Physics Jamboree 2010

Landon, a first-year physics major in Dedman College and mechanical engineering major in the Lyle School, and Matthew, a physics and electrical engineering major, traveled to the University of Cincinnati in April 2010 to participate in the BaBar Physics Jamboree. Steve Sekula, assistant physics professor, traveled with them. The BaBar experiment is based at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University.

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On the front lines of low-energy particle physics

An update from Landon:

We left SMU at 7:45 AM today to head to D/FW, and the morning started off rough, when we were hit from behind on Northwest Highway. However, little damage was done and we were soon on the road again.

The plane left around 9:50 AM, and during the flight I tried to get some reading done for class. No luck, though, as when we got to cruising altitude I just fell asleep.

Anyway, we got to Cincinnati around 1 PM local time and headed toward the university. One thing I will say about Cincinnati is that the architecture is quite varied but intriguing on the campus and around the city. There are stark contrasts between the upscale downtown scene and the older homes around the campus, but it makes an ever-changing and exciting ride for sure.

Another rough start when the meetings began 30 minutes late due to audio problems when the phone conferences could not be heard in the room. However, we got started and had a day full of discussions and lectures on the front lines of low-energy particle physics. A lot of the information was way over my head, but there were a few topics that I recognized.

Other than that I met some cool people from around the country and the world who enjoyed talking about physics and Star Wars over an Indian-themed dinner, which capped off the first day nicely.

Tonight I put together some slides for my talk on Sunday and plan on finalizing them tomorrow. I’m a little nervous about whether I will know how to answer questions posed to me about the analysis I’ve done, but I’ve found out today that it is a pretty relaxed presentation environment. That coupled with the support of Professor Sekula is comforting.

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