Destination: Australia

For those that didn’t know yet, I am currently in Melbourne, Australia. The main reason is probably the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) that currently takes place at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Another reason is the first public display of my ATLAS model in the Melbourne Planetarium during the same time (actually longer than that).

And since I am going to spend about three weeks in Australia, we decided to make it a family trip, so Heike and Erik joined in.

Flying Berlin – Düsseldorf – Abu Dhabi – Melbourne, we spend about two days in planes and on airports to get to our first destination in the centre of Melbourne. Still fighting with a bit of jet lag I went to see the folks of Melbourne University (cheers to Caroline and Dave) and Tanya from the planetarium on Friday. After getting a bit of an introduction to University and the Centre of excellence for particle physics in Australia, I went to see the exhibition and the ATLAS display at the Planetarium for the first time. Quite a nice casing and setting as well as some nice posters and videos in the installation (they also made a time-lapse video of their build in Melbourne about three weeks ago).

On the weekend we managed to get a bit out of town to see a wild life parks (with Kangaroos, Koalas and all that), some national parks (with actual ‘wild’ Koalas) and the Great Ocean Road. We actually rented a car and I had my first left-driving experience, which was quite nice due to the (at least for me) surprising fact that though everything is opposite in local cars, the pedals are the same way as in right-driving cars (accelerating right, breaking middle/left).

Today ICHEP finally started – which is the reason why I managed to write this blog as I didn’t have (affordable) internet before :( – and it started with a blast: they/we found the Higgs, well we found some boson that is compatible with the/a Standard Model Higgs, to be politically correct (or what you call it). Anyways … quite some excitement, both here and at CERN, where the results were actually presented (we just got a live feed here). But after that the reception seemed to be more exciting for most people (mainly because many people might have had an idea before the actual presentations).

One minor detail that was interesting (at least I thought so) … CERN’s press release on this issue was released already after CMS’ presentation and not after ATLAS’ results were shown as well. Also this time the release quoted only one spokesperson (CMS’) instead of both.
Hmm? But meh …

We’ll see what else this ICHEP has to offer, starting tomorrow morning …

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