Physics

I am very glad to observe that Adam Falkowsky has resumed his blogging activities (for how long, that's early to say). He published the other day a blog entry titled "Where were we", in which he offers his view of the present status of things in HEP and the directions he foresees for the field.
I was about to leave a comment there, but since I am a very discontinuous blog reader (you either write or read, in this business -no time for both things together) I feared I would then miss any reply or ensuing discussion. Not that I mean to say anything controversial or flippant; on the contrary, I mostly agree with Adam's assessment of the situation. With some distinguos.
I do not keep crocodiles[*] in my drawer, so this short piece will have to do today.... Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned British cosmologist, passed away yesterday, and with him we lost not only a bright thinker and all-round scientist, but also a person who inspired two or three generations of students and researchers, thanks of his will to live and take part in active research in spite of the difficulties he had to face, which he always managed to take with irony. Confined on a wheelchair by ALS, and incapable of even speaking without electronic assistance, he always displayed uncommon sharpness and wit.
Brian Greene would say that those who doubt string theory just lack vision or  the capacity to understand it.  Balderdash!  String Theory is a beautiful system of mathematics which can be use to construct physical theories ...but it is not science.
Statistical hypothesis testing is quite boring if you apply it to cases where you know the answer, or where the data speak loud and clear about one hypothesis being true or false. Life at the interface between testability and untestability is much more fun.
This is just a short note - a record-keeping, if you like - to report that my long review on "Collider Searches for Diboson Resonances" has now appeared on the online Elsevier site of the journal "Progress of Particle and Nuclear Physics". 
I had previously pointed to the preprint version of the same article on this blog, with the aim of getting feedback from experts in the field, and I am happy that this has indeed happened: I was able to integrate some corrections from Robert Shrock, a theorist at SUNY, as well as some integrations to the references list by a couple of other colleagues.
Dark Matter (DM), the mysterious substance that vastly dominates the total mass of our universe, is certainly one of the most surprising and tough puzzles of contemporary science. We do not know what DM is, but on the other hand we have a large body of evidence that there must be "something" in the universe that causes a host of effects we observe and which would have no decent explanation otherwise. 
Great news for the CMS experiment - and for Italy, and for my institution, Padova, where I coordinate accelerator-based physics research for INFN. Professor Roberto Carlin, a longtime member of the CMS experiment, where he has taken many important roles in the construction and operations of the experiment, and recently was deputy spokesperson, has now been elected spokesperson. This consolidates a "rule" which sees Italian physicists at the lead of the experiment every other term, after Tonelli (2010-12) and Camporesi (2014-16). 


It is probably wiser to follow Bob Dylan than Stephen Hawking in matters of science vs philosophy. That's what I claim in the article below. Such concerns surface when supporters of string theory and inflation theory defend their models.

My worry is with the voices that downplay the roles of experiment and observation on behalf of beauty for such theories to be regarded as credible. Read more in my science philosophizing a while ago in the new Mentsch web-magazine.
Some shameless self-promotion is in order today, as my review titled "Hadron Collider Searches for Diboson Resonances", meant for publication on the prestigious journal "Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics", has been made available on the Cornell Arxiv.
My review covers quite extensively the topic, as it is not constrained in length as other reviews usually are. At 76 pages, and with 500 references, it aims to be the main reference on this type of physics for the next five years or so - at least, this is the stipulation with PPNP. Whether I managed to make it such, it is something to be judged by others.

The plan of the work is as follows:
The recently released paper noting that dwarf galaxy's orbits do not obey the simplest models of dark matter is not news to any physicist who pays attention to cosmology.  In short, the simplest models of dark matter, the DM in CDM, may need to be tweaked but hopefully not by too much.  So the rest of the media and everyone else can relax.  That's not to say the work isn't very important.