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Jacob Anderson | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

It is possible to have a life outside of the lab.

“Get a life!” seems to be a tried and true TV line when talking to geeks, nerds and the like. I’d like to think I have one. It must be the birth of my third son that has me reflecting on a larger scale than usual, but I haven’t found that being a physicist has been a significant burden on my personal life.

I know there are stereo types of physicist spending day and night at the lab working. My wife often likes to tease me that when I get home late from work it isn’t because of anything she needs to worry about; I was engrossed in my work and lost track of time. I’ll admit that it has happened (ok more than once), but I don’t make a habit of it. Most of the people I work with keep regular, sane hours, and all have what seem to be normal personal/work lives. Sometimes we have to put in extra hours at the lab, like now as the ICHEP conference is upon us, but most jobs have deadlines and extra hours to meet them.

Physicists and scientists in general are often unfairly considered to lack a personal life. I’ll admit that I have met some, but the vast majority are able to relax and have some fun most days. In fact, I get to have fun just about all day everyday since I find physics fun most of the time in addition to having fun away from work, and isn’t that the measure of having a really good life.

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