CMS Center
CMS Center


Name: Oliver Gutsche
Title: Research Associate
Phone: 630.840.8909


Research Areas

Data operations

What is your main focus on the CMS experiment?

One can divide my involvement in CMS in two parts: physics and the technical project. I am interested in new physics, meaning physics beyond the standard model. For an early discovery, when the detector is not fully understood, you need clear signatures to have a chance to see deviations from the standard model. I am concentrating on dilepton signatures. In addition, I am adding Jet counts and missing energy requirements to bring the Standard Model background under control. Currently, I am working with collaborators from Fermilab, UCSD and UCSB on dilepton analysis. We are preparing for the start of data taking by developing tools and data driven techniques to measure backgrounds and to select a clean dilepton signal for possible discoveries. For the technical project, I am leading the Data Operations project for CMS. My co-coordinator, and I lead and organize everything related to official and central data production and processing.

What inspired you to study particle physics?

When I was in high school, I was very intrigued by the smallest particles and particle physics. I grew up near Hamburg, Germany, where we have a particle physics laboratory called DESY. I did an internship at DESY and immediately knew that I would like to study physics and specialize in particle physics. After my military service, I started my studies of physics in Hamburg and finished with a PhD in particle physics.

What is your favorite part about being a scientist?

Being a scientist means you can push the envelope to think about the current knowledge and its flaws and strive for perfection and simplicity in describing nature. I enjoy the open mindedness and focus on explaining the true nature of our universe. I can work and learn from some of the most brilliant people in the world. In addition, I like scientific camaraderie in the large collaborations of scientists that is typical for high energy physics. Where else do you have hundreds to thousands of scientists from all over the world working on the same project with the same goal?

What do think surprises most people about Fermilab? Or what surprised you?

For Europeans, the most surprising feature of Fermilab is the huge site. In Europe, we are used to smaller laboratories, where the main accelerator ring is built underground beneath the landscape of a city. At Fermilab, the ring and entire accelerator complex are located on the site, and there is room for more. Fermilab also has a prairie and buffalo. The connection between high-tech physics and nature is surprising.

If you could rescue one thing from your burning office or lab, and you already have your laptop, what would it be?

All of my data is stored electronically on central servers, and I also have backups. I think I would rescue the framed exceptional performance recognition award I received last year from our lab director for my work on CMS.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I don't think I have a very specific music taste. I mostly listen to "normal" music played on the radio and more smooth music like jazz and blues. I also enjoy movie soundtracks, especially if they are played by large orchestras. But I haven't gotten much into classical music yet. It is on my list of things to do.