Posts Tagged ‘CERN’

How many authors can a paper actually have?

November 29, 2011

3000 people - The number of authors on some research papers. Whose to blame if there is a mistake? (Picture from 'Behind the Curtain Blog)

While searching for a paper by my colleague Robin Underwood the other day, the Institute of Physics journal page gave me three hits. Second on a list was the paper I  was looking for:

  • The electromagnetic fields of a triaxial ellipsoid calculated by modal superposition

by Gordon Edwards and Robin Underwood. I smiled at how obscure its title seemed, and again at the first item on the list – a paper by  Bret Underwood entitled:

  • A breathing mode for warped compactifications’

which just seemed such a bewildering title. However, it was the paper below which blew my mind. But it wasn’t the title which was caught my eye

  • Charged-particle multiplicities in pp interactions measured with the ATLAS detector at the LHC

it was the author list – it contained 3048 authors covering more than 10 journal pages! Just in case you don’t believe me, I have reproduced the author list below.

The list made really made me think. Firstly, I was just amazed! And I report it to you like I might tell you that I saw a really big dog, or a giant tree – it is just an immense item, inspiring awe. Secondly, it made me aware of just how stupendous are the efforts that go into making an experiment work at the Large Hadron Collider. But it also caused me to reflect on the concept of authorship.

The affillitions listing  – where the authors were based – covered a further 9 pages and listed 175 separate insitutions! From my own experience, I can attest that writing a paper with authors from multiple institutions is difficult: it is ‘Tear-your-hair-out‘ difficult! So I can only imagine that this paper is actually authored by at most about a dozen people. Now these people know who who they are, and the fellow authors know who they are: but the paper doesn’t make it clear. And it should.

When I write papers I feel nervous about everything I say. I question every statement and ask if I can defend it. Why? Because exposing one’s work and ideas publicly is risking ridicule if you get it wrong. It is part of the discipline which keeps science on track: Authors take responsibility for what they write. When  a paper has more than 3000 authors there appears to be – from the outside – a kind of herd tactic that keeps a herd safe from predation by appearing so large that no individual is exposed to danger. So although it might seem aggressive or disrespectful, IMHO, the people who actually wrote the paper should be identified separately. Just a thought.

