Anti-Steve: The Weeks in Review, Feb. 6 – 18

This sign hangs on the door of an office not far from my own office at CERN. Seeing it was a delightful moment of science humor on a walk back to work.

I am on an approved leave from teaching and university service this semester so that I can focus on research. While I’ve had a number of things going since before the New Year, the last two weeks have been the start of the “traveling” phase of my semester. For me, it’s “Phase 1” – I’ll be in Dallas for much of March while Jodi is away at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Now that this part of my semester has begun, I thought it would be useful to reflect on the last couple of weeks of “HEP Life.”

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LIGO, VIRGO, and February 11, 2016

The LIGO gravity wave detection experiment - Livingston, Louisiana site.
The LIGO gravity wave detection experiment – Livingston, Louisiana site.

100 years ago, Albert Einstein published what is considered the foundational work of his theory of “General Relativity,” a scientific theory of space and time. Tomorrow, two large experiments and collaborations – LIGO and VIRGO – will present the status of their searches for one of the last undiscovered predictions of General Relativity: travelling distortions in spacetime called “gravitational waves.” Rumors are flying, hopes are high, and I am just waiting for their scientific papers.

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Anti-Steve: The Week in Review (2/27)

SMU undergraduate Nicole Hartman (right) explains her simulation of low-energy neutrinos scattering to Prof. Fred Olness, Chair of the SMU Department of Physics. Photo taken at SMU Research Day, 2015.
SMU undergraduate Nicole Hartman (right) explains her simulation of low-energy neutrinos scattering to Prof. Fred Olness, Chair of the SMU Department of Physics. Photo taken at SMU Research Day, 2015.

The past week was a busy one: judging at the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair (DRSEF), the Dallas “Icepocalypse” that shut down SMU for 1.5 days and led to a ridiculous amount of work getting done, meetings with my students about their “Grand Challenge Physics Problem,” SMU Research Day, ATLAS research, and hardware research and development for low-background experiments.

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