Lefrançois wins first Prix André Lagarrigue

In a ceremony at the Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire (LAL), Orsay on 29 March, Jacques Lefrançois received the new Prix André Lagarrigue from the president of the French Physics Society, Michèle Leduc. Guy Wormser, director of the LAL, which instituted the prize, Michel Spiro, director of IN2P3 and president of the International Jury, and representatives of the co-financing institutions (CEA, CERN, ´cole Polytechnique, IN2P3, LAL and University Paris-Sud) joined in congratulating the prize winner after a cheerful recollection of Jacques Lefrançois' achievements and leadership.

Fibernet and Quantum receive ALICE awards

In a ceremony on 9 March, the ALICE Collaboration recognized Fibernet Ltd, based in Yokneam, Israel, and Quantum Corp., of San Jose, US, for their outstanding contributions in meeting demanding or unusual requirements.

Fibernet Ltd was rewarded for the excellent and timely assembly of the silicon strip detector (SSD) boards of the inner tracking system with cable connections. Special low-mass cables, just a millimetre in diameter, connect the inner parts of the SSD to the outside world. Owing to the limited space in the centre of ALICE, it was necessary for the assembly to have no twists between the three sets of conductors. Fibernet Ltd created cables containing a total of 25,000 wires that were supple and could easily be laid out in any curve.

Quantum Corp. received its award for the high-performance cluster file system, StorNext, which has been deployed by the ALICE data-acquisition system, as well as for its outstanding co-operation and support in implementing the software. The ALICE experiment is expected to generate a petabyte of data a month and it required a way to store the data temporarily before transferring it to the CERN mass-storage systems. Quantum Corp. provided the highest performance for this task, along with a co-operative and helpful attitude.

Physicist makes ATLAS muon chamber sing in his home-made barrel organ

NIKHEF physicist Henk Tiecke showed that particle detectors can make good music when he used pipes cut from spares for the ATLAS Monitored Drift Tube (MDT) detector as part of his Dutch-style barrel organ.

Tiecke, who worked on the ZEUS experiment at DESY until retiring last summer, visited some colleagues working on the production of the ATLAS chambers at NIKHEF in 2005. He noticed that the aluminium tubes they were using to build the chambers were about 3 cm in diameter – just the right size to provide the lower tones in his barrel organ. So for fun he replaced 19 of the 35 pipes by cutting up one of the spare MDT detector tubes, and was able to play at NIKHEF during festivities for the shipment of the first chambers to CERN.