Physics

Did you know about that dyslectic guy with an impotence problem who once came to Fermilab ? He said he'd been advised to go there as he wanted to get a hadron.
The Super-CDMS dark-matter search has released two days ago the results from the analysis of nine months of data taking. The experiment has excellent sensitivity to weak interacting massive particles producing inelastic scattering with the Germanium in the detector.

The detector is composed of fifteen cylindrical 0.6 kg crystals stacked in groups of three, equipped with ionization and phonon detectors that are capable of measuring the energy of the signals. From that the recoil energy can be derived, and a rough estimate of WIMP candidates mass. The towers are kept at close to absolute zero temperature in the Soudan mine, where backgrounds from cosmic rays and other sources are very small.
Do you remember the CDF Dijet bump at 145 GeV? In 2010, CDF published a paper that showed how the same data sample of W + jet events where they had previously isolated the "single-lepton" WW+WZ signal also presented an intriguing excess of events in the dijet mass distribution, in a region where the background -dominated by QCD radiation produced in association with a W- fell smoothly. That signal generated some controversy within the collaboration, and a lot of interest outside of it. It could be interpreted as some signal of a new technicolor resonance !

The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is still getting important particle work done, years after the closure of the Tevatron was announced.

Scientists on the CDF and DZero
experiments have announced that they have found the final predicted way of creating a top quark, completing a picture of this particle that has been nearly 20 years in the making.


The Y(4140) state, a resonance found in decays of the B meson to J/ψ φ K final states, is the protagonist of a long saga. Originally it was obseved by CDF in 4 inverse femtobarns of Run 2 data by Kai Yi, a very active "bump hunter" in the experiment - and I want to add, a successful one! 

Kai had to withstand a very long review process within the collaboration before the evidence for the new particle could finally be published; and the addition of more data to the analysis, one year afterwards, left many in CDF with the suspect that the particle was maybe there only in the eye of the beholder: the new data did not seem to show a clear hint of the peak seen in the first part.
Microseconds after the big ban happened the universe was a superhot, superdense primordial soup of “quarks” and “gluons,” particles of matter and carriers of force.

The quark-gluon plasma cooled almost instantly but it set the stage for the universe we know today and to better understand how the universe evolved, a quark-gluon plasma is being reproduced in giant particle accelerators like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where the Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC ("STAR") experiment has been collecting and analyzing data for the past decade.
Recent Planck spacecraft observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) – the fading glow of the Big Bang – have highlighted a discrepancy between cosmological results and  predictions from other types of observations. The CMB is the oldest light in the Universe, and its study has allowed scientists to accurately measure cosmological parameters, such as the amount of matter in the Universe and its age. But an inconsistency arises when large-scale structures of the Universe, such as the distribution of galaxies, are observed.

In the 'sometimes what you don't find can be important too' department, a new high-accuracy calibration of the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) dark matter detector's sensitivity to ultra-low energy events strongly confirms the result that it did not find low-mass dark matter particles last summer during its initial run.


I believe I am not alone in being fascinated by the ongoing debates about this or that physics experiment being on the verge of destroying the Earth. Microscopic black holes produced by mistake in particle physics experiments sinking down to the center of the Earth and slowly eating us out, small black holes used as "clean" bombs, antimatter weapons, strange-matter bits gradually engulfing everything around.

It is quite entertaining and it would be even good for physics outreach if spun the right way, but unfortunately we should not trust too much the sense of humour of our political leaders.