• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Posts Tagged ‘introductions’

Introduction(s)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Hi, all!

This is my first post as a US LHC blogger. Please allow me to introduce myself in standard CERN style:

Hi, I’m Burton. And you are…? [response] Nice to meet you. [reciprocation, follow-up question] Ah, I’m a graduate student at Stony Brook University — you know it? [indication of familiarity, next question] I work on ATLAS, doing Pixels and an exotics search. You? [elaboration of details, physics]

And that’s it! Conversation ensues. Note the three items that form the basis of a standard CERN introduction: Name, Institution, Experiment. It’s a surprisingly solid conversational foundation. If you’ve worked hard and gotten your name out there, the other person might have already heard of you (this is ideal); if not, chances are you have friends and/or colleagues in common. The world of particle physics is, as its name suggests, quite small. Now, institutions have reputations and spheres of influence, and your association with one carries a certain weight. This weight will vary from person to person. If nothing else, it serves to indicate where you’re coming from and, occasionally, the focus of your research. Since there are six primary experiments at the LHC (though this number depends on whom you ask), and many others based at CERN, the experiment you work on is crucial information: It attaches you to a point on the LHC ring (or not), as well as a set of working groups, reconstruction algorithms, results, publications, and life choices. The tone and topics of your conversation may depend on it!

Okay, I am exaggerating — just a little. Not every CERN introduction follows the N/I/E format, and the character of an individual can not, in any way, be conveyed by such broad strokes. It’s a safe and sure starting point, yes, but hardly sufficient. Besides, second-order corrections tend to be more interesting:

I’m a photographer. Viewing the world through a lens helps me put things in perspective, and it brings everyday beauty into sharper focus (yes, that was two photography puns in quick succession — it’s a passion!). My photo archives also serve as a memory backup, should something (e.g. senescence) ever happen to me. I am an avid consumer of music; I listen to it constantly. Right now, for instance, I’m approaching the end of the new Sufjan Stevens album “The Age of Adz,” and it’s putting me in a chaotic but accomplished mood. This post will probably end soon. I love language. I used to be fluent in Spanish, but I’ve found that the more French I learn, the less Spanish I remember. Apparently there’s only room in my head for two full languages… I also love (in no particular order) cats, video games, the Python programming language, tortilla española, playful banter, and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

“I got into physics by way of consecutive childhood obsessions: dinosaurs -> astronauts -> Star Wars -> computer-generated physics simulations. The jump to the LHC came about naturally.” [1]

I look forward to our next conversation. Here is a picture. 🙂

Share