Physics

The verdict is out: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito killed Meredith Kercher.

The murder of the young British student in Perugia two years ago was a highly disputed case, and the proof of guilt of the two young lovers -a US citizen studying in Perugia and her boyfriend- appears largely based on indicia, and not on the more solid ground one usually expects for a conviction in similar instances.
I do not know about you, but top quarks fascinate me. Since my early years as a student in particle physics I participated in the top search, and then the top discovery, with the CDF experiment at the Tevatron collider; and I then worked for many more years with top quark samples. And that particle is fascinating for many different reasons: its phenomenology, the richness of its decays, its mass close to the scale of electroweak symmetry breaking.

I feel honored by having had a chance to study the first few tens of top quark events that physicists have been able to produce, and yet I regret that during the last few years I have been unable to put my hands on the much larger datasets collected by the CDF experiment.
The Carnival of Physics is an event organized by Gravità Zero and Gravedad Cero, two sites of scientific outreach in Italy and Spain. I participate with three recent articles which are published on their site. Most other contributions are in Italian and Spanish, but you might still find it interesting to visit the two sites (which feature different contributions). Among the sponsors of this enterprise are WIRED, El Pais, Publico, and La Stampa.




Last night the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has circulated the highest-energy beams of particles ever produced. The beam energy has been brought up from the injection energy of 450 GeV to 1.18 TeV, thus outperforming by 20% the flattop beam energy of the Tevatron collider, Fermilab's proton-antiproton collider, which operates at a beam energy of 980 GeV.
I had an idea that the theories of the earliest stages of the universe were speculative.  I just never really knew how speculative until I really looked at them.  The CMB is as far back as we have actual data. From that we have to divine everything. 

Can a subject be too remote from the domain of traditional physics for physicists to dare applying their methods of research to it? Unlikely. If the objects under investigation in some remote area of research can be subjected to clean and unambiguous experiments, you will likely find physicists dabbling into the area.
"There is no such thing as a theoretical uncertainty. All there is is theoretical stupidity"

Guido Altarelli


What is the size of the universe? How heavy is it? How big can black holes grow? How small are subatomic particles? How many orders of magnitude will I cross when going from the microscopic quantum world to the edge of the universe? Are we humans somewhere in the middle between all these length scales?
This is the second part of a two-part collection of tips for particle physics graduate students. The first part is here.

Three: be a fool today if you want to be a guru tomorrow



The third advice I have in store for Jane is maybe the toughest to follow, at least at first. But I do believe it is of critical importance for her to grow, become knowledgeable, and distinguish herself from the rest of the pack.