This just in: Carl Brannen
(here his blog
) got a paper on gravitation published in a scientific magazine. Carl, who is the typical amateur who many "established scientists" in the blogosphere have labeled a crackpot in the last few years, does not actually fit the bill very well: he is a deep thinker who knows the literature of what he studies, and the fact that he is not salaried by a research institute means as little as this: he does it for Science, and not for a pay.
"Quidquid oritur, qualecumque est, causam habet a natura. Cum autem res nova et admirabilis fieri videtur, causam invetigato, si poteris, ratione confisus. Si nullam causam reperis, illud tamen certum habeto, nihil fieri potuisse sine causa naturali. Repelle igitur terrorem quem
res nova tibi attulit et semper verbis sapientium confidere aude:
sapiens enim facta, quae prodigiosa videntur , numquam fortuito
evenisse dicet, quod nihil fieri sine causa potest, nec quicquam fit
quod fieri non potest: nulla igitur portenta sunt. Nam si portentum
putare debemus id quod raro fit, sapientem esse portentum est: facilius
esse enim mulam parere arbitror quam sapientem esse."
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Quick and dirty translation:
To see the future, you must know the past: these nine words nicely summarize a syllogism which knows few exceptions. Turning to known data to check the power of one's extrapolations is a quite well-founded scientific approach. So if we are to try and guesstimate how much will the CDF and DZERO experiments manage to deliver in the next few years, we must check how well they delivered this far, by comparing results with early expectations.
But why bother ? Well, of course because there is a real challenge on: bookmakers need to tune the odds they offer!
Fermilab versus CERN
As I quickly approach my forty-fourth birthday, I can almost feel the decline in my mental and physical abilities. Sure, I try to oppose it, but it is arguably an uphill fight.
One of the means I have to gauge the line-up of my neurons is to play blitz games in the Internet Chess Club
: my Elo rating is still rather stable on the ICC, although the rate of blunders per game seems to increase. When I play a nice tactical combination, however, I have the feeling of rejuvenating: it is just as if somebody injected some magical youth potion in my veins, for a while.
Last Friday I was in Pisa, at the Scuola Normale Superiore (see picture), where italian members of the CMS Collaboration gathered for two days to discuss the status of their studies, exchange ideas, and try to coalesce common analysis efforts.