Like many others, I listened to yesterday's (10/16/17) press release at the NSF without a special prior insight in the physics of neutron star mergers, or in the details of the measurements we can extract from the many observations that the detected event made possible. My knowledge of astrophysics is quite incomplete and piecemeal, so in some respects I could be considered a "layman" listening to a science outreach seminar.

Yet, of course, as a physicist I have a good basic understanding of the processes at the heart of the radiation emissions that took place two hundred million years ago in that faint, otherwise unconspicuous galaxy in Hydra. 
At 10:00 AM this morning, my smartphone alerted me that in two months I will have to deliver a thorough review on the physics of boson pairs - a 50 page thing which does not yet even exist in the world of ideas. So I have better start planning carefully my time in the next 60 days, to find at least two clean weeks where I may cram in the required concentration. That will be the hard part!

Clamps are miniature equivalents to the gravitational shock fronts caused by colliding black holes that currently reach the press because very sensitive measuring equipment such as LIGO can detect these fronts when they pass the sensor. During travel, these fronts keep their shape, but the height diminishes as 1/r as a function of the distance r to the trigger location. The result is temporary, and the front integrates into the Green’s function of the vibrating field. Thus, the spherical shock front deforms its carrier. Having mass is synonym to having the capability to deform its carrier. That vibrating field is our living space. Where a huge explosion triggers the front that passed the LIGO sensor, are clamps triggered by a point-like artifact.

The top quark is the heaviest known matter corpuscle we consider elementary. 
Elementary is an overloaded word in English, so I need to explain what it means in the context of subatomic particles. If we grab a dictionary we get several possibilities, like e.g.- elementary: pertanining to or dealing with elements, rudiments, or first principles

- elementary: of the nature of an ultimate constituent; uncompounded
- elementary: not decomposable into elements or other primary constituents
- elementary: simple


Physical reality must be simple.


Two and a half centuries ago, scientist discovered solutions of the wave equation that represent dark quanta.

Another chapter in the saga of the search for the elusive, but dominant, decay mode of the Higgs boson has been reported by the CMS collaboration last month. This is one of those specific sub-fields of research where a hard competition arises on the answer to a relatively minor scientific question. That the Higgs boson couples to b-quarks is indirectly already well demonstrated by a number of other measurements - its coupling to (third generation) quarks being demonstrated by its production rate, for example. Yet, being the first ones to "observe" the H->bb decay is a coveted goal.
Arthur Eddington and others tried numerous times to test Einstein's general theory of relativity by photographing the stars which appear in the sky next to the eclipsed sun.  Einstein's theory predicted a particular change in their apparent position.  To the ability of anyone to measure this effect, all observations have been in accord with Einstein's theory.  My own work on and interest in theories of everything, both my own, and others, has as a fundamental assumption that Einsteins theory is exactly correct.  It probably is, however, no one gets a pass.  No matter who the scientist is we test their theories multiple times.  

If I am alive, I probably owe it to my current very good physical shape.

That does not mean I narrowly escaped a certain death; rather, it means that if I had been slower there are good chances I would have got hit by lightning, under arduous conditions, at 4300 meters of altitude.

This is the fifth and final part of Chapter 3 of the book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab". (the beginning of the chapter was omitted since it described a different story). The chapter recounts the pioneering measurement of the Z mass by the CDF detector, and the competition with SLAC during the summer of 1989.  The title of the post is the same as the one of chapter 3, and it refers to the way some SLAC physicists called their Fermilab colleagues, whose hadron collider was to their eyes obviously inferior to the electron-positron linear collider.