My Top 10 Particle Physics Articles Of 2011
    By Tommaso Dorigo | December 31st 2011 11:44 AM | 6 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

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    A blog is by nature a place where things move on fast. Articles disappear beyond the horizon in the matter of a week or two, and only rarely get resuscitated by a later article linking them back from oblivion.

    At Science 2.0 things are no better than in any other blog sites, with the aggravating feature that there is no "archive" button, nor a "random post" feature. Since I believe that many of my articles are not very connected to the specific time at which they have been written, I have in mind to reorganize the material somehow, when I have the time. However, this looks like a grievious task, since the number of posts I have written here is about 500.

    What I can certainly do today, to seal the year 2011 in a summary, is to link ten of the most popular pieces I have written.  So here they are, in order of number of hits (a quantity *very* loosely connected with the importance and the quality of the material - but who am I to argue against that indicator ?).

    1) Opera Confirms: Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light! (November 17th)

    2) Did Atlas Just See The Higgs ? (April 22nd)

    3) Is That a New Massive Particle ? Is That Some Kind of Higgs ? (April 6th)

    4) ICARUS Refutes Opera's Superluminal Neutrinos (October 18th)

    5) A Six-Sigma Signal of Superluminal Neutrinos From Opera! (September 19th)

    6) Firm Evidence of a Higgs Boson at Last! (December 13th)

    7) Fundamental Glossary for the Higgs Broadcast (December 9th)
    8) The Jet Energy Scale as an Explanation of the CDF Signal (April 7th)

    9) The New XENON100 Results on Dark Matter (April 14th)

    10) LHC Excludes SUSY Theories, Theorists Clinch Hands (February 22nd)

    As you see, the top ten list above is dominated by superluminal neutrinos and Higgs searches. As for the number of hits, it varies significantly, from 127,000 of the top hitter to barely more than 10,000 for number 10.

    Some additional statistics: the total number of hits in 2011 is about 1,110,000; the month with more hits is November (220,491), followed by April (177,221) and December (about 143,000). As compared with 2010 (total hits 716,000; best month 144,000) there has been a steady increase of the traffic. So I need to thank you all for the support and the interest in high-energy physics. Please continue to contribute to the growth of this site by leaving your feedback and asking questions in the comments thread. And happy 2012!


    Happy New Year and thanks for the interesting reads.

    Chris Austin
    "there is no "archive" button"
    A reader can click on your name, then on "Click here to read all of Tommaso's articles."
    Dear Chris,
    this is not an archive button. If you want to see what Tommaso correctly calls "archive button", go to

    Press PageDown about twice and below a green unicorn Mathjax logo in the right sidebar, find "the past light cone" headline. Under this headline, there are years and months that you may unroll and compactify, back and forth, from 2004 to 2012. Try it, you may like it. ;-)


    The 'archive' is in pages and does six at a time and they are in chronological order.  There is also a 'search this author' to get a selection of topics.  I think the perfect sort of archive he means doesn't exist on most large sites because everyone wants something different. 90% of the functionality on this site gets little use so adding more leads to clutter but if anyone has functionality and a look for a good method, okay.

    Lubos, if Google also buys us for $100 million like they did Blogger I can do that little calendar pretty again easily but it actually isn't any better than what we have here, unless someone wants to read by year. We did have a month and year archive (in version 1) for authors but no one used it. The fact that you have to explain where to find it on your site (really, no one can find anything in your hybrid teenager-girl-on-Myspace/Hello-Kitty theme without explanation) says it is not going to work for hundreds/thousands of people.
    Hank, you are still living in 2011, the year of the Japanese earthquake. The current theme that is "in" isn't r hybrid teenager-girl-on-Myspace/Hello-Kitty theme but a hybrid teenager-girl-on-Myspace/diverse-blue-snowflakes theme.

    Google bought for $100 million because it contained - but maybe with Tommaso on board, you can sell your body for $100.

    Thanks, looking forward to reading many more next year. Especially build intelligence from statistics as the Higgs comes into focus.  I spent so much time reading phenomology that i'd start to believe anything. Thommas, knowledge of statistics and through analysis is what science has to bow to.
    BDOA Adams, Axitronics