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Ingrid Gregor | DESY | Germany

View Blog | Read Bio

Dr. Strangelove

tele_mitm26The last week we were working on getting our new pixel chip running in the test beam. It was tested in the lab by the developers in Strasbourg, but it was never in the beam and never read out with the telescope electronics. We had a few problems to solve during the week, but now everything is working!

On the picture you can see our telescope. In each of the boxes with the DESY labels are three planes with the original chip, a special CMOS sensor with 30 micrometer small pixel. In the middle you can see another box with three new sensors. They are produced in the same technology, but this new version has smaller pixel (18 micrometer), is much smarter and suppresses directly the readout of the non-hit pixels, and converts this information into a digital signal. Thus reducing the data size we get from our system dramatically to the really needed information. We have to upgrade our system to this new sensor as it will give us the possibility to run everything much faster. But first we want to test this three new sensors while using the telescope.

You know, particle physicists get rather excited when they see signals from particles in their detector, independent if this is a large experiment like ATLAS or a small device tested for the first time. So we were running between computers back and forth and cheering loudly when we saw the first reasonable plot, telling us that everything works as it should. Of course this is just the start. Now we have to take data the next couple of days, getting a minimum of 1 million events. Afterwards the data has to be analyzed.

We celebrated this success with a cake. But this cake was not only a celebration cake, but also a fare well cake. Toto, the main author of our analysis software, is leaving our team. He will start a new job outside high energy physics just next Monday. We are all sad that he is leaving as he is one of the core people in this extremely good team. But people have to move on and start new jobs. This sad part is also part of a scientist’s life. Even the best teams are split in the end because people get different contracts and have to leave.

BUT: We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when …. Thank you Toto!!

toto_cake

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