Physics

I am told that when a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he or she will likely go through a well-defined sequence of stages. 
The first stage is Denial: the patient will convince him- or herself that there is a mistake in the diagnosis, that somehow the doctors are wrong, or something alike. It is a protective, visceral reaction, one preventing the shock of reckoning with a completely altered landscape. There follows a state of Anger: the "why me" sentiment is the cause of this state of mind. Then there is Fear, brought about by the lack of knowledge of what is coming. Then comes Grief - for oneself as well as for the loved ones. And finally, Acceptance, which brings peace to the soul.
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Crazy Enough to Be True?

    According Einstein and in agreement with recent approach of S. Weinberg, it must be ‘something’ in the outer space that parallels the quantum wave function Psi(x, y, z) in places where it is not zero. In terms of classical physics this something must be described by the metaphor “nonlocal”.  

The book "Anomaly! Collider physics and the quest for new phenomena at Fermilab" is about to be published, after a somewhat long and anti-climatic wait. And the first presentation events are being scheduled here and there.
If you are at CERN I hope I will see you at the CERN library (bldg 52) on November 29th, at 4PM. The book should already be available for retail by then. On that occasion I will just chat a little about the contents, answer questions, and maybe read one or two paragraphs to those of you who will come by.

The event is detailed in this indico page.
A new paper by the ATLAS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider produces results in good agreement with standard model predictions: the unitarity of the cross section of the vector-boson scattering process, one of the original reasons for invoking the Higgs mechanism, has been tested by directly searching for electroweak production of W boson pairs associated with two forward-going hadronic jets. The energy dependence of the rate of the considered process provides information on whether the unitarity-restoring action of the Higgs boson is total, as the standard model predicts, or only partial.
Back to my office in Padova, I am looking back at last week's travel around the US and the two talks I delivered at SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) and Northwestern University. 

The event at SLAC was an experimental seminar. Due to a clash with a "Higgs coupling" workshop that was taking place at the same time, it did not attract a very large audience. Still, it was quite nice to meet a few of the SLAC scientists there, and in particular to chat with Stan Brodsky, a well-known theorist whom I had met in Valparaiso earlier this year. I am also grateful to Brandon Eberly, my host at SLAC, who took care of welcoming me there and introducing the seminar.
As the 23 faithful readers of this blog already know, I recently wrote a book that describes the searches for new physics undertaken by a glorious particle physics experiment, CDF, during the eighties and nineties. The book, titled "Anomaly! Collider physics and the quest for new phenomena at Fermilab", is coming out at the end of November. More information and reviews on the book can be obtained at this link. Or you can directly pre-order the book via AMazon by following the link on the right column here (you may have to scroll down) -->
The mystery of what clumps galaxy clusters together, and provides for a quarter of the matter-energy budget of the universe, really looks like _the_ most important scientific question we face today. There is nowadays compelling evidence of the correctness of the standard cosmological model, coming from the cosmic microwave background maps provided lastly by Planck as well as from a number of other observations - of supernovae, galaxy clusters, galaxy rotation curves, etcetera. So we know there has to be dark matter out there. But what is it?
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Metaphors in Quantum Mechanics  

UPDATE: before you read the text below, one useful bit of information. The author of the analysis described below is not a member of ALEPH since 2004. He got access to the data as any of you could, since the ALEPH data is open access by now. There would be a lot to discuss about whether it is a good thing (I think so) or not that any regular joe or jane can take collider data and spin it his or her own way and claim new physics effects, but let's leave it for some other post. What is important is that ALEPH is not behind this publication, and members of it have tried to explain to the author that the claim was bogus. Indeed, on the matter of the source of the signal: it is clearly spurious, as the muons are collinear with the b-jets emitted in the Z decay.

Last August 27 a full-day outreach event was held in the nice small town of Veroia, in northern Greece, as one of the satellite activities to the international conference “Quark Confinement and the Hadron Spectrum” which took place in Thessaloniki during the following days.