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Ingrid Gregor | DESY | Germany

View Blog | Read Bio

Frank and the Chocolate Factory

As you might have figured, we are again at the same meeting, Frank and I: The 3rd Annual Meeting of the Helmholtz Alliance “Physics at the Terascale”.
The Terascale, already explained in April by Frank (and I am not allowed to copy and paste 😉 ) is a structured research network as a tool for a more effective collaboration, in particular between experimentalists and theorists. The name Terascale was chosen as the network is focusing mainly on LHC and Linear Collider physics, both machine running at very high energy. Eighteen German universities, 2 Helmholtz institutes and 1 Max Planck Institute (Munich) are part of this alliance.

More than 250 people decided to visit DESY for this meeting, also a lot of students and post-docs. Today is already the last day, we started Wednesday afternoon with the program. There were many different meetings to exchange the status and experiences of particle physics at the Terascale in Germany.
Setting up such an infrastructure in Germany is not an easy task, as the universities are free and used to do their research independently. Of course this independence is conserved, but now new ideas to exchange knowledge were introduced. For example a new group was founded all working on SiPM (Silicon Photon Multipliers) to make sure that the understanding of this new devices is enhanced by a lively exchange of new results. And combined studies are also part of the plan.
For both evenings a social event was planned, a reception with Arabic food on Wednesday and a Italian dinner on Thursday. As physicists, especially students, have the tendency to take a lot of food at a buffet and empty a buffet within minutes, the dinner opening speech on Thursday included some explanation how to approach the buffet. -Take a small plate only for the starters and come back for a large plate for the main course. “Do not take starters and main course at the same time.“ This was also said to make sure that all people do get a dinner, as it is sometimes the case that people lining up last, only find empty pots.
It seemed to have worked out quite well as we all had starters (on a small plate) and a main course (on a large plate). Unfortunately it was not mentioned to use only the small desert plates for the desert. People were seen piling a huge mountain of chocolate mousse on standard dinner plates. In the end the starter and the main course worked out fine, but only a few people could enjoy the desert. So there is room for improvement in respect of dinner manners. When we arrived at the buffet, we only could see that there used to be some chocolate mousse….
Frank actually wanted that I use the word “naked” in the title. But looking at the weather outside, I could not think of something where one can be that lightly dressed. It is very typical Hamburg November weather with all kinds of clouds and raindrop sizes. And after the chocolate mousse disaster, I think Frank would have loved to have access to a chocolate factory within the Terascale Alliance – the latest German infrastructure for particle physics.

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