16th November 2009 – Yongsheng Gao was born in Jinan, the capital of the Shandong province of China, also the home of Confucius some 2500 years ago. The Yellow River flows by Jinan, the ‘City of the Springs’, with the Mountain Tai nearby.
2nd November 2009 – Unlike most of us at CERN, Hans Peter Beck is a Swiss native. He grew up in places like Weggis, on the shore of Lake Lucerne; Wolfenschiessen, in the mountainous interior of Switzerland; Dietikon, a suburb of Zürich, and finally in Zürich itself. He completed his matura – the Swiss secondary education – at the Mathematical Natural Science Gymnasium, Rämibühl, Zürich. Although he received better marks in chemistry at the time, physics held a much stronger attraction because it delves into matter at its most basic.
22nd September 2009 – 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!’"
7th September 2009 – Moscow has been home to Lidia Smirnova for as long as she can remember. She was born in Ukraine, her mother’s region, shortly after the end of World War II. Her father, from Siberia, had served five years in the thick of the fighting, on the Soviet side. “He was wounded twice, but was really lucky to be saved with his life,” says Lidia. He was also very lucky to be stopped in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, on his way from Germany to Japan. In that summer, 1945, he met Lidia’s mother.
27th July 2009 – 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.
13th July 2009 – Born Jorge in Argentina, George Mikenberg is a man of many aliases. He changed his name to the Hebrew Giora when he settled in Israel, but in English-speaking company, he encountered a problem: “The Anglo-Saxons cannot pronounce it, or rather they pronounce it in a way that means WC in Arabic.” And so he became George, but also Georg for the German-speaking, and Georges for his French-Swiss wife.
2nd June 2009 – Particle physics is an endurance sport. The building of ATLAS took nearly two decades of design and construction. In the early autumn, the blast from the first colliding particles will mark the start of a multi-year race to discover new physics. This rhythm of preparation and performance is one that Adele Rimoldi knows well.
18th May 2009 – 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.”