Physics

A Labor Day special: I am offering you to have a short virtual tour of the CDF Control Room today, free of charge. I am currently on shift there, and we are taking data. If you send me an email with your skype account coordinates, I will call you and show you the place with a web-cam. No audio though, since I cannot disturb my colleagues here. I will complement the visual roundabout tour of the monitors with a few short text explanations. The service is subject to abrupt interruptions or delays due to possible emergencies I need to take care of.

My email is firstname.lastname (at) google.com . Beware of the spelling of my first name - 30% of English natives put one M and two S in it.
Back to breathing the air of Fermilab after a full year away, I got to gauge a bit better the aftermath of the little incident created by a posting of mine in July. As often happens with internet bubbles, they look quite dramatic as they inflate, but they leave no big scars. Two months have passed, and this looks like a good time to post here some ruminations about the general issue.

Physics Experiments And Confidentiality
Since today, and for a full week, I will be serving as Scientific Coordinator (SciCo) of the crew operating the CDF experiment at Fermilab. This honorable task (or in alternative, the serving as "Consumer Operator" or "ACE") is required to all collaborators once or twice per year, in order to provide 24/7 operation of the detector and supervision of the data-taking activities.

The crew is formed by a SciCo, a CO, and an ACE.
Presenting measurement values together with some educated guess on accuracy or precision is scientific standard. It is very important to any good scientist, so much so that it is basically my religion. Delta (Δ) is my god! Those statisticians who serve sigma (σ) and teach the primacy of it do not understand that delta is the larger one after all (sorry - the pun here is strictly for the geeks among you).
String theory was originally developed to try and describe the fundamental particles and forces that make up our universe.  Over the last 25 years, string theory has become some physicists' contender for a 'theory of everything', reconciling particle physics with cosmology - a puzzle that tormented Einstein for the last 30 years of his life.
Wave functions and characteristic vectors.
A new paper produced by the DZERO collaboration got me quite interested today, for several reasons. The analysis is based on a large data sample: over seven inverse femtobarns of proton-antiproton collisions! This is a huge dataset, the result of about 500 trillion proton-antiproton collisions! In fact, the measurement these data has made possible is extremely precise and it exposes quite strikingly the shortcomings of our present modeling of the production of vector bosons.
The Standard Model of particle physics has been under attack since its original formulation, in 1967, and yet it has so far resisted every assault; in so doing it has become one of the most thoroughly tested physical theories. Like it or not, the construction has stood the test of time so well that theorists and experimentalists alike feel threatened by the chance that the Large Hadron Collider, too, will fail to find new physics beyond what the model predicts.
The following parallelepiped was found by Clifford Reiter und Jorge Sawyer (Lafayette College, Easton, Pensilvania) with brute force computer trials.
Last week in Tesero, in front of an audience of 150 interested laypersons, I spoke about the marvels of particle physics (the poster of the conference I gave is below, click to enlarge). My first slide made clear what  I believe is the most important gift of a researcher -theorist or experimentalist- in fundamental science: