As I mentioned in my last post, this week I'm at a workshop discussing the development of semiconductor devices that can survive in the very heart of experiments on the LHC (and beyond!). This collaboration is call RD50 and is, unimaginatively, the 50th research and development group at CERN. This workshop meets twice a year; once at… Continue reading RD50 Workshop
As an experimental scientist my job is all about trial and error. I take measurements that no one has ever taken before, so I don't know the results in advance. Although I usually have an idea (or hope) what the outcome will be, sometimes we can be surprised. To get the results, I start by trying… Continue reading The trial and error of time-lapse videos
The last ten days or so I've spent at CERN testing new designs of pixel detectors for the ATLAS experiment. Since it was the IOP's #iamaphysicist event on the same day we were setting up, I tweeted out the following picture. https://twitter.com/claranellist/status/735752393724284930 To measure our pixel detectors, we need a beam of particles from a… Continue reading Test Beams
I have a new flatmate now who has a keen interest in science. The other day when I came home he asked (in French) "What did you do today?". It's a simple question. Although it doesn't always have a short answer as I also knew that he also wanted to understand, what do I do on… Continue reading An average day
This post is a quick one as I'm currently on holiday in New York. Today we went to visit the Rockefeller Centre and nearby is a statue that looks very familiar to me. The bronze statue is of a male figure, the Titan Atlas, holding up the sky. The reason it is so familiar to me… Continue reading ATLAS in New York
Last Wednesday, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN started colliding protons with stable beams at the highest energy we've ever achieved! I had a very early start (alarm went off at 5.30am) to be in the ATLAS Control Room and tell everyone all about it on social media through the ATLAS Twitter accounts. There was… Continue reading First 13 TeV Collisions with stable beams at CERN
I first started trying to learn French when I planned to moved to Geneva to work at CERN for my PhD. I took a few lessons and downloaded a podcast, but when I actually arrived, and was surrounded by Brits, or English speaking colleagues, I quickly found that other tasks took higher priority and I didn't get… Continue reading Parlez-vous français ?
In physics, as in running, how you manage your rest time is just as important as how you spend your time working (or training). I am currently preparing for a long-distance race in April, so even though I have a to-do list that extends onto multiple pages, this gives me the motivation to take time away from… Continue reading How do you spend your rest and relaxation time?
Last Saturday was the Séminaire Poincaré at l'Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris. There was a whole day of talks on 'Le Boson H' which translates to 'the H[iggs] boson', although for reasons that may soon become apparent, it was only referred to as the H boson in the talks. Unfortunately because of a flight that evening, I could only… Continue reading Séminaire Poincaré
While I was curating the @RealScientists account and generally being a tourist at work around CERN, I snapped a photo of dishwasher that was being used to clean a readout board I needed for my test beam experiment. I put the photo up on Twitter and it got a little bit of attention. The photo… Continue reading CERN Dishwasher