Physics

Next Monday, the Italian city of Rome will swarm with about 700 young physicists. They will be there to participate to a selection of 58 INFN research scientists. In previous articles (see e.g.
Particle physics conferences are a place where you can listen to many different topics - not just news about the latest precision tests of the standard model or searches for new particles at the energy frontier. If we exclude the very small, workshop-like events where people gather to focus on a very precise topic, all other events do allow for the contamination from reports of parallel fields of research. The reason is of course that there is a significant cross-fertilization between these fields. 
Gino Bolla was an Italian scientist and the head of the Silicon Detector Facility at Fermilab. And he was a friend and a colleague. He died yesterday in a home accident. Below I remember him by recalling some good times together. Read at your own risk. 

Dear Gino,

   news of your accident reach me as I am about to board a flight in Athens, headed back home after a conference in Greece. Like all unfiltered, free media, Facebook can be quite cruel as a means of delivering this kind of information, goddamnit.
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Complementarity relation between CP-violating phase and neutrino mixing reactor angle

The book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab" is going to press as we speak, and its distribution in bookstores is foreseen for the beginning of November. In the meantime, I am getting ready to present it in several laboratories and institutes. I am posting here the coordinates of events which are already scheduled, in case anybody lives nearby and/or has an interest in attending.
- On November 29th at 4PM there will be a presentation at CERN (more details will follow).
The Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics offers 20 post-doctoral positions in experimental physics to foreigners with a PhD obtained no earlier than November 2008. 
So if have a PhD (in Physics, but I guess other disciplines are also valid as long as your cv conforms), you like Italy, or if you would like to come and work with me at the search and study of the Higgs boson with the CMS experiment (or even if you would like to do something very different, in another town, with another experiment) you might consider applying!

The economical conditions are not extraordinary in an absolute sense, but you would still end up getting a salary more or less like mine, which in Italy sort of allows one to live a decent life.
While I do not believe that this series of posts can be really useful to my younger colleagues, who will in a month have to participate in a tough selection for INFN researchers in Rome, I think there is some value in continuing what I have started last month. 
After all, as physicists we are problem solvers, and some exercise is good for all of us. Plus, the laypersons who occasionally visit this blog may actually enjoy fiddling with the questions. For them, though, I thought it would be useful to also get to see the answers to the questions, or at least _some_ answer.
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New Physics from Regularities of the Many Standard Model Free Parameters

As explained in the first installment of this series, these questions are a warm-up for my younger colleagues, who will in two months have to pass a tough exam to become INFN researchers. In fact, now that the application period has ended, I can say that there have been 718 applications for 58 positions. That's a lot, but OTOH any applicants starts off with a one-in-12.4 chance of getting the job, which is not so terribly small. 
The ICHEP conference in Chicago is drawing to a close, and although I did not have the pleasure to attend it (I was busy with real work, you know ;-) I think I can post here some commentary of a few things I find interesting among the multitude of analyses and searches that were shown there. It goes without saying that the selection is biased by my personal interest, plus by my limited patience with peeking at talk slides. In fact, here I only cover one specific Higgs boson decay mode!

But a digression first - and a digression on the digression