Physics

My book "Anomaly! - Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab" is slowly getting its finishing touches, as the second round of proofreading draws to a close. The book is scheduled to appear in bookstores on November 5th, and it makes sense to start planning some events for its presentation.
One such event will take place at the CERN library on November 29th, at 4PM. I am told that CERN already ordered the book to sell it in its bookshop, so it will be good to present the work to the community there - after all, the book is for everybody but I expect that it can be of higher interest to scientists and people in some way connected to research in High-Energy physics.
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Quantum Mechanics Started with Semi-Empirical Phenomenology –  Important Lesson

Gavin Salam's talk at the "Altarelli Memorial" session of the ICNFP 2016 conference, which is presently taking place in Kolimbari (Crete), was very interesting and I wish to report here about it. 
Is the expansion of the Universe a natural effect due to the internal dynamical properties of the physical vacuum? Can one rule out the possibility that the vacuum is unstable (or metastable) and naturally expands emitting conventional matter and energy similarly to a form of latent heat? Such a scenario based on new physics would deeply transform Cosmology and, in particular, make useless the notion of dark energy as well as the standard cosmological constant.

The instability (or metastability) considered here concerns the cosmic size of the physical vacuum. It is assumed that the vacuum "likes" to expand, expands permanently and releases matter and energy as it expands. How to check such a possible situation, or the contrary?

The concept origin of space-time itself as a emergent property of a collection of fundamentally quantum systems without a notion of space-time is not new. When this is done usually certain presuppositions are made about the nature of the underlying quantum system. In a recent paper posted to the arXiv by scientist out of Cal Tech develop aversion of this approach in which noting is assumed about the quantum system at the smallest scale. (Chun Jun Cao, 2016)

I am spending a week in Kolimbari, a nice seaside place in western Crete. Here the fifth International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics is being held in the Orthodox Academy of Crete. The conference gathers together high-energy experimentalists and theorists, nuclear physicists, neutrino physicists, and also other specialists. 
As I am not talking this year (I am here because I am co-organizing a mini-workshop on Higgs physics), I thought it was a good idea to ask the organizers if they needed help, and I got the task of organizing the poster selection committee. 26 posters have been presented, and will be on display tomorrow evening. We will have to select the best ones, whose authors will win a prize.

Diving deep into the foundations of physical reality requires a deep dive into advanced mathematics. Usually this goes together with formulas or other descriptions that are incomprehensible to most people.

Final results of searches for particles decaying to photon pairs in 2015 data keep hopes alive for imminent ground-breaking discovery

On December 15th last year, as the physics coordinators of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations showcased the results of their new searches, particle physicists around the world held their breath. Both experiments showed preliminary results from the analysis of LHC data acquired during 2015 at 13 TeV. That unprecedented energy made the potential for new discoveries high.

Today, while Americans set up their barbecues and prepare to celebrate their Independence, particle physicists around the world have a different reason to celebrate. Four years ago today is when the Higgs boson got officially declared a confirmed new particle in the subatomic zoo.

As my blogging here has been erratic in the last couple of weeks, I feel I need to explain to my 23 readers (what citation is this BTW?) what I have been up to. So this post does not contain any physics, and is rather about how a physicist fights for some space and time for himself and his family, decoupled from his daily occupations, and hopefully lowers his stress level. 
I left my home in Venice on June 15th at four in the morning with my fiancee and my two kids (Filippo, 17 and Ilaria, 13 years old), headed  to Elafonisos, a tiny island in southern Greece. Our Volotea flight was due to leave the Marco Polo airport at 6.30AM -an early and cheap flight I had picked to ensure we would get to destination at a reasonable time.