CERN reopened today after a looong Christmas and New Year break. Delayed as usual, it enters the year 2007 - the year of the first collision in LHC, hopefully.
For theorists there is no obvious reason to be excited yet. The first physics run is scheduled for 2008 and the first indications of new physics are expected not earlier than in summer 2008 (in the most optimistic of all worlds). Nevertheless, there is a feeling in the air that the postmodern epoch particle physics is drawing to a close.
For CERN theory it will be the first year without Suzy.
No, not without Susy, not yet. I mean Suzy the sectretary (to the left), who has retired after 39 years.
The last year closed with a traditional TH Christmas party followed by a traditional TH Christmas play. As usual, it was a good portion of english humor with references to the current particle physics research and lots of obscenity too.
Ben Allanach was terrific as Borat/Theorat.
I, personally, liked most the string pope played by Wolfgang Lerche and the prayer to our lord Witten:
Our Witten, which art in Princeton,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Nobel come,
Thy will be done,
In CERN as it is in the US.
Give us this day our daily string,
And forgive us our theory,
As we forgive those who do phenomenology.
Lead us not into experiment,
And deliver us from tests.
For thine is the arXiv,
Hep-th and math-AG,
For ever and ever,
Another chapter in the string wars?