"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.
Readers familiar with this blog know that I am a die-hard skeptic on the issue of physics beyond the Standard Model. However, today I am wearing my fluctuation-enthusiast hat, and I will be trying to argue in favor of the possible signal of new physics that is coming out of the Tevatron data. Please do not get confused: everything is still in order. Maybe.
Call it irreversibility, call it time's arrow
, call it the second law of thermodynamics. Fact is that everything evolves in such a way that things get more messy. Disorder rises. Entropy
increases. We do not observe the opposite happening. Heat flows from from hot to cold, not the other way around. Fluids mix but don't unmix. Shattered pieces of crystal don't reassemble into a vase.
Detailed balance is a simple and powerful rule to describe the dynamics of two-state systems.
If you know the probability of a transition from a state A to the other state B of a physical system (in some appropriate time unit), and you also know the probability of the reverse reaction
, then you automatically know what is equilibrium condition for N bodies distributed in the two states:
Previously thought to be indivisible, with negative charge for all, the electron is one of the fundamental building blocks of nature. A new experiment, however, has shown that electrons, if crowded into narrow wires, are seen to split apart.
The electron is responsible for carrying electricity in wires and for making magnets. These two properties of magnetism and electric charge are carried by electrons which seem to have no size or shape and are impossible to break apart.
Besides the usual share of random readers who google something and get directed here by mere chance (to be read: by the sheer amount of valuable information I have posted here), this blog is read by an interesting mix of particle physicists, students, experts in other fields of Physics, and Science amateurs -plus a small number of science reporters looking for news.
Of course I love each and every one of my faithful readers like good teachers love their pupils, but among the varied crowd, the readers which I am most happy to host here are students and amateurs, because they provide me with true motivation for spending my time writing popularization articles. Without them, many of my posts would lose their meaning.