Joel Goldstein

Favourite Thing: Understanding something for the first time



Bancroft’s School in Woodfod Green, Cambridge and Boston Universities



Work History:

Fermilab, Rutherford Appleton Lab, Bristol University

Current Job:

Physics lecturer


University of Bristol

Me and my work

I search through the results of trillions of particle collisions, trying to find the unexpected.

I am a particle physicist. I design, build and operate huge experiments that observe particles smashing into each other at extremely high energies. I then sift through the results, looking for signs of new, unknown forces or particles. Most of my current work is on the CMS, one of the two large general purpose experiments a the LHC.

My Typical Day

Pretending to pay attention in meetings while really catching up on e-mail

I have to balance teaching, administration and research. After a quick check of e-mails and the latest scientific results from my field, I may meet with a technician to discuss some work they are doing, prepare some undergraduate teaching sessions, and then sit down with the team I have working on possible upgrades to the current LHC detectors. In the afternoons I often video-conference with collaborators at CERN and around the world.

What I'd do with the money

Support outreach to schools

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Happy, thoughtful, bald.

Who is your favourite singer or band?


What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Learn to fly

What did you want to be after you left school?

A particle physicist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Not really

What was your favourite subject at school?


What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Built part of the CDF detector at Fermilab

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

Reading popular science books as a kid

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

Pilot (if my eyes were better anyway)

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Tell us a joke.

A man walked into a bar. The second man ducked.

Other stuff

Work photos: