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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Incoherent Thoughts on the Early Train to Frankfurt

Munich main station, early morning: My train to Frankfurt (continuing to Dortmund) is getting ready for boarding.

A post from a slightly unusual location: I’m sitting on the train from Munich to Frankfurt Airport. Instead of flying, I went for the train because in terms of travel time, it makes almost no difference, considering that you have to be at the airport quite a bit in advance to go through security. And then, Frankfurt is only about 400 km away. Without all the hills in southern Germany that get in the way, and the many stops (even this super express train stops at almost every medium-sized town on the way), it could beat the plane by a very comfortable margin. And then, there is winter, where air travel is always a bit more prone to delays. But this winter, the Germain Rail lost most of its advantage, with (if I remember correctly) less than 30% of the trains more or less on time over Christmas, when we had quite a bit of snow.

I’m going to Frankfurt today for a meeting where the plans for a continuation of the Alliance “Physics at the Terascale”, which unites all German high energy particle physics groups in common projects and with shared infrastructure, will be discussed. The next few months will be well filled with events like this: Also the Excellence Cluster “Universe”, which funds my research group, is discussing plans for the next funding round beginning in fall 2012.

Frankfurt airport is a perfect (although quite pricey) location for the meeting today: Easy to reach from all over Germany, it means this is just a day trip for everybody. But it still means getting up early, certainly for me. I’m just not a morning person, getting up a bit after 5:30 is not something I do if I can help it. I know people who do this voluntarily all the time, but I don’t get that… Well, I guess everybody is a bit different in that respect… But now that I am awake, I can at least use the time, to write a short post, and to prepare my lecture on Supersymmetry on Monday…

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  • Nancy Malarkey

    I thought you were remarkably coherent. I also think 5:30 is too early. I wait until at least 6. By then I can smell the coffee.

  • Peter Smith

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as 5:30 am

  • 5:30 in the morning is too much for me most days. I’ve tried to sit down and write about this early before, but struggled — you did a remarkable job in documenting everything so coherence isn’t an issue here. So then is any of this in any coexistence with CERN?