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Posts Tagged ‘“small world”’

Telling the world about CMS

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Yesterday’s big event was the LHC official inauguration, at which I was present to represent CMS to the various delegations. This was a great experience, it is very interesting to meet the people who make decisions about how we are funded and explain (hopefully in a successful way) why the studies we will do at the LHC are essential for the understanding of how nature and the universe work. (more…)

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Hello World

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

spoons copic michael and the Alps

Hello World! I another new US LHC blogger, drafted by my friend and ATLAS Control Room buddy, Monica Dunford. That’s me in the picture above, next to Mont Blanc, my husband Dan Spoonhower, and our friend Michael. I’m a postdoc for Columbia University, working on the ATLAS experiment, and I’ve been working at and living near CERN for over a year.

I was working in the ATLAS control room a few weeks ago the day that the LHC had its … major malfunctions. I had been hoping that we might have the first collisions that weekend. I was sitting at the same desk that Adam had been sitting at, waiting and hoping the week before.  Instead of waiting for collisions after the news came in, we were waiting for more details and talking amongst ourselves. There were a bunch of people in the control room that I knew, from working on ATLAS or from previous jobs. Each person could provide a different perspective, and talking to people got me thinking about the small world of High Energy Physics. It’s true that we work with thousands of scientists on ATLAS and CMS, but we get used to seeing a lot of the same faces around.

For example, Monica was in the control room that weekend, too. I work on ATLAS with a few of the bloggers on this site: Monica, Adam and Seth. Working at the same desk with me that weekend was my friend Louise, and it happened that she knew Monica not because they both work on ATLAS, but from their previous experiment, SNO. Before coming to CERN, I had been working at Fermilab, outside of Chicago, and many people at other desks in the control room that weekend had been Fermilab folks, too.

Some familiar people to readers of this blog, Steve and Ken, were also colleagues of mine at Fermilab on the CDF experiment. I worked in the same group at the University of Michigan with Ken, while he was a postdoc and I was a graduate student. Steve worked with a different group, but he was one of the people that I remember hanging around the CDF control room all the time. He helped answer my questions when I spent my first summer there as a student. Now, I’ve become the postdoc who is hanging around the ATLAS control room all the time, trying to answer other people’s questions. Ken and Steve and I have gone from CDF collaborators to (good-natured!) ATLAS-CMS competitors.

Even people that I didn’t work much with, I still saw around — I remember going to a Chicago Cubs game a few years ago with another CMS blogger, Freya, and some mutual friends.  More recently, in Geneva, when friends of mine were looking for a used sofa for their new apartment, I went with them to help move the sofa they had found online. It turned out to be Freya’s sofa! Of course. It is a small world after all…

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