As the SuperNEMO Demonstrator commissioning continues, it’s vital to have a great team on site at LSM. With Covid restrictions disrupting international travel, this year has been challenging - so we were very lucky that researcher Dr Rastislav Hodák was able to spend six months working at LSM.

Rastislav working on the Demonstrator

During his stay, Rastislav, a researcher based at the Czech Technical University in Prague, lived in an apartment in the alpine village Aussois, together with his wife, two young sons, and a Border Collie). His contributions included preparing for the tracker commissioning with extensive work on gas delivery and flushing systems, with a particular triumph when he and on-site expert Emmanuel Chauveau finally completed a long program of sealing the detector. Rastislav was also heavily involed in a variety of calorimeter commissioning tasks, and joined in the installation of SuperNEMO’s magnetic coil.

Enjoying the Alpine scenery

Rastislav and his family discovered and enjoyed many beautiful places in the Maurienne valley, and declared their stay to be a great experience overall. His only regret is that after so many months of hard work, he was enjoying a well-earned vacation on the the Côte d’Azur on the day that we finally saw our first double-beta decay candidate. What unfortunate timing!

Rastislav’s stay was made possible through funding from the mobility program of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. SuperNEMO couldn’t be built without experts on site, and we are all very grateful to Rastislav for his hard work this year. Thank you very much, Rastislav! We’re glad you enjoyed your experience at LSM, and you will always be welcome back at the lab.