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Aidan Randle-Conde | Université Libre de Bruxelles | Belgium

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Looking shifty

I’m currently sitting in the ATLAS Control Room, watching monitors full of data constantly update themselves. If nothing bad happens I just sit here, look at histograms, and from time to time I ask someone to change some settings. It’s the night shift and that means that we’re taking data, and we’re taking a lot of it.

On webcam!

On webcam!

I’m going to be on shift for every weekend in October, so there’ll be plenty of time for me to write about what it’s like. In the meantime I’m using the time to catch up what’s been happening lately, because a lot has happened and we don’t get nearly enough time to absorb it all! For those who haven’t been paying attention, OPERA saw neutrinos that seemed to travel faster than the speed of light, Tevatron shut down its beams after 28 years of running, the Nobel Prize for Physics was announced! That’s three wonderful stories in three weeks, and while I’ve had plenty to write about I decided to hold off a little and let these stories have as much of the spotlight as possible.

So while I’m on shift tonight I’m catching up on comments, E-mails and facebook! With another 11 shifts this month, it looks like I’ll have lots of time to catch up on other things too. Downloading those datasets for my new analysis, putting the finishing touches on the front end my service task, and of course writing more blog posts. Oh, and uploading some beautiful photos of Montreux and Annecy, some of the more picturesque local towns.

So while sitting at the control desk for the trigger at 4am and having the responsibility for the entire collaboration on my shoulders the whole time is not how I’d ideally spend my Saturday nights, it does have its good points!

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