Hadron Collider School engages new generation of particle physicists

Students attend one of many lectures scheduled in the Joint Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider School. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Starting this past Monday, the seventh annual Joint Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics School opened Fermilab’s doors to 123 doctoral students and postdocs in high-energy physics for a two-week series of lectures in the field of collider physics.

Most of the students work on either Tevatron or Large Hadron Collider projects, said DZero co-spokesperson and event co-chair Dmitri Denisov. The purpose of the school is to broaden students’ knowledge of collider physics, introduce the students to experts in the field and help them develop contacts they can maintain for their entire professional lives.

“At this school, all students, from across borders, come into the same room to learn what they are concerned about, what ideas are floating around,” Denisov said. “It’s very productive.”

Students in the Fermilab-CERN Collider School are encouraged to reach out to their classmates in a variety of social events, including a day exploring Chicago.

But it’s not without hard work. Students learn from fifteen prominent scientists engaged in research at Fermilab and CERN. The instructors deliver lectures on various topics in collider physics with a focus on the importance of the students’ future work in the field. Fermilab physicist and event co-chair Patrick Fox added that the school will cover as many aspects of collider physics as possible.

Students were excited to be at Fermilab and to have an opportunity to meet others. University of Hamburg graduate student Henning Kirschenmann, who works on the CMS experiment at the LHC, said it was good to see people outside his collaboration.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know colleagues across the boundaries of our experiments,” he said.

Denisov said the school also mirrors Fermilab’s status as an international laboratory, with the students coming from over a dozen countries.

Regardless of their point of origin, Denisov said, the students have an opportunity before them unlike any other.

Fox agreed.

“The students here have the opportunity to meet counterparts from different experiments from different countries,” Fox said. “It’s great that Fermilab decided to host this school, and we will do our best to make it a success.”

The school runs from Aug. 6 to 17, with lectures in One West.