Going into his new position with Johannesburg's University of the Witwatersrand ('Wits' for short), Trevor Vickey sees his brief as “a sort of linear combination between a professorship and a Peace Corps assignment”. The tenure-track Senior Lecturer post will take him to a brand new continent, but, he says, he made the original application “on a whim” after five years as an ATLAS postdoc.
Thorsten Wengler can still remember exactly where he was when the Berlin wall fell in November 1989: on night guard, sitting atop a pile of arms and ammunition in the woods outside of Potsdam, Germany, alongside three of his fellow East German soldiers.
Well, in truth the other three were asleep, and Thorsten – a trained radio operator – was tinkering with a radio that was intended only for East German radio stations, trying to pick up his favourite West Berlin channel – the one with the best music.
As an ATLAS physicist, it’s not often you get to stand back and look at the bigger picture, according to Richard Teuscher: “Not at all! It’s only really when you get a chance to talk to someone about what you’re doing. Day-to-day, you’re writing software or fixing some part of the detector. But at the end you think, ‘Wow, look what we’ve done!’"
Most people at CERN know Claudia Marcelloni as the ATLAS photographer and the exquisite eye behind the ATLAS book, Exploring the Mystery of Matter. But to Claudia, photography is just one tool that she could use to practice her passion: the creative communication of ideas.
For Jochen Schieck, monthly trips to CERN – often spanning just one day – suit him well. The rest of the time he’s based at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Physics in Munich.
Osamu Jinnouchi had never left his native Japan when he first came to CERN, as a summer student with KEK, aged 25. “I don’t quite remember, but it was all impressive,” he ponders. “Everything was different here.”
A new multimedia contest has been set up to put talented young filmmakers and science communicators in touch with ATLAS.
ATLAS got a little taste of Tinseltown on February 12th, as director Ron Howard, and actors Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer rolled into town to promote their new film – an adaption of Dan Brown’s bestseller Angels and Demons.
Over Christmas, we followed the progress of ATLAS collaborator, Katharine Leney, as she and her boyfriend Pierre drove across Europe and Africa in a beaten up second hand car, to raise money for development charities working in Africa.
Physics, as a discipline, isn’t short of references to symmetry and balance. The tale of Anna and Lucia Di Ciaccio though is almost poetic in the way it weaves. They are non-identical twins, and interviewing them is both slightly surreal and a complete delight.