CERN students display their work

The first poster session by students working on the LHC experiments, organised by the LPCC, was a great success. Showcasing the talents of over a hundred young physicists from all over the world, it was an opportunity for everyone at CERN to check out the wide range of research work being done by the new generation of physicists at CERN.


At 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday 23 March, the first poster session by CERN students took place in Restaurant No.1, where no fewer than 87 posters went on public display. The students were split into 8 groups according to their research field* and all were on hand to answer the questions of an inquisitive audience. TH Department's Michelangelo Mangano, who is head of the LHC Physics Centre at CERN (LPCC) and is responsible for the initiative, confirms that nothing was left to chance, even the choice of date: "We wanted to make the most of the general enthusiasm around the winter conferences and the meeting of the LHC Experiments Committee to present the students' work."

The aim? To give the students greater visibility and at the same time an opportunity to get to know their colleagues' work - even if they work on the same experiment they don't always get a chance to meet and chat about their research. "This kind of event helps the students bond into a community," Michelangelo adds. "We hope that our students here at CERN will take a leaf out of the book of the Grad Students Association of Fermilab and use this opportunity to develop positive synergies."

CERN is not only a great place for students to work but it's an ideal crossroads to meet and exchange ideas, as confirms Yhanxi Zhang, from Tsinghua University in Beijing, who is working on the LHCb experiment: "These past few months spent at CERN have helped me go about my research in a different way. I generally tend to work alone, but there are so many physicists around here I can discuss my work with. I really hope to be able to come back to CERN once I've finished my doctoral thesis!"

While many doctoral students split their time between CERN and their university, some are here full-time. Samir Arfaoui, who is taking part in the ATLAS collaboration, says: "I've been working at CERN for three years under a doctoral-student contract. For my thesis I'm also signed up at the University of Aix-Marseille II, but I don't physically work there. I love CERN, it's a great place. There are so many people from all over the world here!" And many people indeed turned up to admire the poster session, so many in fact that the organisers are already planning to set up the exhibition in a larger area next time.

All the posters presented at the session can be viewed here.

* Heavy quark physics, top quark physics, Higgs searches, QCD and final states in pp and Pb-Pb collisions, W and Z physics, luminosity measurements, detector performance, operations and upgrades, triggers and computing, beyond Standard Model searches.

by Anaïs Schaeffer