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First LSC Meeting in Germany

First LSC Meeting in Germany

- Contributed by Linda Turner

Last summer, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) broke with tradition and convened at a location other than one of the LIGO sites, this time at the venue of one of our international colleagues, the GEO 600 interferometer in Hannover, Germany. Meetings were held at the University of Hannover, a beautiful campus featuring stately buildings and gorgeous landscaping.

University of Hannover.

Plenary and breakout sessions used classrooms throughout the main hall. Central to the hall was a beautiful atrium lobby where registration, information and food breaks took place. This was also where I was stationed to collect all the speakers presentations for processing and posting to the web. Benno Willke was the coordinator and graciously hosted all the attendees, ensuring that everyone had what they needed--especially their email!

LSC sessions - 1. LSC sessions - 2.
Atrium lobby. Registration desk. Food trays.

In addition to the crowded slate of sessions, three evening tours were available to see the GEO 600 site and the interferometer. Close to two dozen people loaded on the bus each evening for the 20 minute ride to the observatory. On the second evening of the conference everyone ate together, as is the custom--this time enjoying a delicious buffet of German and international favorites at the Maritim Grand Hotel.

The Maritim Grand Hotel.

In and around Hannover, there were opportunities to enjoy the many sights and sounds of Germany. A short walk from the University was the Wilhelm Busch Museum with its lush and serene surroundings.

The Wilhelm Busch Museum - 1. The Wilhelm Busch Museum - 2.

A bit further along were the breathtaking Herrenhausen Gardens where magnificent flowers, fountains, and sculpture dazzled the eye. And just across the street was the inviting Berggarten.

The Herrenhausen Gardens. The Berggarten.

Located within the Berggarten sprawl is the Rain Forest House, providing a replica environment of the rain forests, complete with plants, flowers, butterflies, birds and waterfall.

The Rain Forest House.

If city energy was desired, downtown Hannover was filled with outside cafes and an assortment of shops, big and small. Here one saw very old structures mixed in with the thoroughly modern. And who could pass up a hot-from-the-griddle crepe from a street vendor at the downtown Promenade?

Downtown Hannover. Fresh, hot crepes.

The Rathaus, across the street from the Maritim Grand Hotel, with its picturesque pond, offered a quiet place to walk or jog.

Rathaus - 1. Rathaus - 2.

This autumn's LSC meeting took place back at the Hanford Observatory in Washington. But the enjoyable memories of the LSC's first international location still remain strong.

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