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Colloquium at SFU February 18, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in physics, physics life.
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image I gave the colloquium at SFU last Friday. It is always fun to visit there – I’ve known Dugan O’Neil up there for many years now. I was originally signed up to get a talk on recent results from DZERO, but I just didn’t see how I could cover the whole of the DZERO physics program and do it to an audience that was only fractionally particle physicists. So I narrowed it down. Waaaay down. To just the Higgs search, which I’m now working on at the Tevatron. And I tried to pull back the covers and talk in some detail about b-tagging efficiency determination and how we are going after improving the jet energy scale.

The talk was a solid “meh” in my opinion (pdf, pptx – copy if you want, but make sure). I did several things wrong. First, it was too long. That is normal for me. Next, I tried to talk about the connection between long and short scale experiments: the “joining” of astrophysics and accelerator based particle physics. While this is neat, and something everyone should be thinking about (I think) the discussion didn’t really have any bearing on the rest of my talk: I should have cut it out to free up time. Second, my description and motivation of EW symmetry breaking was not well motivated. I need to work to improve that.

Last, I was trying to figure out how to tie the detailed discussion into the topic of the Higgs search in general (jet energy and b-tagging). I didn’t motivate it well enough. I really needed some slides that would firmly connect the high-level pedagogical part of the talk with the details. I find the details fascinating and the problems we are trying to solve very hard (one of the reasons I like them), so I don’t want to drop that part of the talk. But it definitely needs to be modified and better connected so it isn’t quite so seminar-ish.

I think it took me about a week to prepare these slides (a 50 minute talk!). One of the nice things about putting a talk like this together is that it forces one to take a step back. I’ve had a few good ideas – now, lets see if I have time to get after them. First, I need to dig myself out of all these accumulated emails and small things that await my attention! It is nice to have the talk over, however!

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