Physics

       For the sake of clarity, let us consider the two widely known, nonsensical scenarios: The first is one that many scientists charge ‘idealist’ philosophers with, although no thinker beyond the dorm room bong level holds this view: All is just a dream and there is no physical world. The second nonsensical scenario is that a physical world “really exists independently out there” and it happens to be the case that consciousness arises in it although it could have conceivably been otherwise, a physical universe just being without consciousness.

Yesterday the ATLAS collaboration published the results of a new search for dark matter particles produced in association with heavy quarks by proton-proton collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Not seeing a signal, ATLAS produced very tight upper limits on the cross section for interactions of the tentative dark matter particle with nucleons, which is the common quantity on which dark matter search results are reported. The cross section is in fact directly proportional to the rate at which one would expact to see the hypothetical particle scatter off ordinary matter, which is what one directly looks for in many of today's dark matte search experiments.
The Nobel Committee has asked that the gents who won for blue LED's immediately surrender their awards to Stephen Hawking.  Just Kidding, but the confirmation of Hawking radiation by the work of Jeff Steinhauer is of an order of importance so stupendous that if such a line flashed across the newswires I'd want to believe it!  So what's the big deal about Hawking radiation anyway? 
Do you remember the E-Cat ? That is an acronym for "energy catalyzer", the device invented by the Italian philosopher Andrea Rossi. The E-Cat is claimed to produce nuclear energy through the heating of a "secret" powder made up of nichel, hydrogen, and lithium plus some additives. A new chapter was added to the saga of the E-Cat this week, with the publication of a new study by an allegedly independent group of Italian and Swedish researchers.

No one is seriously expecting to overturn Einstein's idea of time dilation, and instead the goal is often to find the possible limits. That means looking for deviations in experiments with increasing precision or under extreme conditions. 


"Fermilab has very actively tried to scoop us by press release, even though their uncertainties are under serious challenge and they knew our measurements even before they released theirs."

Michael Riordan, a member to the Mark II collaboration, in an interview by David Perlman on the San Francisco Chronicle, July 21st 1989
At the workshop I attended last week ("Publish, blog, tweet - furthering one's career in science") I discussed blogging for a researcher. One of the points I made was that through a blog a researcher may sometimes ask for the help of his or her readers, with usually great results.

Today I would like to put my own creed to the test, because I am searching for an article and I have no idea how to do it - usual searches with Google are insuccessful in this case. It is a newspaper article of 1989, which I need as it has relevance for a chapter of the book I have been writing.
Last Thursday and Friday I attended a workshop aimed at students of science communication and researchers who want to use the web tools to improve their collaboration networks and the visibility of their scientific output.

I gave a talk discussing the good and the bad sides of blogging about one's research. My contribution was very well received and I received great feedback from the organizers. You can find a live streaming (with the slides I am discussing also shown) at the workshop site, here: http://www.scicomm.it/p/blog-page_1.html . To see my talk go to h.mm.ss 1.17.00 .

UPDATE: the raw videos are now here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBmlEGOgCPEhQFRFw-cwf2qZG7oTsia-r

BEIJING; BERKELEY, CA; and UPTON, NY - The Daya Bay Collaboration, an international group of scientists studying the subtle transformations of subatomic particles called neutrinos, is publishing its first results on the search for a so-called sterile neutrino,

Though the search is on for a possible new type of neutrino beyond the three known neutrino "flavors," or types, the so-called sterile neutrino remains elusive.

A new paper by the Daya Bay Collaboration in Physical Review Letters finds no evidence for sterile neutrinos in a previously unexplored mass range.



Patterns of emergence are all around us. Credit: Feliciano Guimarães/Flickr, CC BY

By Andy Martin, University of Melbourne and Kristian Helmerson, Monash University

From the fractal patterns of snowflakes to cellular lifeforms, our universe is full of complex phenomena – but how does this complexity arise?