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Martin Rybar

There is usually a defining moment, or event, that leads a person to science. For 10 year old Martin Rybar, it was the moment when he found the chemistry laboratory kit from his uncle in his parents' house. Curiosity has always been the main driving force in science – and Martin was no exception.

15th December 2010
15th December 2010

Takanori Kono

There are many paths into science and one that might have played a key role for Takanori Kono could be LEGO bricks. Maybe it is the segmented approach learned from playing with those bricks that helped him later on tackle computer programming. It is easier to break down any problem into smaller chunks, seeing how it is put together as though it were made from basic building blocks.

1st November 2010
1st November 2010

Frederick Luehring

“That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” we all remember Neil Armstrong saying while taking his first steps on the moon. As so many, Fred Luehring was glued to the television set that 21st of June, 1969, but to him this event meant much more than to most.

4th October 2010
4th October 2010

Bengt Lund-Jensen

“In Sweden you can go out dancing in the summertime, where they play popular music but adapted for dancing,” says Stockholm native Bengt Lund-Jensen. Nine years ago, he decided to re-visit the dances of his undergrad days in pursuit of fitness, and now he spends his summers stepping out with other Scandinavians in the midnight twilight.

27th July 2010

Pascal Pralavorio

“In a sense, life is never as you've foreseen it to be. This is also true for natural laws, and that's why I like to be a physicist so much,” Pascal Pralavorio says as he explains what makes discovery so interesting for him.

Pascal seems to have a trend flowing through his life: to strategise and plan, to accept the consequences of discovery, and to enjoy the ride. For him, to explore is everything. With such varied interests as physics, singing, and playing guitar, piano, and games of strategy, it is apparent that he has a love for the thinking process. Pascal enjoys what he encounters unexpectedly, and especially what stems from the toughest parts of problematic situations.

13th July 2010

Trevor Vickey

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.

14th June 2010
14th June 2010

Rachid Mazini

Rachid Mazini grew up in Casablanca, Morocco. Although he’s now a big fan of rugged terrain, he spent his youth as a “city boy” with holidays on the Atlantic shoreline. It wasn’t until he started university in Marrakech that he began to explore the mountains – the Atlas range, in fact.

13th April 2010
13th April 2010

Rolf Seuster

For Rolf Seuster, there’s no place like Victoria, Canada. Located on Vancouver Island, about 90 km south of this year’s Winter Olympics, Rolf believes it’s one of the nicest places in the country. “It’s the size of Switzerland, and there’s maybe half a million people on the whole island,” he says.

22nd February 2010
22nd February 2010

François Butin

When the time came for François Butin to do his military service for France, he wasn’t interested in the armed forces. Instead, he chose to become a “cooperant”, working for a longer period in research or engineering. “In the old days, if you wanted to do your military service in an intelligent way, that was one of the good opportunities,” says François.

25th January 2010
25th January 2010

Attila Krasznahorkay

Attila Krasznahorkay has physics in his blood, the son of a nuclear physicist and a physics and math teacher. He was also introduced to the traveling life style at an early age, moving from his Hungarian homeland to Groningen in the Netherlands at eight years old when his father began work in the city’s university. His young, agile brain managed to pick up the Dutch language, but now, although he recalls the experience of being fluent at age nine, he struggles to think of words.

13th January 2010

Yongsheng Gao

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.

16th November 2009
16th November 2009

Hans Peter Beck

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.

2nd November 2009
2nd November 2009

Richard Teuscher

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!’"

22nd September 2009
22nd September 2009

Lidia Smirnova

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.

7th September 2009
7th September 2009

Claudia Marcelloni

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.

27th July 2009

George Mikenberg

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.

13th July 2009

Jochen Schieck

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.

16th June 2009
16th June 2009

Adele Rimoldi

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.

2nd June 2009
2nd June 2009

Osamu Jinnouchi

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.”

18th May 2009

Marco Aurelio Diaz

Mountains are an enduring presence in the life of Marco Aurelio Díaz. “Wherever you are in Chile, the Andes are there, and they make an imprint in your mind that time does not erase,” he explains.

4th May 2009

Borut Kersevan

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.

6th April 2009
6th April 2009

Stanislav Němeček

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.

9th March 2009

Anna and Lucia di Ciaccio

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.

12th January 2009

Anna Kaczmarska

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.

15th December 2008
15th December 2008

Jonas Strandberg

“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.

8th December 2008
8th December 2008

Pippa Wells

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.

18th November 2008
18th November 2008

Amelia Maio

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.

10th November 2008
10th November 2008

Andi Salzburger

When ATLAS physicist Andi Salzburger finished his PhD in May 2008, he thought of doing something really special to celebrate such a milestone in his life. He ended up walking 430Km, traveling the whole length of Iceland from North to South on foot.

20th October 2008
20th October 2008

Steve Lloyd

Talking to Steve Lloyd, you can’t help but get the sense that the influence of this softly spoken, polite Brit is woven into the very fabric of CERN. As the author of the improved ATLAS Computing Workbook, he has certainly touched the working lives of all new members of ATLAS since 2005, but his reach extends further than that.

13th October 2008
13th October 2008

Soshi Tsuno

Soshi Tsuno didn’t know much about particle physics until he met professor Hiroshi Takeda in his fourth year at Kobe University in 1996. At the time, ATLAS collaborators there were already developing the thin gap muon chambers (TGCs) that reside in both the large and small wheels, and Soshi joined this work.

29th September 2008
29th September 2008

Anthony Morley

̉Walk through Restaurant 1 at about 1 p.m. on a weekday, and you can’t fail to notice the plethora of languages being spoken. Not only that, the diversity of accents twisting themselves around English or French conversations reveals just how many nationalities are represented at CERN. Nevertheless, listening to Anthony Morley mid-flow is still a bit of a novelty, given that he’s one of only a handful of Australians working on-site on ATLAS.

22nd September 2008
22nd September 2008