CERN's Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment
Photo: ATLAS Experiment © 2006 CERN
Yesterday, CERN announced the discovery of a new particle, dubbed the "charming" particle. The news was revealed at the EPS Conference on High Energy Physics in Venice.
WRS spoke to Eluned Smith, who works on the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment the average day at CERN and the differences between what people regularly imagine it means to be a scientist there, and what she does every day.
- Eluned - at her desk, working on the LHCb experiment
"When my family thinks of me at CERN, I think they're expecting me to be there in a white lab-coat and this is not what case for I do.
Our experiments are big. We have about 1000 people on my particular experiment and all of us have different roles, but the majority of us do not really get too near the detector itself. There's the LHC colliding these protons, and then a detector will collect the data from these protons. When we have this data, then we have a real challenge. Then we have petrobites of this data and then we have to do something useful with this data.
What does this mean in reality? I get up in the morning, I come into CERN, I essentially go into my office and turn on my computer and there I have access to all of the data that has been taken by the LHC via different computing networks. My job is think of clever ways of using that data to find something interesting about the universe with it. In reality, it means writing a lot of code..."
- Eluned crunching the data at the whiteboard.