Finally, it looks like Silvio Berlusconi will be tried. The judge for preliminary investigations has accepted the request of an immediate trial, put forth by the magistrates who collected a large body of evidence on the recent crimes of the Italian premier. The trial will be held on April 6th... Unless Berlusconi manages to produce the umpteenth law to protect himself from the charges of unlawful conduct he has collected in the past 20 years, effectively putting him above Italian law.
The physics with LHC is becoming rapidly awesome, and being part of the CMS experiment and deeply involved in some technical aspects of the analyses (the statistical treatment of the data, and the control of the statistical claims of the scientific papers we publish) I find myself with more things to do in my agenda than I can possibly manage.
Embarassingly overdue, the slides of my talk on "Heavy Flavour and Quarkonia Production in 7 TeV pp Collisions", meant for the 2011 Les Houches meeting on "Recent Advances in QCD" to be held next week near Chamonix, France, are slowly coming together. Since these days I seem to be straggling my feet on the blog as well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. So here you are going to get a short overview of recent measurements of b-quark production by CMS.
While providing the results for experts and beginners alike, I will try to make this discussion as simple as possible (but not simpler), something that lately I tend to forget. I do not like my blog posts to be too technical, but maybe I am getting old and my popularization powers are weakening. Let's see.
"I had the most remarkable experience this evening. While coming in here, I saw licence plate ANZ 912. Calculate for me, please, the odds that of all the licence plates in the state of Washington I should happen to see ANZ 912."
Now that the two articles I have worked on in the past two months are finalized, I think I can disclose where and when they will be published. In the March 2011 issue of Physics World
you will find two back-to-back feature articles on the LHC in 2011. Author, yours truly.
Today I turn 45 years of age.
Overall, physically I do not feel much different from, say, 15 years ago. I consider myself lucky, since I am generally in good health. Never have I had to sleep in a hospital bed, not a single night. I will spare you a list of all the minor health problems I had in my life, but the list would be very short anyway.
Yet I know this is bound to change. 45 years of age is roughly the time when some of our physical faculties start to decline at a faster rate than in the previous 20 years. One of the sharpest changes which occurs at this age in most individuals is the loss of focusing ability at short distance: presbyopia, a loss of elasticity of the crystalline. I am just now starting to detect the first signs of that condition.