Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blowing fuses, blowing snow

This week I worked three days in the lab. This involves lifting and carrying water cubes (20 litre water filled soft plastic bottles in cardboard boxes), climbing up and down the detector structure, reaching inside the structure to connect sensors to the detectors, and so on. Very physical work. I love it.

But of course there is also the inevitable frustrations involved in working with hardware. Short circuits, missing parts, leaks, and the usual delays. And did we leave the valve closed or open? I hate it when I notice that I could have avoided or prevented these things if I had thought about everything in advance. I want to do things right! Ah, well, I have to learn to deal with it.

At least we were lucky to get out on the roads when the latest snow storm had already passed and the roads had been cleared. No problems at all. Not like that time when it took us 12 hours to get there (instead of the usual 7 or so). Every trip is a little adventure!

Just before I left I had a massive attack of home sickness. I miss my friends and family in Sweden. I spent some time in the car thinking about my situation here on the wrong side of the Atlantic. At least I have husband and child with me, it could be worse. I'm really quite happy here, the only bad thing is the distance to the people I most want to be with. Should I go back after completing one year, or should I stay here?

What the water cubes are for? Neutron shielding of course. See my post here, where I talked about neutron contamination in the context of another experiment.

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