Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Chasing The Higgs

Quick, read it before the free, open access goes away!

The NY Times has a lengthy article on the hunt for the Higgs (yeah, yeah, I know. Another one!). Still, it is nice that a prominent newspaper is still covering something like this.

As you read it, take note of the cast of characters in the story. If you are not familiar with the type of collaboration in one of these large science projects, note that many of the people who are associated with CERN or the LHC or the hunt for the Higgs are NOT CERN employees! Many, if not most, of them are employed by other institutions. They just happen to do their job AT CERN or AT the LHC.

I mention this because I've been asked by so many kids who want to work for LHC, or who wants to work for NASA etc. They think that the only way to be involved in these things is to be employed by those organizations, when nothing can be further from the truth. Many of these projects are run, administered, etc., by people from other organizations. Here in the US, people who work at many of the large facilities at various US National Labs are NOT necessarily employees of those laboratories. Large user facilities such as the NSLS, APS, SNS, LCLS, etc. often attract scientists and engineers from other institutions to perform their work/investigation at these facilities. Even the Tevatron, when it was operational, had huge number of physicists from other places, very much like the way CERN/LHC is right now.

So kids, don't aim your ambition to work for a particular employer or location. Aim for the type of profession that would be able to perform the task that is involved in working at that location.


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