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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

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Talking Calorimeters – Day Trip to CERN

I’m at Geneva Airport, the second time today: I’m now on the way back from giving a talk at the CMS Upgrade Week, where I discussed the technology and results of the CALICE calorimeters with the team planning the upgrade of the forward calorimeters of CMS. A very interesting exchange, which also gave me quite a few ideas of what to study next.

That is often how it goes: If you step outside of your usual circles (Linear Colliders in my case), you get confronted with new problems and new ideas. And that is really what pushes science forward. You discover common questions: How much light do you get out of a piece of plastic, and into a photon sensor? And start to think more about new problems: What do slow neutrons do to your silicon photomultiplier? They themselves don’t do all that much, but they bump into protons in your plastic scintillator, and can kick those into your silicon photomultiplier. And those guys can do quite some damage… Something I’ve not thought about before, since these kind of things are not really an issue at a Linear Collider, but are extremely important at the LHC.

So, a worthwhile, although long day trip: Since I arranged everything at short notice, direct flights were unaffordable. Now I’m connecting in Zurich both ways, meaning I’m taking 4 hops of 200 miles each. Feels kind of weird to spend more time in the plane on the ground than in the air. That happened in Munich this morning – big airport, morning rush, means lot of taxiing. Lets see how the return trip goes, two flights to go…

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