Memorable experience of CERN summer students at CMS!

Giulia Lavizzari
Hi everyone! I'm Giulia, from Italy. I'm in my last year of masters in particle physics in Milan, but right now I'm at CERN as a summer student :)
A short intro about how all of this started for me: during high school,  I took an extra course on physics and detectors and at the end of it we visited CERN. I was really amazed by this place and I've been hoping to come back ever since: the summer student programme was then a dream come true!
Those three months at CERN have been amazing: as summer students we have the chance to meet many people from all over the world, often sharing common interests and all with the same enthusiasm. This leads to a lot of fun and amazing trips! ;)

Credits: Ming Shau Liu

As you may know, here we are assigned to a project. I'm super happy with the one I'm in! I'm doing an analysis on a particular way of producing two Higgs bosons at the LHC, working together with two other summer students and our five supervisors. This has been a unique chance to learn a lot from people that not only know a great deal about physics and CMS, but that are also really willing to share their knowledge. I also loved sharing the project with my two summer student fellows: they were the best teammates and it was great to have the chance to share our ideas and try to help each other every day.
I could go on forever... To sum up, this summer has been amazing, and not only for the work-related aspects. If you're interested in any of the activities here at CERN, apply to this program! You'll love it and learn a lot from it.
Ciao! :)

Giulia and her friends on a trip
Those pictures were taken during one of my favourite trips: we spent the night on Jura, a mountain range near CERN, to watch the Perseids. It was a lot of fun (and just as much wind)!! 


Filip Mircovic & Jose Miguel
What do a Colombian and a Croatian have in common?
At first glance, one would say: not that much, but it turned out that nothing could be farther than the truth. I’m Filip and I met Jose during a desperate delirium of trying to find my room at the hostel, as it turned out he was also doing the same. After settling in at CERN, we met once again and our conversations became very nerdy very quickly, as it is only understandable by physicists. We soon realised that most of our interests overlap in a sort of marriage between physics and artificial intelligence.

Filip and Jose in front of the Globe
Left to right: Jose Miguel & Filip Mircovic

After that  meeting, a couple of days passed with no sign of Jose, but the intensity of my project made it feel like a month had gone by. Then, the time came for my first meeting with the research group. I was feeling a cocktail of emotions: the excitement of finally getting to see how actual CERN experts work, the curiosity about what I might learn, and of course the twisting nausea of being in this new high-stakes environment. It’s easy to feel like this when you’re alone, and at that point, I hadn’t known my colleagues very well. But through the zoom camera, I saw a familiar shape. As my vision began to adjust I heard one of the experts introducing another summer student to the group. I suppose I don’t need to tell you who he was...
Jose and I were placed in the same research group whose main goal is measuring something called “luminosity”. In an attempt not to be too technical I will use an analogy. Imagine the LHC does not collide protons but bees. Now everybody knows that bees are small and you can’t just grab them and do with them as you wish. What you might try is to get two swarms of bees and smash them together (Disclaimer: no bees are harmed at the LHC!). Now, many things happen during the swarm collision, and a lot of important information needs to be acquired to find the Higgs Beeson, sorry Boson. One such useful information is how many individual bees have collided. Because important things need cool names, we call it luminosity, instead. Jose and I both work with the group that measures luminosity, except we work at two different detectors. I’m on the BCM1F and he is on the PLT.

In my motivational letter for CERN, I wrote how I believe that the most important part of the CERN isn’t the LHC, but rather all the people drawn to it. This has proved itself correct a thousandfold throughout this internship. I have been on many beautiful adventures with other summer students. At times, I’ve learned more from them than from my work, they’ve helped me get through my project out of situations that seemed like dead ends. They’ve shown me other cultures, and how they differ from mine, but most importantly they’ve shown me all the things we have in common, regardless if you’re Croatian or Colombian.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in CMS blogs are personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent official views of the CMS collaboration.