ILC NewsLine
ILC bloggers join Quantum Diaries
“This is going to be a new, hopefully interesting and enjoyable experience,” says Frank Simon, in his opening post.

One is Australian, the other German. Both are physicist willing to share their everyday lives as particle physicists working on the ILC project. Together with eight other diarists, they joined the new Quantum Diaries blog launched on 31 March 2009.

Tony Hartin from DESY. Credit:

Frank Simon from Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPI) and the Excellence Cluster 'Universe' in Munich. Credit:

Tony Hartin has been working at DESY for six months within the polarimetry group which studies the best way to construct the ILC beam polarimeter. He also studies detector backgrounds, theoretical topics in supersymmetry and intense field quantum electrodynamics. In his first post, his promises to soon explain more – and in more detail – these different aspects of ILC detector studies. Hartin has been a real science fan since he was a child and even if he was distracted from it by a variety of interesting subjects (such as history, politics and philosophy), his family was not surprised to see him finally graduate in physics in Melbourne, Australia. He then obtained his Ph-D in electrodymanics in London, UK. Before arriving at DESY in June, he had joined the ILC effort at the University of London and at the John Adams Institute in Oxford University.

Frank Simon works at the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPI) and at the Excellence Cluster 'Universe' in Munich, within the global CALICE collaboration (CAlorimeter for the Linear Collider Experiment). His career is far from being monotone. Passionate for particle physics since he first visited CERN in 1999, he first studied heavy ion collision and the quark and gluon plasma, subject of his PhD thesis. He then moved to ILC calorimeter studies at MPI. He is now also getting more and more interested in CP violation, studied with Belle at KEK-B, and with the future SuperBelle experiment. In fact all these subjects are linked and what intrigues him most is to search for hints of new physics beyond the Standard Model.

'Quantum Diarists' are not expected to just write about challenges in the laboratory or in the classroom; they are also supposed to write about what keeps them busy in their lives – their families, hobbies, interests and travels. This should not be a problem for our two bloggers whose interests are much wider than just science. In his first post, Tony Harin writes how lucky he feels to be a particle physicist. “I love travel and exploring new places and new ideas – and my job gives me much opportunity to do all three,” says Tony. In his post "Downhill", Frank entertainingly describes his passion for cold winters and skiing.

The first 'Quantum Diaries' project was a website set up for the World Year of Physics in 2005 with a total of thirty-three diarists. It was a project initiated by particle physics laboratories around the world through the InterAction Collaboration, which exists to support and communicate particle physics around the world and to set a good example of peaceful collaboration across borders.

'Quantum Diaries' website was launched on 31 March 2009.

This time, the collaboration wanted to run the new blog project in perpetuity, with rotating bloggers. Hartin and Simon will blog for at least the three following months. The InterAction collaboration will recruit new bloggers regularly, so if you feel like joining the ILC blogger team, don't hesitate to contact the ILC communicators. You can even blog in your own language.

As a conclusion of his first post 'Taking off', Simon ends with this wish: “I hope that over the next few months I can share my fascination with particle physics with you by showing snapshots of my life, both with science related posts and stories about my everyday life. There are exciting times ahead for me, I hope you stay tuned.” ILC NewsLine will follow their adventures.

-- Perrine Royole-Degieux