Since today, and for a full week, I will be serving as Scientific Coordinator (SciCo) of the crew operating the CDF experiment at Fermilab. This honorable task (or in alternative, the serving as "Consumer Operator" or "ACE") is required to all collaborators once or twice per year, in order to provide 24/7 operation of the detector and supervision of the data-taking activities.

The crew is formed by a SciCo, a CO, and an ACE.

The SciCo communicates with the main accelerator control room, directs activities in the CDF control room, is responsible for safety and for decisions on the quality of data. He or she also has the responsibility of operating the dreaded "Silicon Rack Power Crash Button", a ominous red thing sticking out of a panel, which must be pressed in case the cooling of the electronic chips in the Silicon Detector installed at the heart of the CDF experiment stops functioning and the automated power-off of the chips fails.

The CO performs routine checks on several histograms produced by programs that run on data being collected. He reports to the SciCo whether there are apparent problems with the quality of data. The ACE is the operator of the programs that turn on and off the detector components, run the monitoring of voltages and triggers, and take the data. He knows details of all these programs and is supposed to be able to fix most of the problems that occur during data taking.

There is also a fourth figure in the play - the "Operations Manager", more knowledgeable of the running of the experiment than the other people in the room. He is on duty for longer periods of time, but is not always in the control room. Being on day shift (8AM-4PM) has the advantage, for a SciCo with rusty training as myself, that the Ops Manager is usually available for advice and to co-direct the operations. So I basically can sit here, in the middle of the room, and do something else than worrying about data taking. Not to mention the fact that today the Tevatron is not circulating protons, due to work to repair a vacuum problem.

Since a few years, sitting here in the control room brings strange feelings to me. I have grown and became experienced as a particle physicist thanks to my participation to the CDF experiment, and I have spent at Fermilab many productive months of my life. Since 1992, when I first joined the experiment as a student, I have probably spent on site about four years of my life. However, in recent times I have been mostly working with the CMS experiment at CERN, and my activities within CDF have slowly declined.

My feelings are a mixture of belonging and detachment. I feel I belong here due to the long history of work I have performed for this experiment, the hundreds of papers I signed, the dozens of analyses I have contributed to, the scores of friends and colleagues who know me and with which I exchange esteem and respect. But I also feel detached, because I am not working much for the experiment anymore, and I do not live anymore the life of the experiment through attendance of the weekly physics meetings, or through delving in the analysis of the huge amount of data CDF has collected in these last few years.

Belonging or detachment ? Most of all, pride. If there is something I am really proud of, in my professional life, is to have belonged to this extraordinary experiment, CDF. CDF is the longest-lasting physics experiment ever -in operation since 1985, for the 26th year and counting. It is an experiment that has produced such an impressive amount of knowledge on the physics of fundamental interactions that I feel truly honored to have been given the opportunity to work for it.

And I still do - this week I fully belong to it. I hope I will see some real exciting data-taking runs this week! The Tevatron has recently surpassed the mark of nine inverse femtobarns of proton-antiproton collisions delivered to both CDF and DZERO, and it is headed stedily toward the once unrealistic mark of 10 inverse femtobarns. Once processed, calibrated, reconstructed, and analyzed, these data will provide a further increase in the exclusion range of Higgs boson masses, along with more precise top quark mass measurements, and a number of other precision physics measurements that I can't wait to read and report on here!