Author List

G Aad, B Abbott, J Abdallah, A A Abdelalim, A Abdesselam, O Abdinov, B Abi, M Abolins, H Abramowicz, H Abreu, E Acerbi, B S Acharya, M Ackers, D L Adams, T N Addy, J Adelman, M Aderholz, S Adomeit, P Adragna, T Adye, S Aefsky, J A Aguilar-Saavedra, M Aharrouche, S P Ahlen, F Ahles, A Ahmad, M Ahsan, G Aielli, T Akdogan, T P A Åkesson, G Akimoto, A V Akimov,M S Alam, M A Alam, S Albrand, M Aleksa, I N Aleksandrov, M Aleppo, F Alessandria, C Alexa, G Alexander, G Alexandre, T Alexopoulos, M Alhroob, M Aliev, G Alimonti, J Alison, M Aliyev, P P Allport, S E Allwood-Spiers, J Almond, A Aloisio, R Alon, A Alonso, J Alonso, M G Alviggi, K Amako, P Amaral, C Amelung, V V Ammosov, A Amorim, G Amorós, N Amram, C Anastopoulos, T Andeen, C F Anders, K J Anderson, A Andreazza, V Andrei, M-L Andrieux, X S Anduaga, A Angerami, F Anghinolfi, N Anjos, A Annovi, A Antonaki, M Antonelli, S Antonelli, J Antos, F Anulli, S Aoun, L Aperio Bella, R Apolle, G Arabidze, I Aracena, Y Arai, A T H Arce, J P Archambault, S Arfaoui, J-F Arguin, E Arik, M Arik, A J Armbruster, K E Arms, S R Armstrong, O Arnaez, C Arnault, A Artamonov, G Artoni, D Arutinov, S Asai, R Asfandiyarov, S Ask, B Åsman, L Asquith, K Assamagan, A Astbury, A Astvatsatourov, G Atoian, B Aubert, B Auerbach, E Auge, K Augsten, M Aurousseau, N Austin, R Avramidou, D Axen, C Ay, G Azuelos, Y Azuma, M A Baak, G Baccaglioni, C Bacci, A M Bach, H Bachacou, K Bachas, G Bachy,M Backes, E Badescu, P Bagnaia, S Bahinipati, Y Bai, D C Bailey, T Bain, J T Baines, O K Baker, S Baker, F Baltasar Dos Santos Pedrosa, E Banas, P Banerjee, Sw Banerjee, D Banfi, A Bangert, V Bansal, H S Bansil, L Barak, S P Baranov, A Barashkou, A Barbaro Galtieri, T Barber, E L Barberio, D Barberis, M Barbero, D Y Bardin, T Barillari, M Barisonzi, T Barklow,N Barlow, B M Barnett, R M Barnett, A Baroncelli, A J Barr, F Barreiro, J Barreiro Guimarães da Costa, P Barrillon, R Bartoldus, A E Barton, D Bartsch, R L Bates, L Batkova, J R Batley, A Battaglia, M Battistin, G Battistoni, F Bauer, H S Bawa, B Beare, T Beau, P H Beauchemin, R Beccherle, P Bechtle, H P Beck, M Beckingham, K H Becks, A J Beddall, A Beddall, V A Bednyakov, C Bee, M Begel, S Behar Harpaz, P K Behera, M Beimforde, C Belanger-Champagne, P J Bell, W H Bell, G Bella,L Bellagamba, F Bellina, G Bellomo, M Bellomo, A Belloni, K Belotskiy, O Beltramello, S Ben Ami, O Benary, D Benchekroun,C Benchouk, M Bendel, B H Benedict, N Benekos, Y Benhammou, D P Benjamin, M Benoit, J R Bensinger, K Benslama, S Bentvelsen, D Berge, E Bergeaas Kuutmann, N Berger, F Berghaus, E Berglund, J Beringer, K Bernardet, P Bernat, R Bernhard, C Bernius, T Berry, A Bertin, F Bertinelli, F Bertolucci, M I Besana, N Besson, S Bethke, W Bhimji, R M Bianchi, M Bianco, O Biebel, J Biesiada, M Biglietti, H Bilokon, M Bindi, A Bingul, C Bini, C Biscarat, U Bitenc, K M Black, R E Blair, J-B Blanchard, G Blanchot, C Blocker, J Blocki, A Blondel, W Blum, U Blumenschein, G J Bobbink, V B Bobrovnikov, A Bocci, R Bock, C R Boddy, M Boehler, J Boek, N Boelaert, S Böser, J A Bogaerts, A Bogdanchikov, A Bogouch, C Bohm, V Boisvert, T Bold, V Boldea, M Bona, M