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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More »

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Fabrizio Tamburini (left) is an old friend - I have known him since 1976, when we both used to attend the gatherings of the newborn Associazione Astrofili Veneziani, at the Lido of Venice. The love for astronomy had brought us together, but we took different paths in our scientific activities. Fabrizio remained maybe more faithful to his old love for the universe, and is now a well-known and respected astrophysicist, who studies original ideas in the physics of photon propagation and more. I repeatedly invited him to write about his research here, but so far he has not accepted, mainly for lack of time... But I am sure he will soon.
The Draconids (also called Giacobinids) are a meteor shower associated to comet Giacobini-Zinner (see below for a 100-year-old picture of the comet). While most years this shower passes unnoticed to all but few professionals and experts amateurs, yielding only very few meteors in the nights between October 6th and 10th, every once in a while the Draconids do put up a real show, producing hundreds, or even thousands of meteor streaks per hour in clear skies.
One of the issues that emerged in the discussion of whether researchers should be bloggers is the fact that it is always dangerous to wear multiple "hats", i.e. carrying multiple responsibilities which may sometimes come in conflict with one another.

Wearing two hats

Of course this is a very common and old problem. I am indebted to Jim S.M., who sent me a few excerpts from Churchill's autobiography, which are very relevant to the issue besides being quite amusing:
Tomorrow I will fly to Frascati, where are the headquarters of INFN, the italian institute for nuclear physics. I will attend to an event there, called "Incontri di Fisica" (Physics meetings), where high-school teachers meet researchers and receive training, as well as discuss ways to improve science education and popularization in schools and outside.

I will be discussing the subject of "Science popularization with blogs" on Wednesday afternoon and then, two days later, I will be the last speaker with another short talk, where I will try to summarize some ideas on the matter. And you might help for this latter presentation.
Just a link you cannot miss:

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/tevatron/milestones/interactive-timeline.html
I'm nostalgic tonight. The reason ? The Tevatron has finally stopped running, for good.

It's strange to find out one can mourn the shutdown of a synchrotron just as the passing away of an old friend, but that's more or less how I feel like tonight. And I am not even among the ones who can claim to have been around for the full duration of the machine's lifetime, like Giorgio Chiarelli - as Giorgio recounted here, he was there in the CDF control room when the first proton-antiproton beams collided the first time, in 1985.