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Guess the Plot

I used to post on this blog very abstruse graphs from time to time, asking readers to guess what...

Fun With A Dobson

It is galaxy season in the northern hemisphere, with Ursa Mayor at the zenith during the night...

The Season Of Muons

Particle physics is so cool - you get to build huge detectors with a specific goal clearly stated...

Instead Of An April's Fool

Taking inspiration from Resonaances, who this year offers much more than an April's Fool in his...

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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

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 telescope at faint galaxies.... Read More »

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On July 4th I will speak at ESOF 2010, in Torino (Italy), about the topic of "What's up with peer review: The future of peer review in policy, research and public debates", in a panel which includes Philip Campbell, editor in chief of Nature (the magazine, not the bitch), and Adrian Mulligan from Elsevier.

As you might imagine, the topic is varied and spans several levels. Each of us will have 8 minutes to make a few points, and then a debate moderated by Tracey Brown (from Sense about Science, the organizer of the session) will ensue.
The DZERO collaboration just sent to the Cornell ArXiv a paper which presents their new precise cross-section limits for the rare decay of mesons into pairs of muons. This important new article hides a small controversy, at least to my untrained eye. And since I am a bitch who thrives in the mud of controversies (or, at least some would describe me that way), let me do precisely that here.
"If you're going to tell people the truth, be funny or they'll kill you"

G. Marx
The CDF Collaboration has recently produced results of a search for Supersymmetric Higgs bosons in events with three or more bottom-quark jets. Here I wish to give just the highlights of this analysis, but before I do I will try to spend 5' on making sense of the previous sentence.

In good order, below I explain first of all 1) what is CDF, 2) what is the Tevatron, 3) what are Higgs bosons from Supersymmetry, 4) how can these be sought with bottom quarks, and 5) what are bottom quark jets. After I am done with these five explanations, those of you who are still here will no doubt appreciate the results I am showing today. Can I make it in 5 minutes ? Sure, but can you read forty lines of text in the same amount of time ?
Today, for the first time in 18 years of association to the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), I leave for a trip abroad, to the CERN laboratories, on my own wallet.

The situation into which basic research has been thrown by our crazy government borders the ridiculous, but is pretty darn serious. Italian physicists often travel to foreign laboratories to attend their apparata, collect data, perform their research, discuss with colleagues. If they lose money to do this, they will stop their foreign activities. I think in particular at graduate students and young post-docs, who earn salaries insufficient for a living, and whose per-diem compensation when abroad used to allow them to cover their expenses.
Today is a good day: I can rest in peace without working out my daily share of science popularization here, because I have something better to do, which will have a much more sizable positive effect for the diffusion of particle physics. In fact, I hold in my hands a brand new copy of Gian Francesco Giudice's book, "A Zeptospace Odyssey - A Journey into the Physics of the LHC". All I have to do is to explain to you why you really should buy, read, and give as a present this book to all your friends.

Gian Francesco Giudice