Physics

This week's graph is a reminder that particle physicists are, deep in their bones, bump hunters. Sure, some of my colleagues could best be described as detector builders; others as software wizards; still others as statistical gurus. But what excites us the most is to go hunting for a bump in a mass histogram. 

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been colliding protons at record high energy since the summer, but now the time has now come to collide large nuclei (nuclei of lead, Pb, consist of 208 neutrons and protons).


Have you recently obtained a Masters degree in a scientific discipline ? Are you fascinated by particle physics ? Do you have an interest in Machine Learning developments, artificial intelligence, and all that ? Or are you just well versed in Statistical Analysis ? Do you want to be paid twice as much as I am for attending a PhD ? If the above applies to you, you are certainly advised to read on. 
As an editor of the new Elsevier journal "Reviews in Physics" I am quite proud to see that the first submissions of review articles are reaching publication stage. Four such articles are going to be published in the course of the next couple of months, and more are due shortly thereafter. 
While in the process of fact-checking information that is contained in the book I am finalizing, I had the pleasure to have a short discussion with Gordon Kane during the weekend. A Victor Weisskopf distinguished professor at the University of Michigan as well as a director emeritus of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, Gordon is one of the fathers of Supersymmetry, and has devoted the last three decades to its study.
I was very happy today to sign a contract with an international publisher that will publish a book I have written. The book, titled "Anomaly! - Scientific Discoveries and the Quest for the Unknown", focuses on the CDF experiment, a particle detector that operated at the Tevatron collider for 30 years. 
The Tevatron was the highest-energy collider until the turn-on of the LHC. The CDF and DZERO experiments there discovered the sixth quark, the top, and produced a large number of world-class results in particle physics. 
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100 Years of Einstein’s General Relativity

As I am revising the book I am writing on the history of the CDF experiment, I have bits and pieces of text that I decided to remove, but which retain some interest for some reason. Below I offer a clip which discusses the measurement of the natural width of the Z boson produced by CDF with Run 0 data in 1989. The natural width of a particle is a measurement of how undetermined is its rest mass, due to the very fast decay. The Z boson is in fact the shortest lived particle we know, and its width is of 2.5 GeV.

For more than 60 years, fusion scientists have tried to use "magnetic bottles" of various shapes and sizes to confine extremely hot plasmas, with the goal of producing practical fusion energy. But turbulence in the plasma has, so far, confounded researchers' ability to efficiently contain the intense heat within the core of the fusion device, reducing performance. Now, scientists have used one of the world's largest supercomputers to reveal the complex interplay between two types of turbulence known to occur in fusion plasmas, paving the way for improved fusion reactor design.


The heart of darkness is a metaphor but it is quite literal when it comes to space. Not only is matter as we know it just a fraction of what is out there, it is only a few percent. That means the rest of the universe is truly unknown. Physicists have given what we don't know terms like Dark Matter and Dark Energy and the race is on to find signatures in "near space" (within a few thousand light years of Earth by measuring electrons and gamma rays.

The CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation will track the trajectory of cosmic ray particles and measure their charge and energy and hopefully help to identify dark matter and fit it into standard models of the universe.