Three weeks ago I gave a plenary talk at the 2nd International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics
, which was held in Kolymbari, in the greek island of Crete. The talk focused on some of the most interesting new results by the CMS Collaboration, but being just 30' long it only contained a summary of these. The purpose of the talk was primarily that of advertising the many talks on specific physics topics -Top, Higgs, Exotica, QCD- which were given by some of my colleagues in the parallel sessions; however I was able to show and discuss some nice new measurements myself.
Moore's Law, originating in 1965 , is an observation of transistor density on a single CPU core increasing exponentially with time. Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil  extend this to the claim that CPU-core computation rate (operations per second) will also increase exponentially with time, allowing for a technological explosion of super-intelligent machines in soon-to-come decades.
Very good news for the Quantum Randi Challenge, the most engaging bit of science outreach that already helped tripping up a notorious crackpot, and which now starts to gain momentum toward its main aim, which is helping a wide audience to understand the essence of quantum mechanics while being immunized against quantum–mysticism, which is sadly promoted by established scientists as badly as by snake-oil sellers.
Finding the collaboration by educators and artists that the Quantum Randi Challenge needs is now easier, as most of the didactic core has passed the scientific community’s peer review system, and not just with one paper, but two!
Last week I met Marek Karliner at the ICNFP 2013 conference in Crete, where we both enjoyed a nice friendly atmosphere, great food, and a wonderful peaceful location. Professor Marek Karliner is the chair of the Institute of Theoretical Physics of Tel Aviv in Israel. Since he agrees that outreach in physics is an important service that researchers should provide to the community, I was able to convince him to write for this blog the short article which you find below, on the interesting topic of baryons containing two heavy quarks - TD.
Every once in a while I feel compelled to write in clear what should be self-evident to anybody with a working brain; to give a sort of "advice to surfers". I don't expect that such an advice be taken seriously - nobody wants to be told what to read and what to avoid - but at least it is posted, can be referred to, and it provides a sort of "disclaimer of liability".
Writing a serious blog, i.e. one that informs with continuity one audience and provides a true service, is already quite a demanding task; having to cope with the aftermath of articles that may inflame some readers, or with out-of-topic comments, or with the anger of whomever happens to feel outraged or offended, is sometimes too much. Hence the wish to keep that extra work at a minimum, manageable level.
The universe may be constructed in a completely different way than models of today predict. The most widely used model today cannot explain everything in the universe, and therefore there is a need to explore the parts of nature which the model cannot explain.
This research field, new physics, is out to turn our understanding of the universe upside down and the authors of a new paper say they have succeeded in creating a new method that can make it easier to search for new physics in the universe. The method is a scalesetting procedure and it fills out some empty, but very important, holes in the theories, models and simulations, which form the basis for particle physics today.
One year has passed since the joint discovery, by the CMS and ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, of a particle which perfectly fits our expectations for a Standard Model Higgs boson. Highly wanted and sought for at particle colliders since the seventies, the Higgs boson is now an established reality, and the interest of experimental physicists has moved to a detailed study of the observable properties of this particle.
Yesterday I had the great pleasure to listen to George Zweig, who gave seminar about the discovery of the idea of quarks (or Aces, as he originally named them) at the International Conference of New Frontiers in Physics which is going on this week in the nice setting of Kolymbari, on the north-west coast of the Mediterranean island of Crete.
As few of my readers know, I have run a blog written in Greek language in parallel with this one for a couple of years. The idea of that endeavour was twofold: to offer some particle physics outreach in Greek language in the blogosphere, which is difficult to find, and to perfect my writing skills in that language.
The translation job was entertaining but difficult, and I finally gave up for lack of time, so that blog went in a hybernation state for a couple of years. But not any longer - I found a physics student who volunteered to continue the translation job, picking articles from this blog and translating them in Greek for Greek readers.
Cosmic rays, high-energy particles, can damage electronics on Earth, as well as human and non-human DNA, which puts astronauts in space at risk but has also caused any number of genetic modifications in plants that are considered completely natural.
Their origin has confounded scientists for decades. A study using data collected by IceTop at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, reveals new information that may help unravel the longstanding mystery of exactly how and where these "rays", because the more scientists learn about the energy spectrum and chemical composition of cosmic rays, the closer humanity will come to uncovering where these energetic particles originate.