Yesterday I profited of the kindness of Cesar Ocampo, the site manager of the Parque Astronomico near San Pedro de Atacama, in northern Chile, to visit a couple of places that the SWGO collaboration is considering as the site of a large array of particle detectors meant to study ultra-high-energy gamma rays from the sky.
SWGO and cosmic ray showers
Yesterday I visited a high school in Venice to deliver a lecture on particle physics, and to invite the participating students to take part in an art and science contest. This is part of the INFN "Art and Science across Italy" project
, which has reached its fourth edition, organizes art exhibits with the students' creations in several cities across Italy. The best works are then selected for a final exhibit in Naples, and the 24 winners are offered a week-long visit to the CERN laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland.
I just finished reading a very nice piece on the Guardian
, written by my friend and ex colleague Eleni Petrakou, who collaborated with me in the CMS experiment at CERN and is now a scientific writer. The topic is the disruptive effect that the war in Ukraine has caused to scientific collaboration. I urge you to read it if the matter is of any interest to you.
It rarely happens to play a regular chess game with no clear mistakes. When the game is a blitz one, though, this is exceedingly rare. A blitz game is one where both players have 5 minutes to make all their moves, and the first who runs out of time automatically loses (provided the opponent realizes it).
Because of the very short time to make decisions, blitz chess games are an adrenaline-producing, intense brain activity. So much so that when people talk to me during a blitz game I simply do not record the words they speak, for the whole duration of the game; after the end, I often find myself reckoning with a buffer of words that by then have no meaning anymore.
Another year just started, and this is as good a time as any to line up a few wishes. Not a bucket list, nor a "will do" set of destined-to-fail propositions. It is painful to have to reckon with the failure of our strength of will, so I'd say it is better to avoid that. Rather, it is a good exercise to put together a list of things that we would like to happen, and over which we have little or no control: it is much safer as we won't feel guilty if these wishes do not come true.
A long while ago (my gosh, 13 years!!) I wrote on this site a two
piece titled "Five Tips for Particle Physics Ph.D. Wannabes
". At 43 years of age, I felt confident that I could look back to some experience gathered while being a Ph.D. myself, and later on while advising others. I believe the few advices I put together there are still mostly valid today. Have a look if you are a grad student in search for tips!