9th March 2009 – Twenty-eight-year-old Josef Kristofoletti is a traveling artist. On the site documenting the work of his group, transitantenna.com, he writes: "I am taking a survey of American mural painting in all of its forms, looking for the best pictures across the land, and painting some along the way." One of these paintings is an image of the ATLAS detector, a 13 x 7 metre mural on the side of the Redux Contemporary Art Center in South Carolina, entitled "Angel of the Higgs Boson".
9th March 2009 – In his more laid-back free time, Stanislav Němeček enjoys good detective novels and a production about a fictional Czech genius by the name of Jára Cimrman. The legends of Cimrman began in radio shows but later became plays in two parts: a lecture by a “professor” about recently uncovered work by this scientist/inventor/writer/philosopher and a scene played out by actors. The idea of Cimrman has been around since 1966, beginning as sort of a comic, literary protest to Communist rule. New episodes are performed every few years. Though a fictional genius, Cimrman is a symbol of Czech pride.
25th February 2009 – 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.
12th January 2009 – 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.
12th January 2009 – 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.
15th December 2008 – The full ATLAS Experiment has been operational and taking cosmic ray data since September 2008, and high-energy collisions are scheduled for late summer 2009. Data from cosmic rays that hit the ATLAS detector are valuable to calibrate and synchronize the many detector elements. Even more exciting were the so-called “splash events” that occurred as the LHC was being tuned up starting 10 September 2008.
15th December 2008 – Anna Kaczmarska is an artistic Polish physicist working as a software developer of the official ATLAS software package designed to detect tau leptons. Since Anna was a teenager, she has loved medieval arts: literature, architecture and music, whose rhythms, she says, help her to program ATLAS software.
8th December 2008 – “I think the money put in the summer school is among the best ways that CERN has to invest money!” says Jonas Strandberg, a Swedish physicist working on the Muon Spectrometer and Higgs Physics at ATLAS. He is another good example of the power of the CERN Summer School in drawing outstanding students into particle physics; since Jonas first came to CERN in the summer of 1998 as a physics undergraduate student, he always wanted to return.
18th November 2008 – For SCT Project Leader, Pippa Wells, thoughts of precision, timing, collaborative working, and getting things to work in harmony are familiar to her both in and out of work. Her passion is playing the violin – specifically in orchestras. “It’s always been playing music with other people that has motivated me,” says Pippa, who picked up her first instrument when she was just six years old.
10th November 2008 – If the ATLAS detector assembly could be compared to a marathon, then Amelia Maio would be best described as a long-distance runner! This Portuguese physicist and Associate Professor at Lisbon University has been involved in the design of the ATLAS detector since its very conception. In addition, since the late 1980s, Amelia has also been a very active ‘outreach’ physicist.