CERN Accelerating science

Bagus Hanindhito

Working day-to-day in the biggest particle physics laboratory in the world is just awesome. At first, I think that I fall into the deepest of my daydream. But then, I realize that it is real just when a door in building 304 hit me. I can see the famous, Globe of Science and Innovation, with my eyes. I meet new friends around the world who can share their experiences and learned many things that I cannot see everyday. I am joining the biggest research to discover the secret of nature. That extraordinary place is called CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and the breathtaking life event is called CERN Summer Student Program. Hey, I even have not introduced myself because I am too excited to write about the awesomeness of CERN at the first paragraph. So, before I forget, let me introduce myself.

My name is Bagus Hanindhito. I come from Indonesia, the country that has famous Bali Island, just in case you do not know where Indonesia is. I am an electrical engineering undergraduate student in Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia. My field of interests are Computer Architecture and Network, Very Large Scale Integration, Microprocessors System, Embedded System, and System-on-Chip. I think it is more than enough to describe myself in this introduction so let me continue the story.

Working here is amazing. The different atmosphere made me really comfortable to spend days at my laboratory in CERN. Facilities at CERN are very convenient and support researchers in their work. I think that it is fair to say that this is the ideal workplace I have ever dreamed. I can focus to do my job without taking care small things like where I can print my document, where I can set-up web server, and so on. All of them have been prepared for my work and me.

My project was close to my interests. One thing that I admired about CERN is the data acquisition system, distribution, storage, and processing. CERN had one of the world’s largest data center to support their experiments. As you can imagine, each experiments generates terabyte amount of data. That is really big data and need to be acquired in high speed. Therefore, CERN has its own custom build data acquisition system that I really wanted to study to widen my knowledge. After arriving at CERN, the summer student team gave me my project proposal. My project was Low-level test of the new Read-Out-Driver (ROD) module and Back-of-Crate (BOC) module for ATLAS IBL data acquisition system upgrade.

Following the LHC long shutdown, some of detectors will get upgrade to improve its performance and capability to conduct more sophisticated experiments. Therefore, they need new data acquisition system to support the new upgrade. My job is to do a test of prototype of data acquisition card and give a suggestion on how the test can be performed easily. My supervisor is Marcello Bindi. I work at Building 304 (the ATLAS Pixel Lab) and sometimes get involved for meeting and discussion at SR1 near the Globe. I really enjoy this project

Besides having a project to be done during my stay at CERN, there are some visits to some particle detectors. I can see the detectors that I can only see in a photograph before. They are the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), the A Toroid LHC Apparatus (ATLAS), the LCH-beauty (LCH-b), and the A Large Ion Collider Experiment (ALICE). I can see custom designed electronics sensors, data acquisition system, and control system to operate this state-of-the-art machine. Another important part of the programme were the lectures. Most of the topics are about particle physics, which is not my field of interest, but I can enjoy the lecture even though sometimes was hard for me to follow the lecturers.  All in all, these lectures widen my knowledge about particle physics. There were also some workshops that I attended. Some of them were on Cloud Chambers, Networks, Data Acquisition and so on.

Moreover, I made many new friends from around the world. I could share my experience and hear their experiences too. Sometimes we cooked together while we often went for sightseeing around Geneva and Europe. Therefore, though I am far from my home I never felt lonely. I think that I’ve already written more than 500 words already and I should stop writing how awesome CERN is. But, of course the awesomeness at CERN doesn’t stop here.

Surely, this is the best summer holiday I have ever had in my life. No words that can describe my feeling. Maybe I can come back in the future to CERN to continue enjoying the awesomeness as I have a dream to work here.