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Gavin Hesketh | CERN | Switzerland

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Still alive!

A lot has happened since my last post: beam back in the LHC, then the first collisions, then the LHC sets the energy record, then the first public result on collision data (well done ALICE!). On my side, I joined the CMS experiment.

Perfect timing, right? I have to admit it hasn’t quite been what I expected. Having been on D0 at the Tevatron for several years so knew a lot about the detector, software and physics. Now I’ve joined CMS, spent a week without a desk (office space is a premium here!), spent a while thinking about what to get involved in, now am slowly learning the software. So while there is a lot of excitement here about the first collisions, I’ve also had the frustration of not even being able to do the most basic things, like get access to the data and make some plots (the basic currency of particle physics). As a physicist, the main thing I want to do is get stuck in and work with these exciting first collisions! Instead, I’ve been grappling with python scripts, French classes, the congested Geneva apartment market, and how it’s impossible to find tomatillos (it’s the little things that make all the difference).

Well, the difficulty of changing continents, laboratories and experiments is mostly over now, and I’m getting down to some real work…

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