Physics

I am spending some time today at the Altarelli Memorial Symposium, which is taking place at the main auditorium at CERN. The recently deceased Guido Altarelli was one of the leading theorists who brought us to the height of our understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics, and it is heart-warming to see so many colleagues young and old here today - Guido was a teacher for all of us.
I have recently put a bit of order into my records of activities as a science communicator, for an application to an outreach prize. In doing so, I have been able to take a critical look at those activities, something which I would otherwise not have spent my time doing. And it is indeed an interesting look back.


The blogging

Overall, I have been blogging continuously since January 4th 2005. That's 137 months! By continuously, I mean I wrote an average of a post every two days, or a total of about 2000 posts, 60% of which are actual outreach articles meant to explain physics to real outsiders. 

My main internet footprint is now distributed in not one, but at least six distinct web sites:
With CERN's Large Hadron Collider slowly but steadily cranking up its instantaneous luminosity, expectations are rising on the results that CMS and ATLAS will present at the 2016 summer conferences, in particular ICHEP (which will take place in Chicago at the beginning of August). The data being collected will be used to draw some conclusions on the tentative signal of a diphoton resonance, as well as on the other 3-sigma effects seen by about 0.13 % of the searches carried out on previous data this far.
Despite the foul weather that has sieged central Europe in the past few days, with floods, destruction, even deaths, and the occasional evacuation of the auditorium where physicists discussed their recent results, the 28th edition of the "Rencontres de Blois" has taken place as usual.
The conference is a periodic event where particle physics and cosmology are discussed with an attention to interdisciplinarity. It takes place in the city of Blois, in central France, a nice town on the river Loire. There, a sizable number of interesting talks have been taking place in the last few days. But one in particular has stirred the interest of particle physicists worldwide.
Higher dimensional spaces allow configurations that are unexpected from lower dimensions. For example, four-dimensional topology escapes full classification. Since complexity is related to dimensionality, there is a certain “magic” to it. Increasing complexity is advantageous generally for adaptation. We can give examples from nanotechnology. With catalysts, starting with mono-metallic ones, the desired catalytic prowess increases almost geometrically with the number of different substances involved.[2] Bimetallic catalysts multiply the catalytic rate constants of mono metallic compounds.

Through new experiments involving the famous Schrödinger cat state paradox, researchers have shown that a "quantum cat" can be both alive and dead, and in two places at once.

The results, which involve inducing a large number of photons to have matching states (or to become entangled), show the ability to manipulate complex quantum states, with applications for computation and long-distance communication. They also represent perhaps the first time scientists have been able to achieve such quantum coherence at a macroscopic scale. 


I feel one could describe the new B-physics result by ATLAS as "stalking". A very subtle detail of the behavior of neutral B mesons has been recently measured, in search of deviations from Standard Model predictions - or for a confirmation of the model. 
First off I should give some background on what ATLAS is, and what neutral B mesons are. ATLAS is one of the big multi-purpose experiments of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the machine that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012 and which is poised to search for new physics for the next two decades, studying proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV in the center of mass.
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 Motivating Zero Neutrino Mass Scale

New insight into the phenomenology of neutrino masses is suggested. Four ideas related to new neutrino physics considered: 1) Three absolute neutrino masses with zero smallest nu-mass are pointed out by geometric interpretation of SM hierarchies. <!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]-->

The properties of nano-structures depend on sizes and shapes. The synthesis of tailored nano-structures is thus important already for researching properties, not to mention optimizations toward applications. The ability to control the size, shape, and distribution of nano-particles in larger structures provides opportunities to systematically investigate, for example, catalytic and electro-optical properties and to discover new applications, whether in form of novel research techniques or medical devices.
In a chapter of the book I have written, "Anomaly! - Collider physics and the quest for new phenomena at Fermilab" (available from September this year), I made an effort to explain a rather counter-intuitive mechanism at the basis of data collection in hadron colliders: the trigger prescale. I would like to have a dry run of the text here, to know if it is really too hard to understand - I still have time to tweak it if needed. So let me know if you understand the description below!

The text below is maybe hard to read as it is taken off context; however, let me at least spend one