Boonekamp, G Boorman, C N Booth, P Booth, J R A Booth, S Bordoni, C Borer, A Borisov, G Borissov, I Borjanovic, S Borroni, K Bos, D Boscherini, M Bosman, H Boterenbrood, D Botterill, J Bouchami, J Boudreau, E V Bouhova-Thacker, C Boulahouache, C Bourdarios, N Bousson, A Boveia, J Boyd, I R Boyko, N I Bozhko, I Bozovic-Jelisavcic,J Bracinik, A Braem, E Brambilla, P Branchini, G W Brandenburg, A Brandt, G Brandt, O Brandt, U Bratzler, B Brau, J E Brau,H M Braun, B Brelier, J Bremer, R Brenner, S Bressler, D Breton, N D Brett, P G Bright-Thomas, D Britton, F M Brochu, I Brock, R Brock, T J Brodbeck, E Brodet, F Broggi, C Bromberg, G Brooijmans, W K Brooks, G Brown, E Brubaker, P A Bruckman de Renstrom, D Bruncko, R Bruneliere, S Brunet, A Bruni, G Bruni, M Bruschi, T Buanes, F Bucci, J Buchanan, N J Buchanan, P Buchholz, R M Buckingham, A G Buckley, S I Buda, I A Budagov, B Budick, V Büscher, L Bugge, D Buira-Clark,E J Buis, O Bulekov, M Bunse, T Buran, H Burckhart, S Burdin, T Burgess, S Burke, E Busato, P Bussey, C P Buszello, F Butin, B Butler, J M Butler, C M Buttar, J M Butterworth, W Buttinger, T Byatt, S Cabrera Urbán, M Caccia, D Caforio, O Cakir, P Calafiura, G Calderini, P Calfayan, R Calkins, L P Caloba, R Caloi, D Calvet, S Calvet, A Camard, P Camarri, M Cambiaghi,D Cameron, J Cammin, S Campana, M Campanelli, V Canale, F Canelli, A Canepa, J Cantero, L Capasso, M D M Capeans Garrido, I Caprini, M Caprini, D Capriotti, M Capua, R Caputo, C Caramarcu, R Cardarelli, T Carli, G Carlino, L Carminati, B Caron, S Caron, C Carpentieri, G D Carrillo Montoya, S Carron Montero, A A Carter, J R Carter, J Carvalho, D Casadei, M P Casado, M Cascella, C Caso, A M Castaneda Hernandez, E Castaneda-Miranda, V Castillo Gimenez, N F Castro, G Cataldi,F Cataneo, A Catinaccio, J R Catmore, A Cattai, G Cattani, S Caughron, A Cavallari, P Cavalleri, D Cavalli, M Cavalli-Sforza, V Cavasinni, A Cazzato, F Ceradini, C Cerna, A S Cerqueira, A Cerri, L Cerrito, F Cerutti, S A Cetin, F Cevenini, A Chafaq, D Chakraborty, K Chan, B Chapleau, J D Chapman, J W Chapman, E Chareyre, D G Charlton, V Chavda, S Cheatham, S Chekanov, S V Chekulaev, G A Chelkov, H Chen, L Chen, S Chen, T Chen, X Chen, S Cheng, A Cheplakov, V F Chepurnov, R Cherkaoui El Moursli, V Chernyatin, E Cheu, S L Cheung, L Chevalier, F Chevallier, G Chiefari, L Chikovani, J T Childers, A Chilingarov, G Chiodini, M V Chizhov, G Choudalakis, S Chouridou, I A Christidi, A Christov, D Chromek-Burckhart, M L Chu,J Chudoba, G Ciapetti, A K Ciftci, R Ciftci, D Cinca, V Cindro, M D Ciobotaru, C Ciocca, A Ciocio, M Cirilli, M Ciubancan, A Clark, P J Clark, W Cleland, J C Clemens, B Clement, C Clement, R W Clifft, Y Coadou, M Cobal, A Coccaro, J Cochran, P Coe, J G Cogan, J Coggeshall, E Cogneras, C D Cojocaru, J Colas, A P Colijn, C Collard, N J Collins, C 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O Gildemeister, V Gilewsky, D Gillberg, A R Gillman, D M Gingrich, J Ginzburg, N Giokaris, R Giordano, F M Giorgi, P Giovannini, P F Giraud, D Giugni, P Giusti, B K Gjelsten, L K Gladilin, C Glasman, J Glatzer, A Glazov, K W Glitza, G L Glonti, J Godfrey, J