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.

Top quarks, the heaviest known elementary particles, were discovered in 1995 by the CDF and DZERO collaborations, when the two Fermilab experiments spotted the decay of  top-antitop pairs produced by strong interactions in the proton-antiproton collisions provided by the Tevatron collider at 1.8 TeV center-of-mass energy. 
The WF-Collapse (WF-C) is in general a nonlocal phenomenon.

In my last blog, I wrote in detail about zero, one, real numbers, complex numbers and quaternions (or as I now prefer to call them, space-time numbers although I use them interchangeably). For each sort of number, there were rules for addition, rules for multiplication, and a relevant animation. The rules happened to get more complicated going from zero out to the space-time numbers, but they were all of the same form. That makes sense since zero, one, the real numbers, and the complex numbers live inside the tent of space-time numbers.

This week I am in Warsaw, where I attend the XI workshop on particle correlations and femtoscopy. I am actually here to give a seminar on statistical methods in particle physics next Thursday, but of course I am also going to try and deepen my understanding of the field of investigations of heavy ion collisions.

Jan Pluta, one of the old-schoolers of the field, gave an introductory talk this morning. It was titled "A brief history of femtoscopy and particle correlations - a personal view". I am reporting below some impressions from his presentation.

What is femtoscopy ? Jan started by warning that he would indeed only give a personal view of the history of the field, and that the view of others may be very different.
If you are into Nuclear Physics there is very good chance you know about nuclear electromagnetic moments. Actually, nuclear electromagnetic moments has been the field of my specialty from the beginning of my scientific career. This is also why my blog in was named "Moment Zero" and not because there was some zero-time singularity I broke into writing about scientific stuff (not that I have been very active in here either!). The term nuclear electromagnetic moments 90% of the time refer to the magnetic dipole and the electric quadrupole moment. Each of these physics observables have something important to say about the nucleus.

Is there a battle between astrology and science?

The law of gravity is readily recognized and easily tested.  The force that gave rise to the expression, "whatever goes up must come down" has indeed undergone extensive scientific testing and is largely considered to be one of the most fundamental forces in all of nature.  The very pull of it can be felt as you read these words as you are held to your chair or the floor rather than floating around like a helium balloon.  Given this, is it possible for the gravitational forces from the planets to give rise to meaningful predictions from astrology?

Recurrently, uninformed journalists re-discover the h-index and decide to create their own list of the "top scientists" in their country. The most zealous also draw some summary statistics from the list, and then venture to speculate wildly about it. Alas, it's a pattern I've seen a few times now.

The latest is an article which somebody posted on my Facebook column. It is uninteresting to see what conclusions are drawn from the graphs and lists published there, as the data are quite incomplete - in the h-index-ordered list of Italian researchers I do not appear, for one, but similarly do not dozens of top scientists who have even higher h-indices.

As I am spending my time these days selecting candidates for early-stage researcher positions in the EU network I am coordinating, I am reminded of my own experience as a participant to job interviews from the other side of the table. The text below tells the story of my interviews for a post-doctoral position in 1998. Enjoy! 


Discovering possible new forces in nature is no easy task. To discover the secret of gravity, the public thinks it took an apple falling from a tree, but really it took him inventing Calculus. linked to Newton's arguably apocryphal apple experiment has remained anchored in popular culture.

In January 1986, Ephraim Fischbach, Physics Professor from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, claimed the hypothetical possibility of the existence of a fifth force in the universe and it has spurred a tremendous amount of research in gravitational physics even though its existence, as initially formulated, has not been confirmed by experiment.