Physics

By Gabriel Popkin, Inside Science -- When leaders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, announced in February the first-ever direct detection of a gravitational wave, astrophysicists Scott Ransom from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Andrea Lommen at Franklin and Marshall University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had mixed feelings.

Technically it also creates a diboson final state - two photons - but no, here I am not going to talk about the tentative new particle of which ATLAS and CMS continue to see hints in their data, at a mass of 750 GeV and with characteristics that increasingly resemble those of a heavy higgs boson. Oh, see - I am doing precisely that. It is admittedly hard not to speak of that thing nowadays, but I will insist, as I think it is too good to be true, and so it must be false. 

Leonard: "The holographic principle suggests that what we all experience every day in three dimensions may really just be information on a surface located at the farthest reaches of our cosmos. So it's possible that our lives are really just acting out a painting on the largest canvas in the universe." 
Penny: "Hmmm..."

Is our universe holographic? Is what is happening in the universe somehow encoded on its boundary? Are we 3D renderings of some distant 2D image? Black hole physics certainly suggests so. But how does such an encoding work? Can we visualize a system that "just acts out" a painting on its boundary?
UPDATE: Tiziano tells me that he has been misquoted by the Guardian - he was quoting himself a colleague when he mentioned the 20:1 bet. Sorry to say this bet is not on, at least until the person who offered the bet in the first place will manifest him- or herself....

I bet most of you, who are interested in Physics, know what I mean when I talk about "the 750 GeV particle". Last December, the ATLAS and CMS experiments released information about a tantalizing hint of a new particle with a mass in the 750 GeV ballpark. The resonance was seen in the decay to pairs of energetic photons. Since both experiments see more or less the same thing, this may be a fluctuation, but if it is, it is a really rare one. 
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  The main number of free parameters in the Standard Model comes from the Higgs sector.

I am very happy to report that Professor Giorgio Parisi won another prize. Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist who is very well known for his decisive contribution to QCD, with the DGLAP equations (the P stands for his last name) that govern the dynamics of gluons. However his work did not stop there - after that result Parisi continued excellent research and it is not by chance that he collected prizes and acknowledgements along the way for the more recent contributions he has given to theoretical physics. 
The 2016 prize called after Lars Onsager is given to Giorgio by the APS
I think it is due time that I point out a few interesting articles that have appeared in the past couple of months in the blog of the AMVA4NewPhysics network, a consortium of 16 among universities, research institutes, and industries that has the goal of studying Higgs physics and new Physics with the LHC, using advanced statistical learning methods.
On March 3rd and 4th the AMVA4NewPhysics network met in Venice, in the beautiful venue of Ca' Sagredo. Ca' Sagredo is a 500-year-old palace on the Canal Grande, home of the Sagredo family and in the 600s of Giambattista Sagredo, who hosted many times Galileo Galilei there. As for the AMVA4NewPhysics network, it is a "Innovative Training Network" of 16 research institutes, universities and industries that have joined forces to train young scientists in particle physics and the development of advanced multivariate-analysis tools.

Majorana or Dirac Neutrino Masses?
Small finite Majorana masses assume very heavy mass scale symmetry, considered in mainstream theories, but the predicted values of light neutrino masses from the necessary see-saw mechanism are uncertain.
How many phenomenological papers discussing the 750 GeV diphoton resonance have you read since December 15th 2015 ? I believe that having read none of them, or ten, does not make a big difference - you missed most of them anyways. In fact, I think the count has gone past 200 by now.