have met people that are so talented in so many ways. I taught physics for a couple years in a high school and learned that those students that were not very good in physics or math had other talents in music, writing, painting or were natural leaders. For that reason my advice to whosoever is reading this blog is to think twice before you call somebody dumb 🙂

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