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Think like an experimental particle physicist – second (and last) part February 27, 2009

Posted by dorigo in games, humor, physics, science.
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While putting together the scores to evaluate the answers to the 11 questions of the previous post, I realized that they are not enough for a fair classification. So here are a few more quizzes for those of you who found my effort worth paying back with five more minutes of your time.

  • K) You are found in the library of your Department. Why was that ?
  1. Why, I had an hour to kill…
  2. I am just checking out the new librarian (he/she’s cute).
  3. They told me there are coupons to cut away for free radioactive samples on this month’s issue of Physics Today.
  4. They threatened to expel me if I did not bring back the overdue copy of DH. Perkins’ book.
  • L) How much is 87 times 945 ?
  1. About 80 thousand.
  2. About 82 thousand.
  3. I left my pocket calculator in the office upstairs.
  4. (after a minute)  82,215  (ignore my fast breathing).
  5. 82 215 (mind the space -I take pride in following AIP style rules!).
  6. More or less 10^5.
  • M) The mean-looking airport cop finds an electronic board wrapped in a sweater in your carry-on.
  1. You go back to the check-in counter: you came early on purpose.
  2. You try to explain it is innocuous HEP hardware.
  3. You manage to power it up by fiddling with the laptop power cord to show the two-digit LCD mounted on it does come alive.
  4. You start arguing that the sign with red crosses on lighters, firearms and batteries mentions nothing even vaguely resembling a CAMAC module.
  5. You let them dump it, too bad for science -and whoever uses CAMAC nowadays, after all.
  • N) Your paper draft receives really nasty comments from your collaborators
  1. You write down the names of the bad guys on your small red booklet in the bottom drawer – their time in front of the muzzle will come one day!
  2. You answer in kinds on a rage, with carbon-copy to the spokespersons, making a fool of yourself.
  3. You answer as politely as you can in a very detailed manner, cursing yourself softly while you feel like you’ve bent over.
  4. You decide the paper really is not worth that much and forget about it for a month or two.
  • O) After your presentation is over,  the session convener asks a tough question and you do not even know what he or she is talking about.
  1. You say you do not know the answer and display your best smile, hiding the sweating.
  2. You repeatedly pretend you did not understand the sentence until he or she decides it’s time to move on.
  3. You think it wasn’t such a good idea to grab that last-minute chance for a plenary talk.
  4. You go to a random back-up slide and discuss it in detail for five minutes, trying to look meaningful.
  • P) A science reporter calls and asks you information on the  hunt for supersymmetry.
  1. You feel flattered, get carried away, and end up disclosing reserved information from your experiment.
  2. You direct him or her to the experiment spokespersons.
  3. You pretend you’re the switchboard operator.
  4. You ask what magazine is that for, and after hearing it’s “New Scientist” you hang up.
  • Q) They sent you a paper to be reviewed. It sucks big time.
  1. Feeling true to your duties, you implacably point out each and every imperfection with rigor and an occasional bit of sadism.
  2. You reckon nobody’s going to read the paper anyway, so you send back two lines saying the paper looks ok but would they please use AIP style rules ?
  3. You are fought between your duties and your compassion for the poor post-doc who did most of the work  to get the paper to your desk, and try to balance the two things, ending up screwing both -the author feels raped and the paper does not get any better from your review.
  4. You would never accept to get into an editorial board, it’s just such a waste of research time.
  • R) You are on owl shift and your colleagues are out of the room for coffee and cookies, when every screen turns red, alarms sound, and an ominous-looking warning sign start flashing on the silicon cooling contol panel.
  1. You run to the silicon crash button and press it.
  2. You silence all alarms and fetch the emergency procedures folder, then start reading it
  3. You rush to call your colleagues.
  4. You sneak out, join your colleagues and serve yourself a coffee, then look over the glass door and mention there appears to be  something flashing inside as if you just noticed it.
  • S) You feel you think like an experimental particle physicist because…
  1. You do not work in HEP, but at least one answer in each of the 19 questions above made a lot of sense to you
  2. You read this blog and you think it really does not take much to be a HEP physicist.
  3. You are a theorist and although you have trouble with practicalities you think experimentalists have similar thinking processes.
  4. You are a scientist from another field and you know how to tie your shoes.
  5. You are a scientist from another field and you wear sandals.
  6. You are sure you do not think like an experimental particle physicist in the least.

Comments

1. Reperio - February 27, 2009

K) 1
L) 2
M) 2
N) 3
O) 4😀 as usual
P) 4
Q) 3, poor guy, usually its advisor’s problem.
R) 1!! I panicked!
S) 4

2. Marco - February 27, 2009

K) 2 (it would have been 4 since a while ago)
L) 6
M) 4 (drop it? You never know when a CAMAC module could be handy again!)
N) 3 (being me. But I know lots that would choose 2)
O) 4🙂
P) 2
Q) Mmmm, I guess a mixture of 1 and 3
R) 1
S) 2🙂 (but I do wear sandals, at least in summer, even if I’m not from another field)

3. NIcola P - February 27, 2009

k 4 (but 2 if it is the next day, and the day after the next one etc…)
l 2
m 1
n 1
o 4 (and say “remember you can find everything of it in the papers…”, in a very serious and disappointed mood)
p 3
q 1 (definitely!)
r 1 (if I can justify with safety or similar, it should be a satisfaction without any comparison)
s 5 (well, I was born as an experimental particle physicist, I still consifer myself one, but I like to wear sandals)

4. kamenin - February 27, 2009

Come on, it’s always the last answer that should fit you right in. At least that’s my experience with HEP physicists. Though, there may be a reason why I left the field a long time ago🙂

5. Haryo - February 27, 2009

K4
L6
M1
N1
O3
P1
Q3
R3
S6

6. GR - February 27, 2009

K3
L1
M3
N1
O4
P1
Q1
R1 Oh god I’ve always wanted to hit one of those.
S2

7. Pasquale - February 27, 2009

K2
L6
M2
N3
O3
P1
Q3
R3
S6 (Well, I should admit it)

8. Andrea Giammanco - February 27, 2009

K2
L3+6
M2
N1
O4
P4
Q3
R3
S2 (hey, wait, I *am* an experimental particle physicist!)

9. carlbrannen - February 27, 2009

K4, L2, M4, N3, O4, P2, Q1, R1, S1

I used to be quite expert on CAMAC modules but that was 1982 and I assumed that they were no longer used. I designed and built the trigger module used in the first double beta decay experiment at UC Irvine. This was a time projection chamber with Helmholtz coils around a sheet of mylar coated with an isotope of selenium. And I did a CAMAC command module for an experiment at Los Alamos (for Herb Chen, it was mostly used to measure temperatures using thermocouples) and also a couple of modules used by a plasma lab to measure small currents and voltages.

10. Gina - February 27, 2009

K.3
L.4
M.2
N.3
O.3
P.2
Q.1
R.3
S.1

I shall recalculate my final result now.

11. davide - February 27, 2009

2
1
3
3
4
4
1
2
7 I’m a sudent (of particle physics)!

12. delo - February 28, 2009

k2
l5
m1
n2
o4
p2
q3
r1 ->3
s6 (does it count PhD🙂 )

13. changcho - March 1, 2009

K1
L1
M2
N4
O3
P4
Q1
R4
S4

14. Xisy - March 2, 2009

K2
L 2
M2
M1
O4
P3
Q1
R4
S 3


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