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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Up in the Air

Just barely 24 hours after getting off the plane from Chicago, I’m back again in the airport lounge in Munich, this time waiting for a short flight to Cologne/Bonn airport. I’ll spend the rest of the week attending the Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society in Bonn. At this annual event, essentially the whole German particle physics community gets together, so it is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues. In addition, the breadth of the topics discussed there surpasses anything you can find in international conferences, which are usually way more specialized. So it is a great opportunity to find out about what is going on in fields a bit outside of what I normally do. There are some plenary talks in the morning covering a variety of subjects,  and a huge number of parallel sessions in the afternoon. The parallel talks are usually given by students, and each one of my students will be presenting their work at this conference. I’m not talking myself, a welcome change after the five talks I gave at the last meeting I attended, which will hopefully give me the opportunity to look around a bit and learn about things I’m not doing in my everyday life.

But attending the conference also means another few days away from home, again… At the moment, I’m really pushing the limit travel-wise. That reminds me of the final scene in the movie that gave the title to this post, which I saw on my way back over the Atlantic:

“Tonight, most people will be welcome home by jumping dogs and squealing kids. Their spouses will ask about their day, and tonight they’ll sleep. The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places. And one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip, passing over.”

Right now, this really fits the mood…

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