Thomas A. Trainor, 62, a physics professor from the University of Washington, who was at the control panel, invoked another metaphor, likening the control room to the bridge of the Enterprise in “Star Trek.”But seriously, not all of us watch Star Trek. Some of us watch...Battlestar Galactica. You know, the new series. So different than the older one, and so much better.
“That’s Captain Kirk over there,” said Dr. Trainor, pointing to the shift leader, a spry 81-year-old physics professor from U.C.L.A., George Igo. He was accumulating collision data from the experimental run and amassing an impressive pile of pistachio shells on his desk. “I’m just the bookkeeper,” Dr. Igo said.
Dr. Trainor continued, “You could say I’m Sulu, at the controls, but when the captain tells me, ‘I want things run this way,’ I do it.”
“He’s Chekov,” Dr. Trainor said, pointing to Jan Kapitan, 26, a doctoral student in nuclear physics from the Czech Republic. Then he turned to a tall man monitoring the alarm systems, Peter Filip, who works for a research group from Moscow.
“He’s Scotty,” Dr. Trainor said, “because if something goes wrong, he has to respond.”
“The ‘Star Trek’ metaphor is very appropriate,” Dr. Trainor said. “Did you know the idea for the show was actually based on the voyages of Captain Cook? It is evocative of what we do here. The detector is not actually moving, but this is a voyage.”
Monday, May 07, 2007
More like Star Trek. A day the life in the STAR Control room during RHIC Run 7, but as covered by the New York Times (regional). Holy moly: