Going to America

Mar 12, 2016

I’ve not posted anything on here for a while. I’ve been working a lot. I seem to remember thinking that work would die down after we made the detection announcement last month, but I had something else to work on. That’s because I’m going to our collaboration’s biannual meeting. In Pasadena.

I’ve never left the EU before, and I’ve not been on a plane for almost five years, so I think this could be regarded as a bit of an adventure!

Right now I don’t know what time it is: I’m on the plane. I should have written this post before now. I’m watching a documentary about bears, outside the window are the glaciers of Baffin Island. This trip will take me further North, West, and South than I’ve ever been before; which I’ve not got my head around yet. Also, my boss, and my boss’s boss are both on this flight, so I’m on my best behaviour.

Anyhow, enough of my excitement about something which lots of people are used to doing frequently: why am I going to sunny (I hope!) California? Well, the collaboration which I work in, and which the University of Glasgow is a big part of, is an international affair. Universities from the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, (the list goes on) have all been involved in the cooperative effort to find gravitational waves for years. Twice a year, in order to help this geographically disparate grouping to work it gets together: once a year in the US, and once a year in Europe.

Well, this is the first meeting since we made the detection in September, so it promises to be exciting (it already has a huge number of people registered).

The coffee cart’s just being rolled up the aisle. Thank goodness. I think it’s 17:20 by my (now incorrect) watch, and it’s something like 8pm by my badly messed-around body clock.

I’m presenting a poster at the meeting, but I’m also going across to talk about most of my other projects to various different people. It’s also going to be a chance for me to meet a lot of people who I’ve previously only talked to on telecons, by email, or via Twitter.

Something that looks like ice cream has just rolled-by, towards first class…

Anyhow. I guess there’s not a lot to say right now, but hopefully I’ll have updates during the conference, and photos too!

The image from this post of the US flag isn’t mine: I’ve not actually seen half as many as I expected. It’s by Jnn13 from Wikimedia Commons, [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons