My First Recorded Seminar at LBNL

A pictogram of the kind of events we've been hunting for. This shows the particles that we see in the detector when: 1) two quarks from the two colliding protons decide to exchange virtual W or Z bosons, which radiate a Higgs boson; 2) the Higgs boson decays to a pair of tau leptons; 3) one tau lepton decays to a muon and neutrinos; 4) the other tau decays semi-hadronically to neutral and charged pions and a neutrino.

A pictogram of the kind of events we’ve been hunting for. This shows the particles that we see in the detector when: 1) two quarks from the two colliding protons decide to exchange virtual W or Z bosons, which radiate a Higgs boson; 2) the Higgs boson decays to a pair of tau leptons; 3) one tau lepton decays to a muon and neutrinos; 4) the other tau decays semi-hadronically to neutral and charged pions and a neutrino.

I’ve been rather busy in the last few weeks planning my transition from a mere student to a slightly elevated status in the academic world: post-doc researcher. This involves concluding the PhD with the long and laborious writing of a thesis, followed by the defence of said thesis in front of a committee of highly qualified scientists. The transition also involves applying to jobs. I recently applied for a Chamberlain Fellowship at the Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), and I was among 6 candidates to be invited to present a one hour seminar on my research. Some of the Chamberlain committee members based at CERN couldn’t attend the seminar so it was recorded on video for them. They also happened to post the video on their Research Progress Meetings website! I had a total of 13 interviews with various members of the astrophysics/particle physics research group at Berkeley. This was rather intense, but a great life experience to say the least. I will be made aware of the final decision in January. So here I post the link to the abstract, slides and video I presented. It’s quite nice to have something of my own out there!

The seminar is aimed at a technically inclined audience, although I did try to explain as many concepts as I could. A full understanding may require some familiarity with the field, or an extended period of questions with me 🙂 Seriously, I’m fine with answering any questions here on the blog: feel free to ask, go nuts!

Another disclaimer is that I haven’t watched the entire video, so I can’t guarantee any sort of quality of presentation. I did receive a number of good comments though, so I hope it is a decent talk! I’m not very comfortable with a laser pointer, and one of my mistakes was to accept one when it was handed to me. Seriously, if you can cover most of the screen on which your slides are projected with your arms, you don’t need a laser pointer. The laser pointer makes you instinctively point to everything on the slides, which is not necessary. On the other hand, using your arms to point at things on the slides is a great opportunity to use your physical presence during a talk.

A lot of figures in the talk are original, made with Inkscape (free and fantastic vector graphics editor). I’m fine with people borrowing them, but I would appreciate if you could tell me if you plan to do so. I like to keep track of the stuff I do.

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