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Paul Jackson | CERN | Switzerland

View Blog | Read Bio

New beginnings all over again

Summer came and went like a slap in the face…and before you know it, weeks have gone by without posting
to the blog. Blimey. Sorry about that. There are several themes running through lives at CERN these days, or
at least many of those that intersect my own: the change of weather (it got pretty cold), the
preparation/excitement/fear for/of the early data and the ATLAS upgrade are commonly mentioned.

The ATLAS detector has had some issues with cooling, even though the weather outside hasn’t. Of course, the
cooling for the experiment ain’t quite the same as a couple of degrees in the ambient temperature. It is also not
a trivial matter and one that people are working hard to solve for our first collisions later this year. Speaking of
collisions, the excitement is building and everyone who is working on an analysis of any type is starting to make
very serious preparations for using the early data. This involves additional work as the nominal centre-of-mass
energy of the LHC will be a little lower at the startup than had been planned, and it will probably/hopefully change
during the long first run of the LHC. Analyses rely on this and need some tweaking to reevaluate sensitivities.
But it’s all good fun. The general consensus these days is that any collision data will be extremely welcome: there
are certainly some very experienced students who are crying out for even a handful of proton collision so that they
can write up their theses and move on in life. Good to hear from other bloggers though that the Tevatron is back
up and running.

The upgrade is in the pipeline as well and some of us are working on preparations/tests for new technologies
to improve the radiation hardness and maybe sensitivity of the inner detector. The upgrade test beams for the
new pixel technologies will be using Ingrid’s lovely EUDET telescope that I’m sure she could tell you lots more
about if you wanted! It *still* seems odd to be upgrading something that isn’t.

The weather in the geneva area takes quite a dip in early September in my humble experience. If I mention that
my fiancee and I took a trip to northern England to get some sunshine that might put it in context. I suppose it
makes me want to work more when the weather isn’t so great. Warm Geneva days can be splendid with frolicking
by the lake and wandering in the hills an easy way to fill the days. It brings into focus how different the mood is
when the change of weather is just so dramatic. Still I suppose it means that skiing can’t be that far away.
More to follow………

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