Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Its My Work!

I have been asked by many persons what am I exactly doing here. So at the risk of making this post technical ( hence boring) let me try to describe that.

But even before that - let my try to explain in what I do for my research in ordinary language. Particle accelerators collide particles with high enough energies and we are looking for "New Physics" to come out from that. But if we try to look at a specific process - the signal for that is buried under a host of other associated physical processes, which we collectively refer to as "underlying events". Now we need to understand and model these so called underlying events to dig out the actual process of interest. This is often done by simulation studies and comparing them with real data. In my own research, I am looking at a particular physical process which would hop fully prove to be a good tool to model the underlying events.

As I mentioned - we need to use real data coming from the particle accelerators. Right now Tevatron in Fermi National Accelerator laboratory is world's highest energy running accelerator - and Collider Detector in Fermilab (or the CDF) is one of the two detectors looking at the data coming from the collisions. Since we get our data ( and a lot of cases simulation and analysis tools) from the CDF collaboration and I gather they (rather the Department of Energy) do not have enough money and manpower, we have to help out the collaboration in different ways, which are termed as "service work". Right now my job involves sitting in there main control room and look at the all monitors telling about different aspects. If things go wrong - normally characterized by some part of some screen turning red or an audible alarm (or both) , we are supposed to contact the relevant technical expert to fix it. Its by no means doing Physics, and nobody even pretends so. I hear its a lot of fun and excitement while there are actual data coming on, but right now we are in the midst of a "shutdown period", no actual particle collisions are going on, we are just looking at cosmic rays and technical people are trying to fine tune the detector for next set of real runs.

P.S - Technically I am called an "Ace" - which sounds more glamourous than the work actually is!

No comments: