ILC NewsLine
Five labs through 200 lenses
Public vote for winners of first global particle physics photowalk now open

The photographers snapped detectors, test facilities and anything to do with particle physics.

A woman kneels, almost devoutly, in front of a piece of beam pipe. One man is lying flat on his belly, squinting along the underside of a long step illuminated by blue warning lights. Another sits cross-legged opposite a barrel wheel of a particle detector and studies its forms. A new meditation class for particle physicists? No – just the world’s first global particle physics photo walk. The people in the strange positions above were all armed with cameras, lenses, tripods and a good portion of curiosity when they got an exclusive look behind the scenes of five of the world’s particle physics laboratories on 7 August. The local winners have now been announced and you can vote for your favourite picture here.

At KEK in Japan, CERN in Switzerland, DESY in Germany, Fermilab in the US and TRIUMF in Canada, more than 200 amateur photographers went wild in front of magnets, accelerators, detectors or simply cables or crane chains. Photographers often get together in small groups to "photowalk" a place or an event and then compare results afterwards. DESY held its (and the world's) first science photowalk last year, and it proved so successful that five labs within the interAction collaboration decided to organise a particle physics-themed photowalk on the same day around the world. Photographers are a well connected community and places filled up extremely quickly – at DESY demand was so high that the lab decided to hold a staff-only photowalk on 9 October.

Hans-Peter Hildebrandt

Keisuke Mori

Kay Bohlmann

Tobias Eckardt

Christian Stefani
You can vote for your favourite photo online.

Of course linear colliders played a major role in this event: photographer got to snap KEK's ATF and the superconducting RF test facility, at DESY they saw ILC prototype detectors under construction and in the test beam and of course many, many cavities, and at CERN, they were given free reign in the CLIC test facility. A larger selection of about 100 images will be shown on a dedicated Flickr page in October, so stay tuned!

Each photographer was allowed to enter up to 20 images for the local competition, and the local juries, consisting of physicists, photographers, journalists and even politicians, had a hard time selecting the top three. The three winners from each lab have now entered the global competition, and the world champions of particle physics photowalking will be announced in October. There will be two sets of winners: those selected by the international jury and those selected through the public vote.

By the way: we have permission from all photographers that we can use their images for non-profit websites, talks or brochures. So if you see one that you like, feel free to download it, but please make sure you give the photographer proper credit!

-- Barbara Warmbein

See also this story in symmetry breaking
More photographs on Flickr