Friday, June 17, 2011

Femtobarn party at CERN!!! Toilets will get fixed!!

Official CERN news:

CERN's LHC accelerator has now delivered so much data that both CMS and Atlas detectors have already recorded over 1 inverse femtobarn of data!!! (equivalent to 70 millions of millions of collisions, for the people who likes millions). And yes, in case you didn't notice that is a lot. For comparison, in all the years that Fermilab's Tevatron was working (currently second most powerful accelerator after CERN's one, and for many years the first one) it recorded just 8 inverse femtobarns (running since 1983). Now in only few months of continuous running, LHC did already 1. And expectations are to get from now about another 1 per month till reaching 5.5 this year (and then they will start doing other things, like superfluid liquid drops of heavy ions matter).

Maikel discovered that while he was in one of his interesting meetings close to the CMS control room. Suddenly the meeting finished and bottles of champaign and boxes of snacks started appearing from nowhere. People were bringing stuff and more stuff and soon there was a small improvised speech followed by people eating and drinking like crazy. Party!!!!!

Maikel's friends soon discovered it and felt envy about how lucky Maikel was. It's strange the fact that they even knew about it, as everybody knows that Maikel is very silent and quiet and never says anything...

Anyway, in a strange cosmical coincidence that some would correlate with this femtobarn party, suddenly all CERN toilets are getting fixed. Maikel was complaining since months ago about the radioactive toilet full of antimatter in front of his office (see this post) but since few weeks ago the situation got worst. The water just didn't come out when you desperately pushed the buttons and the radioactive products from CERN physicists stayed there under your impotent face. Soon the smell overpassed the human resistance capability and even Maikel was forced to run away and try to use other facilities. Then he discovered that other ones around the same building and other buildings were in the same disastrous situation. Somehow it seemed that CERN was able to crush all world records in high technology and femtobarns but it was unable to repair toilets!!

But now the situation is changing. People repairing toilets have been spreading around CERN and fixing stuff here and there. Maikel even got told that in the toilet in front of him 5 people fixing the toilet were seen this morning, discussing about the theoretical problems and deploying an experimental fix, which didn't work. Somehow 5 people were not enough to fix a toilet but we expect tomorrow the sun will shine and the toilet will get finally repaired, being able to accept antimatter again.

PD: note, tomorrow is Saturday so no luck
PD2: actually the weather forecast is quite crappy... XD


  1. I think the last two posts are among the best-written ever.
    Or I got used to not seeing any posts and now I'll just be impressed by anything.

  2. Update:
    * some days after we made yet another party with champagne after CMS had 1 inverse femtobarn of data "recorded" :D
    * it was said that we have to make another celebration whenever we have 1 inverse femtobarn of data ready for physics!!!
    * the men's toilet in my building is fixed!!! cool!!!
    * my officemate went to the girls toilet also to celebrate and to inaugurate it but came out running and almost vomiting so I guess there is still something wrong with that one...