You Need To Be There August 6, 2007Posted by gordonwatts in CERN, physics life.
Many people ask if you can do ATLAS physics at UW and never travel to CERN. The answer is no. You can do a lot of physics at UW — in fact, I suspect you could do all the physics you wanted — but it would take a lot longer — and you’d never be able to keep up with the people that did travel to CERN.
Coming back from dinner this evening is a case-in-point. The #9 bus, which goes from downtown Geneva to CERN, was packed at 10:30. By the time it thinned out I found myself standing next to a group that sounded like they were from CERN. One thing lead to another and I discovered they were working on GRID software, and, in particular, condor.
This has been one of my pet things — using VM’s (Virtual Machines) to run GRID jobs so you can avoid all the setup issues that generally one has to deal with (i.e. did you get the version of python right? etc.). And it turned out they were experts in using VM’s for doing GRID jobs. I got lots of good ideas out of that — we stood at the bus stop for perhaps another 20 minutes after the bus left exchanging email addresses and names.
All from a chance meeting. It is like the coffee house cooler, but on a bus. 🙂 Travel will always be a necessary part of all types of physics. Too bad, on one hand!