Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm new here...

Hello readers! This is Scappuccino, the newest member of the Physics Buzz blog team. A short biography: after studying physics and creative writing at USC (the one with the football team), I decided to put those skills to good use as a waitress in a cafe in Scotland. Fast forward 8 months—I had gained ten pounds (all that leftover rhubarb pie has to go somewhere, you know), I couldn't stop calling people "hon," and perfecting my cappuccino foam wasn't quite enough physics action for me. So I returned to the US, pressed my nose to the proverbial grindstone, and ended up at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, talking with real, live physicists about their latest research and writing it up for the lab's communications office. Now I'm thrilled to join the folks at APS as a science writing intern and contributor to this blog.


"Scappuccino?" you ask? A two-fold salute to my coffee-schlepping days and particle physics. According to supersymmetry, if there were a particle called a cappuccino, and it were a boson, it would have a force-carrying sister particle, which would be called a scappuccino. (If my fictional cappuccino were a fermion, its supersymmetric particle would be called a cappuccinino, but that would just be silly.) For a playful primer on the naming of sparticles, check out this poem by Cornell professor Philip Tanedo.

P.S. For anyone wondering, the "SLAC" in SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used to stand for "Stanford Linear Accelerator Center." Now it doesn't strictly stand for anything, except, perhaps, the laboratory's tendency to generate acronyms. Newbies are greeted with a home-made acronym dictionary and an encouraging smile.

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