Particle Tracking: Joining the Dots in the ATLAS Experiment

The art of tracking particles is literally at the heart of the big LHC detectors. It is an enormously complicated 3-dimensional join-the-dots exercise. This challenge requires advanced software, developed by teams of programmers over many years. This is a story of how I figured it out one summer.

Preservation of Life in a Nuclear Age

One of the most memorable lectures I have attended was by Joseph Rotblat, anti-nuclear campaigner, and the only scientist to quit the Manhattan Project on moral grounds. He explained the flaw in the concept of a nuclear deterrent was the assumption that you were dealing with a sane adversary. This came back to me as I read recent accounts of President Donald Trump.

Darkest Abruzzo

The search for particle dark matter involves many challenges. During my time working on such an experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory, I had to run a helium liquefaction plant and maintain a super-clean environment deep underground, as well as endure daily battles with Italian bureaucracy and teams of builders.