Hi, I’m Rahul from Chennai, India and I work at Nikhef in Amsterdam for the ATLAS experiment with Wouter Verkerke and Pamela Ferrari who have given me the opportunity to join the INSIGHTS program . I would like to use this post to describe I got the chance to be part of this network.
Rewinding back to the summer of 2012 when the discovery of the Higgs Boson was announced to the world, I vividly remember taking the first steps towards my undergrad institute in India. I was immediately attracted to the Engineering Physics program at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and it was a fascinating amalgam of physics and electrical engineering. I was able to obtain a good foundation in these two fields thanks to excellent and challenging courses offered by the two departments. From learning how fundamental spin-1/2 particles were described by the Dirac equation- to understanding how transistors are used to design analog and digital circuits –I had been exposed to more than I could ask for !
My first project in physics was in the summer of my pre-final year of undergrad where I worked in Laboratoire Cote d’Azur in Nice on a project to measure the temperature gradient in the solar photosphere. My enthusiasm for physics grew by leaps and bounds after this and I pursued a couple of other projects in solar physics including my bachelor’s thesis where we built radio telescopes using off-the-shelf components to study solar radio-emissions.
I had my first particle physics course in my final year and I found it exciting that we can answer fundamental questions about our universe using physics and state-of-the art technology. I had the privilege of being chosen as a CERN summer student to work with the LHCb experiment. I was energised by the environment at CERN, where I was able to meet people from all around the world working together on a common scientific pursuit.
I learned a lot about particle physics during my masters at University Paris-Saclay. The university is associated with large number of research laboratories in the region, giving access to a lot of researchers in the field. This not only benifits our learning experience but also provides the opportunity to work with during summer internships. I had the chance to work on experimental analysis project for the ALICE experiment in the first year and in a theoretical project on heavy-strange meson in lattice QCD in the second year.
I learnt a lot about physics and research from my mentors and the INSIGHTS project gives me the oppurtunity to continue this journey. It has been a busy first year and I hope I can be more active on the blog front in the future. Thanks !