Passion overcomes obstacles; or: meeting my science partner

In order to provide a scientific background, the artists of Art@CMS are supervised by a personal science partner who in my case is Dr. Sezen Sekmen, experimental physicist at CMS experiment. My project is named “passionate about” and Sezen is all about that: totally addicted to particle physics. This alone is special but you need to know something more: she can hardly see.

To me it is already difficult to imagine how somebody can compete in this difficult field but HOW can you stay right in the middle of this complex, demanding and challenging field if you are not able to read from the panel or drive a car or a bike, if you have to bring scripts very very close to your eyes in order to read it? One time I lost Dr. Sekmen while walking a corridor next to her; when I turned left she kept on walking because she didn’t see where I went. Despite her handicap I had to run after her, because she’s always walking with “high speed”.. A very inspiring and definitely passionate person! Thank you Sezen for your passion and power!


Passionate about Particle Physics:
Dr Sezen Sekmen

Experimentalist at CERN, CH

What’s your daily work like?
„I look at data collected by the CMS experiment and see if there are any traces of some new particles.“

What fascinates you personally concerning Particle Physics?
„It’s the key concept of physics, the essence of our existence and the essence of existence of everything around us.“


Could you give an advice for passionate people trying to find their way?
„Yes. Follow it, because otherwise you’ll be in pain. If you’re passionate about something you’ll only regret one thing: not having tried. Not having tried is much much harder than having tried and failed. You have to chase it, whatever the outcome.“


What fascinates you about CERN & the LHC?
„The LHC is an ultimate masterpiece of scientific ingenuity. It is the outcome of a gigantic endeavour, and it’s a unique example of a peacefully working international collaboration whose main aim is to increase humankind’s knowledge of how the Universe works. This is truly fascinating.“


What would you wish to find out?
„I hope that the new LHC data will show us traces of a particle that has not been observed before. What would fascinate me most would be that these traces would belong to some very unexpected signal, something that would totally surprise us. That would be my ultimate wish. Surprises would be more inspiring for us to come up with more clever theories.“

Outside the box

What do you do to keep your passion alive?
„Every day is a new day, and I take it like a new life from morning to night, and thus try to make most of it, not to waste it. One thing that helps is to quit the daily routine sometimes and look at the whole thing from outside the box. The view from outside is an inspiring picture and helps to get back on track.“