End of the summer school season

By JoAnne Hewett | September 18, 2006 5:08 pm

Hey, Lufthansa has wireless in the sky — how cool is that! So here I am at roughly 38,000 ft, somewhere over Canada, 6.5 hours into the flight with 4.5 hours left to go…. I’m on my way home from the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, where one of the last summer schools of the season just finished. The topic was Expecting LHC, which was the hot topic for summer schools this year. In fact, everybody who is anybody had one. The LHC is turning on next year and everyone wants the new crop of graduate students to be prepared!

The school was great and I enjoyed the whole experience. (But, then again, I adore Italy!) My lectures were on Non-Supersymmetric Physics Beyond the Standard Model and Extra Dimensions. That’s both a fairly broad and specific topic! I first reviewed the symmetries of the Standard Model, which any model of new physics must clearly satisfy, and briefly covered something called Little Higgs models as they contain new quarks, new gauge bosons, and new Higgs bosons, all at once! However, I spent most of my lectures on Extra Dimensions, covering the motivation, basic theory, and collider signatures for the main models. Other lecturers covered the Standard Model (QCD and Electroweak and Heavy Flavors), Higgs, Supersymmetry, and the LHC accelerator and detectors.

The students were great! It is always a joy to lecture to a room full of enthusiastic students. They were chock full of good questions and were not shy about asking them, so the lectures (and the coffee breaks, and the meals) were very interactive. There were about 100 students registered from various places ranging from Pakistan to Palestine. This set of kids shows that the world is full of eager, bright and budding physicists!

The main program of the ICTP is to foster the development of theoretical physicists from developing countries. The Center was founded in 1964 by Abdus Salam, a theorist from Pakistan who was a co-creator of the Standard Model, and it serves its purpose very well. There are many shining examples of successful theorists who have worked there, including Gia Dvali who co-invented the model of Large Extra Dimensions (a main feature of my lectures) while he was there.

Us lecturers were very well looked after, pretty much as described by Sean when he lectured at their Cosmology school earlier this year. Since he already posted a picture of the guesthouse, I will share a picture of the jellyfish with you instead. (Be thankful you are spared my numerous sunset shots.) The small bay of the Adriatic Sea where the ICTP and its Guesthouse sits was filled with the things, about 1-2 ft long. Superb!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Academia, Travel
  • graviton383

    They look like they’re jellyfish..

  • http://quasar9.blogspot.com/ Quasar9

    Hi JoAnne,
    jellyfish? but are they in the Adriatic?
    are they in the pool, or is the pool IN the Adriatic?
    I don’t know about the rest of the cv visitors, but sunsets are my favourite pics and time of day!
    Glad students from all over including Pakistan & Palestine are getting the opportunity to participate in exciting research looking at a future.

    38,000 feet eh! Go Lufthansa Go.
    Does that mean you’ve just joined the Mile high club
    You know those who go wireless & do it 12 kms up in da clouds

  • http://stringschool.blogspot.com Dimitri Terryn

    “Hey, Lufthansa has wireless in the sky — how cool is that!”

    Hurray for European carriers! :-D
    What kind of plane was it?

  • http://RiofrioSpaceTime.blogspot.com Babe in the Universe

    If you took Lufthansa, I am guessing a 747-400 and Boeing’s wireless system. You will be sorry to hear that Boeing is cancelling this system for lack of customers.

    Have you seen animations of the 747-8 on Boeing.com? It may even have a bar, something planes have needed for a long time. It will kick Airbus’ behind.

  • http://rraut1.livejournal.com Rajesh Raut

    No new quarks!

  • Jack

    During a brief visit to a small town near Trieste I enjoyed the headlines in the local newspaper; the Triestine sense of what constitutes “news” seems to be a little idiosyncratic. On my first day there the town was placarded with signs announcing “JELLYFISH INVADE THE GULF” [of Trieste, that is…]. A few days later the big news was “ELEVEN ANCIENTS FOUND DRUNK ON HIGH FLOOR OF BUILDING”.

