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RHIC Control Room: Startrek By Any Other Name May 6, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life, science.

Further ignoring what I should be doing, I stumbled across this article describing the re-start of the RHIC collider. In it, a professor from UW describes what the control room is like:

Thomas A. Trainor, 62, a physics professor from the University of Washington, who was at the control panel, invoked another metaphor, likening the control room to the bridge of the Enterprise in “Star Trek.”

“That’s Captain Kirk over there,” said Dr. Trainor, pointing to the shift leader, a spry 81-year-old physics professor from U.C.L.A., George Igo. He was accumulating collision data from the experimental run and amassing an impressive pile of pistachio shells on his desk. “I’m just the bookkeeper,” Dr. Igo said.

Dr. Trainor continued, “You could say I’m Sulu, at the controls, but when the captain tells me, ‘I want things run this way,’ I do it.”

“He’s Chekov,” Dr. Trainor said, pointing to Jan Kapitan, 26, a doctoral student in nuclear physics from the Czech Republic. Then he turned to a tall man monitoring the alarm systems, Peter Filip, who works for a research group from Moscow.

“He’s Scotty,” Dr. Trainor said, “because if something goes wrong, he has to respond.”

Say. That sounds just like the DZERO control room, which is where I’m sitting right now.



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