Just five months after it began, it is the wrap-up time for one of most exciting scientific adventures of my career so far—my first organized physics workshop Opportunities of OO and pO collisions at the LHC or OppOatLHC for short. Together with amazing co-organizers Jasmine Brewer and Wilke van der Schee we embarked on a mission to bring the physics community to discuss physics opportunities (and challenges) of doing oxygen ion collisions at the LHC.
The 5-day workshop took place Feb 4-10, 2021 (with a weekend break). During 27 invited talks and 8 discussion sessions we covered a wide range of topics including technological, theoretical and experimental aspects of OppOatLHC. From my personal feeling and the feedback received, it seemed to be a very successful workshop. We totaled nearly 400 registrations and well over 100 connections per day to workshop talks. It was great feeling that our workshop has attracted comparable amount of attention as a major conference in the field.
However, our work has not finished with the end of the talks, as just few weeks later we were due to give a workshop summary at 145th LHCC Open session. Large Hadron Collider Committee (LHCC) is a scientific committee dedicated to reviewing the progress and plans of LHC program. I was honoured to represent my co-organizers and advertise unique opportunities of oxygen collisions to this important scientific panel. The accompanying summary document of the OppOatLHC workshop has now been made public on arXiv1.
The entire adventure was a great learning experience. Besides getting to organize a scientific event, I certainly became much more knowledgable about the inner workings of CERN and LHC. It takes an incredible amount of coordination (and compromise) among many hundreds and even thousands of people for ideas on paper to become actual running plans in reality. As a theorist working on, well, rather theoretical matters, it was very exciting to get a sense of making a (even if small) contribution to bringing some of such ideas closer to becoming reality. Now, I just look forward to some OppOatLHC.