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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Linear Colliders in the Pacific North-West

Dim lecture halls: Nobu Toge giving an update of the situation at KEK in Japan.

My spring travel season is in full swing, and brings a lot of work with it: New results to finalize, talks to prepare and to give, discussions, … which means I’ve again been neglecting Quantum Diaries. I am in Eugene, Oregon at the moment, at the Linear Collider Workshop of the Americas. Things are now winding down, after almost five days packed with new results and intense discussions.

Of course one of the recurring themes were the LHC results which are now coming in, and which are starting to seriously eat into the space for models for new physics that could be explored at a new collider. The Higgs might be just around the corner, and other discoveries are hoped for. What that is… Who knows? It could be Supersymmetry, a number of other models floating around, or, perhaps most exciting, something completely unexpected. Needless to say, that would give the whole field a new push, and show us where to head with a new large scale experimental facility.

News from Japan are also omnipresent, with a large number of our colleagues from Japanese labs and universities absent for understandable reason. Just this morning, Nobu Toge gave a report from KEK, including a video shot in the accelerator test facility at KEK during the earthquake. That showed everyone once more what a powerful natural disaster has hit Japan less than two weeks ago. Damage to experimental facilities is still being assessed, but the really good news is that as far as we know now, none of our colleagues has suffered bodily harm.

The pacific coast, west of Eugene, Oregon, on a rainy Sunday morning.

Of course, five days in dim lecture halls without getting out at all is too much, so I took the opportunity to clear my head by visiting the stunningly beautiful pacific coast. Weather was not perfect, but nothing beats some fresh air. Right here in Eugene, there are first signs of spring, with flowers and trees in bloom, during a rare moment of sunshine. Today, the rain is back, with bad weather reported from San Francisco which has me worried about my connection for my trip back home tonight… Keep your fingers crossed, but then, there are worse places to get stranded than San Francisco…

Signs of sping in Eugene, Oregon.

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