James Hirschauer gave me first-hand experience with one of his favorite facets of experimental physics--data analysis. The Fermilab physicist works with one of the experiments that announced the discovery of the Higgs boson last year.
Particle physicist Jim Hirschauer spends hours at the computer to analyze data. Like many other physicists, he writes his own analysis programs and can spend days of work to create a single graph. The hard work is in pursuit of knowledge about how the universe works.
Courtesy of Stephanie Sunata/MEDILL
The author in front of ALICE, one of the detectors on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.