career

Coffee Collisions is a year-long pilot program offering early career women scientists, computer professionals and engineers a chance to connect informally and virtually with a senior member from Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory or the University of Chicago every month. Those interested in participating should sign up before Aug. 15. Contact Mayling Wong-Squires or Sam Zeller for more information.

An illustration of a woman with dark hair head in hand, falling asleep at a desk in front of a computer monitor. A desk lamp signs on her. Her room has two walls missing and floats in the nightsky in a cloud.

Four physicists, including Fermilab’s Claire Lee, share their experiences dealing with major setbacks, trauma, mental health issues and toxic work environments.

The data wranglers

Illustration: Scientists sifting through data

A degree in particle physics or astrophysics can lead to a career in data science. Physicists know how to take enormous amounts of raw data and use it to address a question—often approaching it from multiple angles before finding the answer.

Those who study particle physics will find that every step of the journey offers a new perspective and new set of responsibilities. Symmetry chats with scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider to hear about differences between seven different rungs on the academic career ladder.

Do you have a PhD in particle physics, astrophysics or accelerator science? Do you want to help current and future PhD students decide whether a postdoctoral position is right for them? Then this Symmetry survey is for you! Take the Survey We’re seeking input from scientists who made a decision about whether to pursue a postdoctoral position after earning a PhD in particle physics, astrophysics or accelerator science. If you decided to go for it, we want to hear about…

Right now could be considered one of the best — and most uncertain — times in theoretical physics. That’s what Symmetry heard in interviews with 10 junior faculty in the field. They talk about what keeps them up at night, their favorite places to think and how they explain their jobs to nonscientists.