Thursday, July 22, 2010
One thing that struck me when arriving at the Palais des Congrès was how sparsely populated it was by ICHEP participants. We tend to think of ICHEP as a large conference with more than 1000 participants, but in many other fields that would be a small conference; when talking on the phone to a friend who is a physician and mentioning ICHEP, she said "Well, I suppose for particle physics that's a lot of people" adding that a congress of hematologists she attended had more than 10,000 delegates. I suppose that technical or political gatherings will often be even bigger, and the Palais des Congrès is clearly laid out to handle those. ICHEP is thus a low-density conference when measured on the scale of low-energy congressology; physicists being physicists, the density becomes quite high near the coffee bar during breaks, though!