The figure shown below represents the best measurement of the top quark mass ever obtained by a single experiment, and it is a determination with a less than 1% total uncertainty. It has been approved last week by the CDF experiment at Fermilab.
The CDF experiments collects proton-antiproton collisions delivered by the Tevatron collider, which imparts the projectiles with 1 TeV of energy each, for a center-of-mass energy of 2 TeV. This is still the highest energy ever achieved by a collider, although the record is going to be soon stripped off Fermilab by the Large Hadron Collider, which is due to start colliding protons with other protons at 7 TeV of energy this coming fall.
"We would dig a shaft near 'ground zero' about 10 feet in diameter and about 150 feet deep. We would put a tank, 10 feet in diameter and 75 feet long on end at the bottom of the shaft. We would then suspend our detector from the top of the tank, along with its recording apparatus, and back-fill the shaft above the tank.
Google “E=mc2 is wrong” and you get 1,060 hits. Google “E=mc2 is correct” and you get a mere 138 hits. There you have it. It took us a more than a century, but finally this crazy inconsistent theory of relativity got outvoted. Common sense cries victory!
Fortunately, science does not work that way. Science is no democracy, and we do not render a theory invalid by popular vote. Einstein's theory of relativity has stood the test of time and its correctness is beyond any doubt. But... there is an issue with what is arguably the most famous equation in the history of natural sciences.
The World Conference on Science Journalism held in London 2009 has its own web site, of course. Today they were so kind to let me know they had published there the recordings of all sessions, among which was the one where I gave my speech
. The session title was "Blogs, Big Physics, and Breaking News
", it featured Matin Durrani as chair, and Matthew Chalmers, myself, and James Gillies as speakers. The abstract ran as follows:
How are blogs changing the way science news develops and is reported?
The commissioning of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will offer a
telling case study over the next few years. Who will be first with news
A couple of months ago I wrote here
about the first observation of a process called "diboson production", a quite rare occurrence in hadronic collisions: for the first time, the CDF collaboration could observe that rare process in events containing hadronic jets, which are usually riddled by enormous backgrounds.
"Full many a gem of purest ray sereneThomas Gray
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness in the desert air."
, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"
, vv. 53-56. I have always loved these lines, and besides, as I wrote a few years ago
, "The relevance of these verses to the general melancholy of the Higgs
hunter at the Tevatron is obvious… Suffices to say that the Tevatron is
currently producing of the order of 20 Higgs bosons per day in CDF and
D0, and yet they blush unseen, born by dark unfathomed caves of
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US, have performed sophisticated laser measurements to detect the subtle effects of one of nature's most elusive forces - the "weak interaction", and in the process also found the largest effect of the weak interaction ever observed in an atom.
The Principle of Maximal Aging - Capturing the Essence of Relativity
The hunt for dark energy is on and ways to find it, such as weak gravitational lensing
and baryon acoustic oscillation
, hold great promise but are as yet unproven. Supernovae studies
, which depend on measuring the redshift and brightness of distant Type Ia supernovae, are the most reliable.
Robert Wald has formulated QFT in curved space time in terms of it's algebra of observables on a manifold. In doing so he has, perhaps unintentionally, provided framework in which very different theories of quantum gravity look very similar.