Borut Kersevan

6th April 2009 – How does Borut Kersevan spend his free time? “What free time? is the answer,” he says with a wry grin. But what little he has, he likes to spend on family, travel, and good conversation.

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Higgs finds the Higgs at RAL

1st April 2009 – On Friday, March 13th, British high school student Jonathan Higgs discovered the elusive Higgs boson among the simulated particle tracks in Minerva – a special form of ATLAS’s event display program, Atlantis, designed for students in the International Particle Physics Masterclasses.

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A comic takes on CERN

24th March 2009 – If you want insight into the lives of graduate students, look no further than Jorge Cham’s Piled Higher and Deeper comic series, detailing the trials and tribulations of earning a PhD. He brought his well-honed observational humour to CERN, meeting with a few graduate students and post-docs for a slice of life at the world’s largest physics experiment.

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A Wall ATLAS

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".

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Stanislav Němeček

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.

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Tinseltown pays us a visit

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.

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The wanderer returns

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.

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Anna and Lucia di Ciaccio

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.

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ATLAS preparing for collisions in mid-2009

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.

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Anna Kaczmarska

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.

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