CERN Open Days

The CERN Open Days are already fading away, even though it was an adventure that already started in July 2018. I had the pleasure of coordinating the ATLAS activities for this 75k-visitors event together with Anna Sfyrla, Laetitia Bardo and a great team of about a dozen ATLAS members that helped us by coordinating one of our activities.

During the Open Days, which started with an underground-only family day on Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday evening, almost 300 ATLAS members joined as volunteers to make the ATLAS activities – as far as I am concerned – a huge success.

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Holidays by the sea

I just returned from holidays at both the North and the Baltic Sea.
One week each in Garding on Eiderstedt and Fährdorf on Poel.

We had a very nice time watching the water come and go at the North Sea, walking the mud flats and dikes, taking a boat trip to see seals, porpoises and other animals living the sea, visiting the wonderful Multimar Wattforum and other nice places. Had some good food (lot’s of fish) and a lot of wind and quite a bit of rain.

On Poel the weather changed for the better and we had beach time, sand-castle (or figures) building, paddling tours on the Breitling (Bay of Wismar) and lot’s of other things.

Here’s a few pictures from both seas, some of which also made it to my gallery.

LHCP2019

taken from https://indico.cern.ch/event/687651/
Conference picture taken from https://indico.cern.ch/event/687651/

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in the 7th edition of the Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference (LHCP) in Puebla, Mexico.

Besides talking about latest updates on “Searches for long-lived particles in ATLAS” and “Particle Physics Outreach as a Strategic Pillar for Society: A report from IPPOG”, as well as presenting posters on “Communicating ATLAS: adapting to an ever-changing media landscape” and “ATLAS Outreach: on the dissemination of High Energy Physics and Computer Sciences“, I also had the chance to see a – way too tiny – bit of Mexico during the week.

Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of my original flight to Mexico and the resulting late arrival, an extremely persistent jet lag waking we up at around 3am each day, and the fact that I already had to leave on Friday, there wasn’t really any time to explore much of Mexico. So I could only see a bit of Puebla’s city centre and – through the conference excursion – the archeological site of Teotihuacan.

Quite an intense week with lots of physics (see timetable), little sleep, lots of Mexican food and many people to meet. If only Mexico wasn’t a twelve-hour flight away …

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Spring conferences

March is spring-conference time and ATLAS has presented some very nice results at the Moriond meeting in La Thuile over the past couple of days (and so have other experiments). Along with these results and the related publications we’ve been putting out several Physics Briefings highlighting some of the most interesting results and a summary piece.

In parallel, I’m at the spring meeting of the German Physical Society in Aachen this week. Our annual week with hundreds of talks and updates on particle physics in Germany and in general, this year enriched by talks on didactics and artificial intelligence.

On Tuesday I gave an invited-talk on “Searches for long-lived particles as signs of new physics at the LHC”, trying to convince a more people to join the hunt for long-lived particles ;)

Visiting ATLAS

With loads of data – collected during the past four years of Run 2 – in our pockets, ATLAS managed to produce a multitude of very interesting results and has now started Long Shutdown 2 (LS2), a two-year-long maintenance and upgrade phase to prepare ATLAS for the future. The latter includes both Run 3, coming up in 2021, and the high luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) scheduled for 2026. We’ll be covering all the upgrade activities on the ATLAS website over the coming months.

With the LHC turned off, LS2 will also be a great chance for anybody to visit ATLAS (starting from May this year). Last week I managed to renew my underground training and therefore had the chance to see our beauty myself (see pictures) after quite some time.
Besides the visits there is also lot’s of other things happening this year … CERN Open Days, a new ATLAS Visitor Centre, lots of new results … just to name a few.