  • http://randomspeak.blogspot.com L

    love the jellyfish shot

  • http://quasar9.blogspot.com/ Q

    Well wireless from 38,000 feet
    I guess with the ‘mushrooming’ size of the collider budget
    they could put you in space next, along with that other dual (or is it triple) nationality heavenly body

  • http://stringschool.blogspot.com Dimitri Terryn

    “Have you seen animations of the 747-8 on Boeing.com? It may even have a bar, something planes have needed for a long time. It will kick Airbus’ behind.”

    You are aware that there is something like the A380 aren’t you? From wikipedia :

    “Initial publicity stressed the comfort and space of the A380’s cabin, which offers room for such installations as relaxation areas, bars, duty-free shops, and beauty salons. One A380 customer likely to use innovative amenities is Virgin Atlantic Airways, which has a bar in Business Class on its aircraft, and has announced plans to include casinos, double beds, a gymnasium and showers on its A380s.”

    So the the 747-800 may even have a bar? Jolly good! :-)

  • http://atdotde.blogspot.com Robert

    Great pic. Brings back memories of a school I attended at ICTP to which I took my scuba gear and did a spectacular night dive right below the institute at the Adriatico hotel.

  • http://quasar9.blogspot.com/ Quasar9

    Hi Dimitri, don’t take the bait!
    No need to start a trans-atlantic ‘political’ incident. We know the A380 and Airbus are at the cutting edge of commercial passenger travel and comfort.
    The Old mother continent is the birth place and historical stronghold of past & future innovation, even if we are a little short of landmarks for space launch pads.
    Personally, I prefer Ocean cruise liners and real luxury travel, much more leg room, and disco dancing at nights, and anyway what’s the rush. If I’m really in a hurry just use a military jetfighter.
    And if I don’t wanna have to physically (bodily) travel use video-conferencing. Be environmental save on airmiles and jet fuel CO2 emissions, and all those boring stop-overs at hubs and check-ins at airports.

  • collin

    Trieste, eh? Any good wines from Friuli or the Veneto?

  • pakistan

    What are the crucial differences between a Croation and a Bulgarian accents?

  • http://different-eye.blogspot.com/ mark

    must say, the jellyfish picture is beautiful

  • puzzled

    Pakistan: What are the crucial differences between a Croation and a Bulgarian accents?

    The only differences are in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Also Bulgarian and Croation are not mutually comperensible. Other than that they are almost carbon copies.

  • AstroCook

    I recently heard that the LHC is requiring participating researchers to BUY TIME on it for their research… is this true? I hear the price is extremely high!

    And why!? We shared our collider, why can’t they? What is the reason for the buy-in?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/joanne/ JoAnne

    AstroCook: No, not true! You got a hold of a false rumor there.

    Collin: Had two great local wines in Trieste. Couldn’t tell you what the red wine was, but it tasted similar to an American Zinfandel. The white was something they used to call “Tokay” (don’t know the grape) but had to change the name to avoid confusion with the Hungarian Tokay. Also had a spectacular (and expensive) Amarone.

    All: The jellyfish were definitely IN the Adriatic itself in very large numbers.

  • Pingback: The Square Root of 98 | Cosmic Variance()

  • http://www.amara.com/ Amara

    The jellyfish have been a problem this summer all through the Mediterranean.

    That Internet service should be phased out soon. Myself, I don’t understand why Boeing cancelled their Internet service. It seemed very popular on the Lufthansa FRA-LAX flight I was on last winter. So popular, that there wasn’t enough bandwidth to accomodate all of the people who wanted to use it. For example, ‘Peak times’ existed, so that the best time to get on the Internet were during the meal service.

    European airlines, with this Internet service failure, are now looking forward to offering mobile use in the sky. As someone who tries hard to get a good sleep on flights, this is not an attractive thought.

  • Quasar9

    Hi JoAnne,

    I know there are jelly fish in the Adriatic.
    I meant your photo, is that a pool in the adriatic, a man made pool, or steps leading into the actual sea

  • Quasar9

    Perhaps it is just a trick of the light
    but it looks like a straight ledge on the right
    A step perhaps?
    And the bottom looks like the bottom of a pool
    not some rocky or sandy beach/shore.
    But my eyesight has been known to deceive me
    and it is a beautiful pic of beautiful jellyfish.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance JoAnne

    Quasar9: The photo is of the Adriatic alright. I was standing on a jetty which protects a marina near the ICTP guest house.

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