Godlewski, M Goebel, T Göpfert, C Goeringer, C Gössling, T Göttfert, S Goldfarb, D Goldin, T Golling, N P Gollub, S N Golovnia, A Gomes, L S Gomez Fajardo, R Gonçalo, L Gonella, C Gong, A Gonidec, S Gonzalez, S González de la Hoz, M L Gonzalez Silva, S Gonzalez-Sevilla, J J Goodson, L Goossens, P A Gorbounov, H A Gordon, I Gorelov, G Gorfine, B Gorini, E Gorini, A Gorišek, E Gornicki, S A Gorokhov, B T Gorski, V N Goryachev, B Gosdzik, M Gosselink, M I Gostkin, M Gouanère, I Gough Eschrich, M Gouighri, D Goujdami, M P Goulette, A G Goussiou, C Goy, I Grabowska-Bold, V Grabski, P Grafström, C Grah, K-J Grahn, F Grancagnolo, S Grancagnolo, V Grassi, V Gratchev, N Grau, H M Gray, J A Gray, E Graziani, O G Grebenyuk, D Greenfield, T Greenshaw, Z D Greenwood, I M Gregor, P Grenier, E Griesmayer, J Griffiths, N Grigalashvili, A A Grillo, K Grimm, S Grinstein, P L Y Gris, Y V Grishkevich, J-F Grivaz, J Grognuz, M Groh, E Gross, J Grosse-Knetter, J Groth-Jensen, M Gruwe, K Grybel, V J Guarino, C Guicheney, A Guida, T Guillemin, S Guindon, H Guler, J Gunther, B Guo, J Guo, A Gupta, Y Gusakov, V N Gushchin, A Gutierrez, P Gutierrez, N Guttman, O Gutzwiller, C Guyot, C Gwenlan, C B Gwilliam, A Haas, S Haas, C Haber,R Hackenburg, H K Hadavand, D R Hadley, P Haefner, F Hahn, S Haider, Z Hajduk, H Hakobyan, J Haller, K Hamacher, A Hamilton, S Hamilton, H Han, L Han, K Hanagaki, M Hance, C Handel, P Hanke, C J Hansen, J R Hansen, J B Hansen, J D Hansen, P H Hansen, P Hansson, K Hara, G A Hare, T Harenberg, D Harper, R D Harrington, O M Harris, K Harrison, J C Hart, J Hartert, F Hartjes, T Haruyama, A Harvey, S Hasegawa, Y Hasegawa, S Hassani, M Hatch, D Hauff, S Haug, M Hauschild, R Hauser, M Havranek, B M Hawes, C M Hawkes, R J Hawkings, D Hawkins, T Hayakawa, D Hayden, H S Hayward, S J Haywood, E Hazen, M He, S J Head, V Hedberg, L Heelan, S Heim, B Heinemann, S Heisterkamp, L Helary, M Heldmann, M Heller, S Hellman, C Helsens, R C W Henderson, M Henke, A Henrichs, A M Henriques Correia, S Henrot-Versille, F Henry-Couannier, C Hensel, T Henß, Y Hernández Jiménez, R Herrberg, A D Hershenhorn, G Herten, R Hertenberger, L Hervas, N P Hessey, A Hidvegi, E Higón-Rodriguez, D Hill, J C Hill, N Hill, K H Hiller, S Hillert, S J Hillier, I Hinchliffe, E Hines, M Hirose, F Hirsch, D Hirschbuehl, J Hobbs, N Hod, M C Hodgkinson, P Hodgson, A Hoecker, M R Hoeferkamp, J Hoffman, D Hoffmann, M Hohlfeld, M Holder, A Holmes, S O Holmgren, T Holy, J L Holzbauer, R J Homer, Y Homma, T Horazdovsky, C Horn, S Horner, K Horton, J-Y Hostachy, T Hott, S Hou, M A Houlden, A Hoummada, J Howarth, D F Howell, I Hristova, J Hrivnac, I Hruska, T Hryn’ova, P J Hsu, S-C Hsu, G S Huang, Z Hubacek, F Hubaut, F Huegging, T B Huffman, E W 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C Joram, P M Jorge, J Joseph, X Ju, V Juranek, P Jussel, V V Kabachenko, S Kabana, M Kaci, A Kaczmarska, P Kadlecik, M Kado, H Kagan, M Kagan, S Kaiser, E Kajomovitz, S Kalinin, L V Kalinovskaya, S Kama, N Kanaya, M Kaneda, T Kanno, V A Kantserov, J Kanzaki, B Kaplan, A Kapliy, J Kaplon, D Kar, M Karagoz, M Karnevskiy, K Karr, V Kartvelishvili, A N Karyukhin, L