Another Two Weeks in Europe

The third week was was a great week with lots of work and football (of course). I have been continuing work on the calibrating geometry of the ARA stations. This is a big issue for ARA because in order to be able to reconstruct neutrino energies we need to know the location of our detectors accurately. I am using a bancroft method reconstruction to reconstruct the station location based on average time the detector is hit from a calibration pulser. Then I test the new geometry with a matrix based reconstruction developed by Thomas Meures. The tricky thing is the station location AND the calibration pulser locations are unknown, so there are a lot of free parameters in the fit. A lot of progress has been made and hopefully next week we will be ready to present to the group at IIHE.
This week USA played Belgium in football. Rami and I attended the game with some PHD students at a campus bar called the Kulture Kafe. It was so much fun, and I couldn’t help but enjoy the commotion  after Belgium won even though I was of course rooting for USA.
On Friday I headed over to Ireland to visit my older cousin, Cole, who is working there for the year at Boston Scientific in Clonmel, Ireland. It was a great long weekend where we hiked and had our own little 4th of july celebration away from home. The picture below is from one of the hikes we went on.
Week 4
Week 4 brought us rain, rain, and wait for it, more rain. It was good motivation to stay at the lab and work though! I gave a presentation during the group meeting on an update on our progress with ARA calibration and geometry fitting. We have improved the reconstruction method used to find the station’s geometry a little, but Thomas and I think it can be approved a little more. Eventually we will have to decide its as improved as it can be due to errors out of our control. Another member of the ARA collaboration is attempting to fit the station’s geometry using a different method and different data, and it should be interesting once we are done to compare results with him.
We watched the World Cup finals and cheered for Argentina, but Germany won. It was a lot of fun being in Belgium for the world cup because people pay more attention to it here then back home. Also working at a lab with such an international group of people makes it a lot of fun with everyone cheering for a different country and making fun when their home country wins (or in our case loses).
This weekend Rami and I decided to go on a couple of adventures. On friday night we ventured to downtown Brussels to check out an area called Place Sainte Catherine. It is a square with a lovely church, water fountain and many seafood restaurants. It is mussel season, so all of the restaurants had mussel specials. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a restaurant called Les Crustaceous. Then Saturday we went to Antwerp which is a very fun city. Antwerp is my favorite city in Belgium so far. On Sunday we visited Bruges. Bruges is very beautiful but very busy! The picture below is a canal in Bruges.


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