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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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The Ultra-Relativistic Limit

I just gave what might have been the most fast-paced talk I ever gave… 38 slides, most with quite a lot of stuff on them, including overlays, in just a bit over 20 minutes. I know that there are quite a few people out there who always give talks like that… Normally not my style. If one of my students would have given me a presentation like that to look over, I would have said: “Now, delete every second slide, and throw away 25% of the content of the others, and you might fit it into your time slot”… I’m always in favor of showing less, but make sure that what is shown is well presented and explained.

So, why did I give a talk right at the “Ultra-relativistic limit”? Well, I had to represent the CALICE collaboration in front of the DESY Physics Research Committee. It is actually a great opportunity to be chosen for such a talk, but of course also quite different than giving a presentation at a conference. Such committee presentations are highly political affairs, so mentioning all projects in the collaboration, in particular those at delicate points in their funding cycle, is crucial. And when completeness is the primary consideration, things are bound to get out of hand, certainly in a collaboration that is as broad and dynamic as CALICE. And this is exactly what happened. I raced through highlights from our test beam program, new technologies we are still planning to test, the second generation of our calorimeter prototypes, electronics, data acquisition and our future beam program. It certainly was not the most pedagogical talk I ever gave, but I hope I managed to convey the highlights. And I am certain that breadth of our program was quite apparent, already from the speed with which I was changing slides…

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