Work on the Aleph Detector for the Large Electron-Positron Collider (LEP)
Graduate Student - University of Wisconsin Team
Despite its occasional misuse over the past century, science is still the key to a better future for mankind and the planet. Mike Binder started his professional life as a physicist. As a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, he got the chance to travel to Switzerland and work at CERN. CERN is a French acronym that translates to European Center for Nuclear Research. It is one of the preeminent research labs on the planet for studying subatomic particles. There are several accelerators there, and in the 1980s, the newest thing was the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) Collider. It was a massive ring passing under the foothills of the Jura mountains near Geneva, Switzerland - designed to accelerate electrons and positrons (anti-electrons) to near the speed of light before crashing them into each other.
Aleph was the name of one of the detectors designed to study what happened after the collisions occurred. As a team member, Mike got to work on the electronics used to digitize and store the data from one of Aleph's sensors, the Time Projection Chamber (no, it isn't time travel, it is a method for tracing the path and momentum of the subatomic particles created in the collision). Very cool stuff. Fringe benefit was that Mike got to live in France, work in Switzerland, and go skiing in the Alps (though truth be told, Mike does ski very badly).