# Guess The Plot!

Apr 18 2011 | 24 comment(s)

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true both for photographs and for graphs, but sometimes the words are spoken to the wrong ears. I would like to offer you a very simple, visual test today: show you a picture and let you guess what it represents. Depending on the response, this might end in oblivion or be tried again with another subject.

So the question is: what does the picture below represent ?

A few hints:

- I did the graph myself, and it took me 10' of programming and a tenth of a second of CPU on my laptop.

# Higgs? We ain't got no Higgs

Apr 18 2011 | 37 comment(s)

The title is a playful variation on a line from a Bogart movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  That was an adaptation from a novel of the same title:
"All right," Curtin shouted back. "If you are the [LHC] police, where are your [Higgs]? Let's see them."

# Theorists' Feeding Frenzy On CDF Resonance Continues

Apr 16 2011 | 19 comment(s)

A casual look at the Arxiv hep-ph listings this morning was enough to confirm that the feeding frenzy of theoreticians around the latest bait thrown in the waters by CDF is not showing any sign of slowing down.

The paper in question is 1104.2893, and it discusses "Weak-triplet, color-octet scalars and the CDF dijet excess". In their model, the authors (B. Dobrescu and G. Krnjaic) argue in favour of an extension of the standard model which includes rthree new coloured particles, two charged and one neutral state.

# The New XENON 100 Results On Dark Matter

Apr 14 2011 | 34 comment(s)

The Xenon 100 collaboration has finally released the results of their data analysis, and the results are saying that there is no Dark Matter in sight so far. Since we live in an age where time is precious, I think many of you are only interested in the bottomline. I can give it to you straight away, in the form of the plot which summarizes the results.

Xenon 100 finds three events compatible with a dark matter signal, with a background expected from more mundane sources amounting to 1.8+-0.6 events. The limit they extract on the cross section versus mass of the hypothetical particle are shown below by a thick blue curve, which cuts into the flesh of the preferred parameter space of constrained minimal supersymmetric theories (in grey), pushing them farther away.

# Suicide: Life Ends Six Meters Above The Ground

Apr 14 2011 | 45 comment(s)

The greatest hurdle before committing suicide is the fear of dying and death as well as the fear of hurting people we care about. In order to assist suicide, Suicidal Philosophy alleviates these fears rather than stoking them like traditional Philosophy of Suicide does. Suicidal Philosophy is much more science than philosophy, as the following outtake of a long article aimed at helping people in distress exemplifies. It explains why it is that if you jump out of a 20 story building, your life already ends peacefully more than six meters before impact with the ground:

# Neutrinos (for Brits only)

Apr 14 2011 | 1 comment(s)

This morning this programme (45 minutes) was on BBC Radio 4.

In Our Time: the Neutrino

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0106tjc0

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the neutrino.

with:

Frank Close, Professor of Physics at Exeter College at the University of Oxford

Susan Cartwright, Senior Lecturer in Particle Physics and

# Natalie Heracleous on CMS Times

Apr 13 2011 | 3 comment(s)

A short post today, to mention the latest issue of the CMS Times, a online publication with news from the CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The CMS Times is always informative and a good resource, but I usually forget to check it due to chronic shortage of CMS time in my agenda.

# White Dwarfs, Neutrons And Neutrinos

Apr 13 2011 | 5 comment(s)

### White Dwarfs

Fancy a trip to Sirius?  This is what you might see as you are approaching your destination.

For the unpopular cutting edge, there is no book with the answers at the back. This post will need to suffice for the snarky puzzles at the end of my previous posts. I am a playful snark, not a caustic one. I used to teach retarded citizens how to add. [clarification: while paying for 1 year of math grad school in Bloomington, Indiana, I volunteered an hour a week for a year at a local center.] I am that patient with myself, and will be so with you. Physics discussions can devolve into that 6 year-old boy fighting kind of groove (hi Sascha!). Since this is research, we do have a chance to learn something new together.
[click or skip a dramatic reading of this post]

# A Short Story Of Dijet Resonances

Apr 11 2011 | 20 comment(s)

In the comments thread of one of the posts I wrote recently, where I discussed the new tentative signal of a new jet-decaying particle discovered by the CDF collaboration in their data, a reader asked me if hadronic signals of single vector bosons had been seen before by CDF.