A.M: What was your original motivation to work for one of the LHC/CERN experiments?
S.R: Original motivation … hmmm ... I think it was the same as for every student of physics when they heard about particle physics for the first time. They also heard about the great mecca, CERN, and about all the things going on there. So, if one is eager to learn more, CERN is the place to go which made me to apply for the job as a summer student back in the year 2005. The motivation itself was to learn as much as possible during the stay. Then I just kept going on with my master of physics, my PhD and with my fellowship. It turned out to be a trap ... just joking ...
A.M: What’s special in the ALICE TPC and why did you want to work on it?
S.R: The Alice TPC is very interesting because it is the biggest of its kind in the world and of course because it was one of the different PhD topics which was offered to me. After a first discussion with Werner Riegler he proposed a specific kind of work related to the calibration of the Alice TPC which I found very challenging. Furthermore, I heard many good things about the crew and the TPC itself.
As for Alice TPC, the detection principle is easy and the same for any TPC in the world but this one is the biggest and operates at the highest rates. Without going into details, it's quite challenging to calibrate the detector which you have to do if you want to get good results. That was the motivation to work for the Alice TPC. And of course because the challenges to overcome were mathematics as well as technology related, I would say.
Stefan Rossegger a physicist who rocks!
A.M: If you had one word to describe all those years, how would you describe your stay at the ALICE/CERN experiments?
S.R: It would be “smile”. Because I enjoyed being here but also, I’m not sure if I’m the only one but, I think I’m one of the less who managed to publish a plot which looks like clown face in the end.
A.M: And your future plans as a researcher?
This is impossible to answer since you can’t really look into the future, right? I’m an open minded person so whatever comes along the way as long as it’s interesting, challenging as well fun, I am open to everything. My dream would be to also go a little bit into astrophysics as well as maybe into the weather fore-cast business, and those things, because it’s challenging and up to now nobody really manages to exhaust the mathematics behind those things. From the particle physics point of view I think the projects and experiments became so tricky and difficult. Especially, it involves so many people, so large collaborations that it’s really going to be difficult in the future to make a significant contribution on your own. In the other fields, this might not be excluded ...
That would be my dream but anything more specific I can’t tell you because I’m just starting to look for a new job as from march.