Feeds

My dad found the Higgs boson! Reminiscences of a CERN kid

Hold it buddy - US atom bureau pass, but born in Iran?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

University challenge

Every Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive the latest computer. My dad consistently encouraged my basic programming skills but the ZX Spectrum and VIC 20 were consigned to the cupboard as puberty hit and any thoughts of following my dad’s passion for bosons was replaced with a passion for boys. You know how it is ...

Robert Orr Higgs boson

During the 1980s dad moved to Canada to take up his position at the University of Toronto. As NSERC Principal Investigator for the ATLAS collaboration he was also involved in the construction of an innovative particle detector at the Collider – apparatus which instrumental in the search for Supersymmetry (another great discovery which some physicists expect at the LHC in future) and the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking: the mechanism which generates the masses of particles.

Along with my sister I followed him to Toronto and he continued to allow us small glimpses into his world with access to the University network to play ASCII MultiUser Dungeons with his graduate students. On starting my film degree and watching too much Fellini I remember after a particularly deep LSD trip asking my dad to explain antimatter, at which point he pulled out a pad and started writing equations. I will always regret quickly losing concentration.

After moving back to the UK to complete my MA I would occasionally visit my dad at CERN when he was over for the ATLAS steering committees. I remember once – after an especially scrumptious pizza at the CERN local pizzeria in Ferny Voltaire – my dad driving to a field in the middle of the French countryside, past a small barrier. Walking through the wheat we came to a hatch and climbed down into the LHC tunnel – all Freon and beams. I remember thinking: It doesn’t get much cooler than this.

Intimately involved with the latest developments regarding the Higgs boson particle experiments, my dad once claimed it was “the most elegant way humans can build a theory for describing reality.”

Over the last couple of months I have regularly been hassling my dad regarding a summer holiday, and he has been consistently ignoring me. Now I know why. ®

Lucy Orr is a 3D animation tutor and a regular contributor on all things gaming for Register Hardware.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.