Physics

The 13 TeV data from LHC collisions taken this summer is quickly going through analysis programs and being used for new physics results, and everybody is wondering whether there are surprises in store... Of course that will require some more time to be ascertained.
For the time being, I can offer a couple of very inspiring pictures. CMS recorded a spectacular event featuring two extremely high-energy jets in the first 40 inverse picobarns of data that was collected and reconstructed by the experiment with all detector component properly working.

There have been many news stories saying that the EM Drive will solve almost all problems in interplanetary travel, permit low cost flying cars and who knows what else. Other stories say that it is flat out impossible and we shouldn't spend a single publicly funded research dollar on it. But I haven't seen a single article with the rather boring suggestion that perhaps in this case the research community has got it exactly right. That it's not a perpetual motion machine, doesn't deserve to be dismissed out of hand. But it's far too soon to justify huge research programs into it, even if it is a real effect. We just have to be patient and see how the experiment develops. So, here is a news story to say - that. In detail:

Are you a post-lauream student in Physics, interested in pursuing a career in particle physics, and maybe with interest in advanced machine learning applications, with an eye to a great job after your PhD ? Then this posting is for you.
No other way

No other way

Jul 27 2015 | 4 comment(s)

Some of you may know statistical physics, advanced finance theory, and machine learning methods, only you don't know it. Let's begin with a simple situation from probability theory. Consider playing a war game n times and surviving x times. You're "batting" average would then be p = x/n.
Well, as some of you may have heard, the restart of the LHC has not been as smooth as we had hoped. In a machine as complex as this the chance that something gets in the way of a well-followed schedule is quite significant. So there have been slight delays, but the important thing is that the data at 13 TeV centre-of-mass energy are coming, and the first results are being extracted from them.
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  Generalization of Newton’s inertia principle in flavor phenomenology

    If you like star trek or similar science fiction, you have probably heard of the term, "space-time continuum". Well it is a real thing, as is time, and yes the definition of time still works for all of our day to day scheduling of events and activities.      When things start moving near the speed of light or are in a strong gravitational field, time might seem to go awry. We all have a good appreciation for length, width and height. As fundamental as these three dimensions are to our understanding of the world around us, modern science tells us that these are mixed into time itself. 
The reported observation of a resonant state of a J/psi meson and a proton in the decay of the Lambda_b baryon by the LHCb collaboration, broadcast by CERN today, is a very intriguing new piece of the puzzle of hadron spectroscopy - a topic on which many brilliant minds have spent their life in the course of the last half century.
The CERN Director General Rolf Heuer issued the following statement today, reporting the discovery of exotic pentaquark states by the LHCb collaboration:
Geneva, 14 July 2015. Today, the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has reported the discovery of a class of particles known as pentaquarks. [...]
 
Working as an experimental particle physicist in a large scientific collaboration, such as the 3000-strong CMS experiment at the CERN LHC, is a (not too uncommon) privilege, for several reasons. 
One of those reasons is of purely numerical kind: the number of publications that bear your name grows by the day, and may reach four-figure values in the course of a couple of decades (I am about to cross that point with my publication list, in fact). But what value do those thousand articles have for the sake of assessing your value as a scientist ? Very little, indeed, and in fact all the selection to which I have participated in my career required one to specify one's specific contribution to all the papers one wished to boast about.