Опасная зона

Опасная зона

Friday, June 22, 2012

CERN 2012 - Night Shifts and Microwave Food

Again, this year we have our week of antiprotons at the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) at CERN. And as usual I'm on the night shift. Experiments were again on liquid ionization chambers and getting more statistics on our RBE estimations of the V79 Chinese hamster cells.

Heikki Tölli attaches a Markus ionization chamber to a PMMA holder.
For measuring the LET we had a Markus IC and a liquid ionization chamber (LIC) mounted in a tandem configuration.
Markus IC, inserting a LIC.
As ususal, I am mostly working with the data acquisition system again.
Homebrew data acquisition server running.. no crashes yet! :-) 

Heikki getting ready for some serious experimental improvisation involving a yellow plastic box and a coke can filled with water.

Access door to the AD hall. "NO VISIT" and "NO BICYCLES"

For the first time, there will also be microdosimetry experiments. Stefan Sellner will measure the lineal energy spectrum of antiprotons with a tissue equivalent proportional counter (TEPC).
Stefan showing off is his TEPC.

Need... more ... coffee... now.... !!
Night shifts can be lengthy, and a real problem is that the canteens are closed at CERN during night. In the good old days with Roy Keyes, we tend to fight our ways through tons of cup-ramen noodles (only need to add water). The tagline here is "Ou es le beouf?!"

A big upgrade this year is my investment in a microwave oven. The closests I can get to real food. Just to share my experience with the rest of the scientific community here, I will try a microwaved dish every night, and give it a mark.

1st Night

First night I just had some cold couscous, no microwaves invovled, so lets skip it.

2nd Night

Barilla: Fusilli alle Verdure.

The pasta dish from "Barilla" was edible, but not really exciting in any way. The pasta looked a bit as if they were exposed too much to air. The sauce was more or less what one would expect from a tomato sauce. I'll give it two microwave bells:

[ O O . . . ] - (make ding ding sound here)

3rd Night

Next night, I went to Asia: Chinese noodles with some sort of chicken.
Traditions'd Asie: Nouilles chinoises au poulet.

3 out of 5 microwave bells.
 Indeed the noodles and the taste was ok, but somehow the meat was a bit scary. I'll give it 3 out of 5 microwave bells.

[ O O O . . ] - ("ding ding ding")

4th Night

I stayed in Asia, but going to India. Chicken and curry (what else) with some rice.
"Sodebo BOXTrotter - Curry de Poulet". (The blueberry yogurt was done in the minutes it took to irradiate the food.) 
Rather sceptic on the first look, but dish turned out surprisingly good.
Indeed, this was good. I looked on the ingredients list, and there was no sign of additives. It got 4 minutes of 800 Watt. (What they prescribe was a lie, food was mostly still cold.) The chicken pieces were good, rice and sauce had a nice taste. The entire box was 300 grams, had only 300 kcal, not enough to keep me going throughout the night.
Is this the best it can get? 4 out of 5 microwave bells!

[ O O O O . ] (Rrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiing!)

5th Night

This is where things started to go bad, I was getting tired of the food. Sara took over here:

Couscous, a real veggie dish. Manufactured by "Sojasun". Sara, being quite new to the art of microwave cooking, seemed quite happy with it and gave it 3.5 microwave bells, even though she was not really sure how to relate it to my calibrated scale.
[ O O O C . ] There.

Remaining Nights

The experiment was abandoned here, since I started to feel really sick. Switched to fruit and bread.


More random pics from this year's antiproton run here.