Robert Bernstein




Phone: (630) 840-2035



Reading: H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

Movies: Mushi-Shi and Serial Experiments Lain (anime)

Attempting To Play: Allegro Appassionato, Camille Saint-Saëns

Lecture on Mu2e

Useful Links:

xkcd (naturally)

lanl preprints




I am working on a charged lepton flavor violation experiment, Mu2e. I wrote a blurb in Symmetry about it. It’s an amazing experiment which I joined when I realized I didn’t know anything about the techniques, it was terrifically hard, and the physics was incredibly important.  It fits nicely with the other experiment I’m working on, NOvA, which will search for neutrino oscillations, another kind of lepton flavor violation. 

I also did an experiment in the 1990’s, NuTeV, which measured an anomalous value of the weak mixing angle, a key parameter of the Standard Model.  People haven’t figured out how we did that yet but it got my h-index up fairly high and it’s keeping some theorists gainfully employed and off Wall Street.

After looking around and realizing managing large projects and running large organizations was a discipline worthy of study, and that physicists had no idea how to do either, I got an MBA from the University of Chicago in 2006. One thing I learned is that running R&D organizations is a total mystery to academic researchers. hah...

Most of my non-existent spare time is taken up walking my Samoyed dogs, Maverick and Lucy.  I’ve shown one, Toby, aka Mithril-Sylvan’s Soliloquy (think Hamlet and a lot of barking), to an AKC championship and a bunch of other titles. When I’m not fussing over them I’m pretending to play cello.

  1. If I knew what I were doing it wouldn’t be research

  1. A combination of incompetence, ignorance and indifference is almost always a better explanation than conspiracy

  1. Incompetence is like a fractal: it appears identical when viewed at any level of the hierarchy

  1. Pressure transmitted to the top of a hierarchy is transmitted undiminished to every part of the hierarchy

  1. Brute force has an elegance all its own

  1. Good, fast, and cheap: pick two.

  1. The world would be a better place if all tweets had to be in haiku.

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes:*

*Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere’s Fan, Act III