Kashif, A Kasmi, R D Kass, A Kastanas, M Kataoka, Y Kataoka, E Katsoufis, J Katzy, V Kaushik, K Kawagoe, T Kawamoto, G Kawamura, M S Kayl, V A Kazanin, M Y Kazarinov, S I Kazi, J R Keates, R Keeler, R Kehoe, M Keil, G D Kekelidze, M Kelly, J Kennedy, C J Kenney, M Kenyon, O Kepka, N Kerschen, B P Kerševan, S Kersten, K Kessoku, C Ketterer, M Khakzad, F Khalil-zada, H Khandanyan, A Khanov, D Kharchenko, A Khodinov, A G Kholodenko, A Khomich, T J Khoo, G Khoriauli, N Khovanskiy, V Khovanskiy, E Khramov, J Khubua, G Kilvington, H Kim, M S Kim, P C Kim, S H Kim, N Kimura, O Kind, B T King, M King, R S B King, J Kirk, G P Kirsch,L E Kirsch, A E Kiryunin, D Kisielewska, T Kittelmann, A M Kiver, H Kiyamura, E Kladiva, J Klaiber-Lodewigs, M Klein, U Klein, K Kleinknecht, M Klemetti, A Klier, A Klimentov, R Klingenberg, E B Klinkby, T Klioutchnikova, P F Klok, S Klous, E-E Kluge, T Kluge, P Kluit, S Kluth, E Kneringer, J Knobloch, A Knue, B R Ko, T Kobayashi, M Kobel, B Koblitz, M Kocian, A Kocnar, P Kodys, K Köneke, A C König, S Koenig, S König, L Köpke, F Koetsveld, P Koevesarki, T Koffas, E Koffeman, F Kohn, Z Kohout, T Kohriki, T Koi, T Kokott, G M Kolachev, H Kolanoski, V Kolesnikov, I Koletsou, J Koll, D Kollar, M Kollefrath,S D Kolya, A A Komar, J R Komaragiri, T Kondo, T Kono, A I Kononov, R Konoplich, N Konstantinidis, A Kootz, S Koperny, S V Kopikov, K Korcyl, K Kordas, V Koreshev, A Korn, A Korol, I Korolkov, E V Korolkova, V A Korotkov, O Kortner, S Kortner, V V Kostyukhin, M J Kotamäki, S Kotov, V M Kotov, C Kourkoumelis, A Koutsman, R Kowalewski, T Z Kowalski, W Kozanecki, A S Kozhin, V Kral, V A 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Protons for Breakfast 13

November 8, 2010
PfB logo

Man eating some protons

Things at work have been so busy lately I have hardly found time to finish any of the blog items I started, but now we have finally begun the 13th presentation of Protons for Breakfast I am feeling a bit calmer. Actually presenting the sessions is a tremendous pleasure and I do genuinely rediscover my fascination with the subject every time I re-visit it. But beforehand I get worried. Someone asked me if I had ‘butterflies’, but I misheard them and thought they were asking if I had buffaloes – and that comes closer. But once we get started I feel relaxed.

Weird but beautiful representation of lead nuclei colliding

Weird but beautiful representation of lead nuclei colliding

I have just finished answering the Feedback and Questions from Week 1 of Presentation 13 of Protons for Breakfast and there were many enquiries about the nature of the strong force which acts between protons and neutrons within the nuclei of atoms. So it was interesting to see this article on the BBC today regarding new experiments at CERN. There the nice Dr. Evans explained why they were smashing the nuclei of lead atoms into each other. He said that ‘by studying the [resulting] plasma, physicists hoped to learn more about the so-called strong force ‘. So the questions the class were asking after week 1 of the course – are actually right up to date!

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