Built on Facts

News and Apologies

No, I’m not dead or anything. There was no post this morning because I was absolutely bushed and bone tired. Homework, classes, teaching, and research over the last two days were ridiculous. The rest of the week looks not to be so bad. Funny how the whole “work” part of school never makes it into those films in the college-frat-party genre. I mean come on, I did my undergrad at LSU. They’re a legendary party school. If those films have any relation to reality I think I’d have seen it. Now there was no shortage of parties and booze, but if there was anyone who tried to relive Animal House I never saw it. They wouldn’t have lasted long anyway. Though not exactly everyone spent their weekends in the library, most people were there to learn and were willing to do what it took. Those who weren’t willing found themselves no longer in college. Or at least in a useless major.

Anyway. You didn’t hear this from me, but I’m reliably informed that the LHC is going to try to have their first collisions this weekend. They’re not formally announcing this to the public because there’s a lot of things that have to be done first and it might not all be ready that soon. Keep your fingers crossed! The collisions will be at very low energy (a little under half a TeV), so nothing dramatic should happen in terms of new physics. Gradually they’ll ramp up the beam energy over the next couple of months and then the real science will begin in earnest. The first thing they’ll be studying is their own detectors. Since ATLAS and CMS are one of a kind incredibly complex machines, the testing and calibration will take some time before the data pouring out of them can be reliably understood. Once that’s done the scientists will be able to start extracting fundamental physics data from the collisions.

See y’all tomorrow! I’m going to take a nap now.


  1. #1 Uncle Al
    September 17, 2008

    The Outer Limits (1963),
    “It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork”
    Go LHC!

  2. #2 razib
    September 18, 2008

    i was praying for you while you were gone!

  3. #3 Carl Brannen
    September 18, 2008

    When I arrived at college, I was told that at the previous graduation somebody had completed their 4th year of partying with no grades better than D. Apparently his parents were unaware of this and flew out to see him graduate.

    After that, the college began kicking people out for bad grades.

  4. #4 Chris P
    September 18, 2008

    Are you going to mention people like Prandtl or Von Karman – or is fluid dynamics not classified as physics?

    Von Karmans autobiography was an amazing read.

    Chris P

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