For my project, I was assigned to characterise Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPM), more specifically the Hamamatsu S13360-1350CS. This is the SiPM being used in the (Cosmic Ray Tagger) system that is built at CERN for the ICARUS experiment. I conducted experiments to determine its dark count rate, crosstalk, gain, resistance, capacitance, temperature dependence and IV characteristics. Besides that, I also had to test and catalogue 125 Front-End Boards for the CRT.
Outside of work, I would spend most of my weekends touring the city of Geneva and the neighbouring cities. I did manage to take some weekends to travel to Paris, Munich, Chamonix, Rome, Florence and Pisa.
Being at CERN has given me a clearer picture of the various theories being developed, and the experiments designed to test them.
The stay at CERN has given me some first-hand experience on experimental physics. I’m used to conducting experiments using the prepared equipment and a lab manual, but this was not that case at CERN. Here, there’s no manual to follow, and I would take days just to design and troubleshoot my experimental set up, so that it works perfectly. Following that, I would have to think of the most efficient and accurate ways to collect data.
As fun as troubleshooting and getting result are, I find the reasoning for the experiments more intriguing. That is the search for the sterile neutrino and physics beyond the standard model, which is the field of particle physics in which I’d like to pursue in my Masters and PhD.
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, for liaising with CERN and University of Malaya in conducting the selection process and helping to acquire my funding.
A special thanks goes to my home institute, University Malaya for providing the required funding. It is truly a centre that supports the pursuit of excellence in research.
I also thank CERN for organizing this program and arranging various site visits that gave me the exposure to many other experiments in particle physics. Finally, I would like to thank my supervisor at CERN, Dr Umut Kose for taking the time to guide and teach me. Being under his tutelage, he has always pushed me not to just get results, but to learn as much as I can.