Greetings from Fermilab

In which Fermilab's new media and community relations specialist introduces himself, and invites you to experience some of the amazing work that goes on here.

When I was a kid, I would watch Mr. Wizard religiously.

I credit the late Don Herbert with sparking my interest in science, an interest that has waxed and waned over the years, but never gone away. I remember trying out a few of Mr. Wizard’s experiments at home, much to my mother’s chagrin. (They often involved large quantities of water, which invariably would end up spilling.)

One year for Christmas, my parents bought me a home science kit, perhaps not realizing that this, also, required lots of liquid. I doubt the stains and scorch marks were permanent, but they did stick to buying me books from then on.

The enduring influence of Mr. Wizard notwithstanding, I never truly pursued science. I was never the kid with the brilliant science fair project. (I think one year I slapped some bread in a plastic bag and shoved it in my closet for a month as a mold-growing experiment. Yeah, I was that guy.) In college, I took the required science courses, and that was about it. No one who knows me would necessarily associate me with science, unless the word “fiction” was written after it.

So in many ways, you might think I’m the guy least likely to be working at the premier particle physics laboratory in the country. But here I am. I started as Fermilab’s media and community relations specialist about three months ago, and every day I'm here, I find my interest in science growing.

There’s no doubt about it, Fermilab and the work that goes on here is incredibly cool. That’s what this blog will be about—a layman’s-eye view of some of the most amazing science being conducted in the world today, right here in our back yard. I want you to experience it at the same time I am, and hopefully with the same sense of wide-eyed wonder.

I also hope to use this blog to answer some of your questions, and clear up some misconceptions I’ve been hearing in the community recently. If you have burning questions about Fermilab, what we do here, and how you can find out more, please let me know.

I’ve always felt that we’re lucky to have Fermilab here in the Fox Valley, and now I feel even luckier to have a ringside seat for the research happening here. Frankly, I think even Mr. Wizard would be impressed. I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you.

Andre Salles is the media and community relations specialist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia. Contact him at asalles@fnal.gov or 630-840-6733.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jeff Ward October 24, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Hey Andre, Please tell your friends at Fermilab that 10 dimensional string theory - or 11 dimensional supergravity, if you prefer - is far too Ptolemaic and will never lead to a TOE. This will save them a lot of heartache. All these silly scientists can say is M Theory has an internal consistency, but what good is a hypothesis if, by it's very nature, it can't be subjected to a battery of experiments? In order to come up with TOE one must first apply Chaos Theory to come up with something that's far simpler than string theory. Einstein was elegant, string theory is the proverbial camel built by the committee. Jeff Ward
Dave Ruggles October 24, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Jeff Ward - local gadfly Stephen Hawking - internationally renowned physicist , Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. It is up to you to decide who is more qualified to put forward valuable scientific theories.
Greg Nelson October 25, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Andre I guess you can write a little of the GEEK speak now. Love the LAB it is one great place of Math, and Science that is in our backyard. Sometimes I think I should have went back to school for a degree in Higher Level Math but I took the faster track to GEEK in computers. Hope your new digs helping FERMI stay in the MEDIA and a leader in science goes well!
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