Physics

Finally, the Bose-Einstein Correlations article by CMS to which I have personally contributed during the last few months is now an arxiv entry, and has been sent to Physical Review Letters. This is a success for the CMS collaboration, since we are the first to measure this effect in the new LHC proton-proton collisions, at 0.9 and 2.36 TeV of center-of-mass energy.
If you follow the blogosphere as a source of information on cutting-edge high-energy-physics results, you certainly by now know that the DZERO collaboration has produced a new exciting result. They find a 3.2 standard deviation effect in a study of charge asymmetry of muon pairs, which can be due to a unexpected, large source of CP violation -one which constitutes a very good shot at explaining the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry of the Universe!
While around the world particle physicists are working frantically to produce important new results to be shown at ICHEP 2010 -the International Conference on High-Energy Physics, which is held every two years and is arguably the single most important meeting for this branch of science-, new discoveries get claimed in an asynchronous way. And some of them in a very asynchronous way, I should say, since they are based on 40-years-old data.
Academics pay a lot of attention to the quality of their writings. It is generally a point of pride to publish flawless documents, and this is felt in scientific disciplines just as much as in literary ones. If I told you how much time the members of a scientific experiment such as CDF at the Tevatron or CMS at CERN (the ones I work in) spend in the review of their articles before these are sent to the publishers, you would be startled.
This is going to be a short post where I confess my recent troubles with keeping everything going on at full speed in my life, while the workload constantly grows.

I believe it is a temporary problem -I have experienced the same situation in the past- but I feel swamped by a few things that have piled up. So today, rather than reading on a new physics result or a new article on the arxiv, you are going to find here a list of the things I am not attending in order to write this short post. In random order:

  1. I have a undergraduate thesis to correct.
  2. I also need to write a reference letter for him, by next Sunday.
  3. There is a 100 pages paper in internal review by CDF and I am a member of the review committee.
"Why didn't these people follow their true vocation ending in a white-collar office, rather than breaking the balls to whom does Physics ?"

(Anonymous physics researcher from unnamed experiment, upon experiencing endless strings of meaningless objections and inane requests for wording changes  to a paper about to get sent for publication by a bunch of less worthy colleagues).

... And there would be a lot to say about the subject, but I will save it for another post.
What Is A Tipping Point ?


The term 'tipping point' is in widespread use in English, but what does it mean?


Imagine a child's seesaw with an empty bucket on each end.  The seesaw is initially at rest with one end touching the ground.  If left alone, nothing would happen - there would be no motion.  The whole mechanical contraption would be in a static configuration - in static, or stable equilibrium.
ICHEP Blog!

ICHEP Blog!

May 08 2010 | 1 comment(s)

Every two years particle physicists meet at a conference which is just a bit more important, more well-attended, and more prestigious than all the others that pester our agendas every other week. This conference is called ICHEP - the International Conference on High-Energy Physics - and it is usually the favourite and most favourable place where to present or to listen to groundbreaking results, important advancements, thorough review talks.
Courtesy gizmodo:



The typo we had been all waiting for. And there is already who fantasizes about the need for a Large Hardon Condom, to play it safe...

Sorry for the reblogging, but this time I did not resist...
Two years ago I discussed the results of a very interesting search performed by the CDF experiment in its dataset of 2-TeV proton-antiproton collisions, provided by the Tevatron accelerator at Fermilab.

The search focused on the hypothesis that a massive fourth-generation quark was produced in the collisions. What was assumed was that the quark was heavy -otherwise previous searches would have found it already-, and that it behaved similarly to the sixth quark, the top, which is by now a well-known animal of the particle zoo.