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John Ellis On The Ascent Of The Standard Model

Being at CERN for a couple of weeks, I could not refrain from following yesterday's talks in the...

ATLAS Higgs Challenge Results

After four months of frenzy by over 1500 teams, the very successful Higgs Challenge launched by...

Life After The 125 GeV Higgs: What Is Left Of Two-Higgs Doublet Models

I just read with interest the new paper on the arxiv by my INFN-Padova colleague Massimo Passera...

George Zweig's Brilliant Intuition And Van Hove's Horrible Censorship

One year ago I had the pleasure to spend some time with George Zweig during a conference in Crete...

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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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How do we fix science journalism ? Simple: we don't. We let it sink, and be reborn in a different form.

It is rather utopic to insist that in a world of changing means of communications, a world where printed matter is losing ground to the advantage of electronic media, the diffusion of scientific information may or shall stay the same.
The CDF collaboration, which runs one of the two proton-antiproton collider experiments at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since the early eighties, has published hundreds of scienticif papers in the course of its 25 years of operation. I believe the number has abundantly surpassed the half-thousand mark, but I am unaware of its exact entity.
On March 8th, international women day, the CMS experiment at CERN will be run almost entirely by women. 32 of the 34 shifts needed to run our experiment will be covered by women scientists of our Collaboration - which counts 588 women overall.

I think this is great news and a very good idea. 588 women scientists are quite an impressive force! And believe me, most of them really do kick ass!!
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."

Plato
Yesterday somebody asked me here if I could explain how does a muon really decide when and how to decay. I tried to answer this question succintly in the thread, and later realized that my answer, although not perfectly correct in the physics, was actually not devoid of some didactic power. So I decided to recycle it and make it the subject of an independent post.

Before I come to the discussion of how, exactly, does a muon choose when and how to decay, however, let me make a few points about this fascinating particle, by comparing its phenomenology to that of the electron.
Cannot resist posting the following paperclip, grabbed from a news site this afternoon (it's a Sunday, a critical detail you should not overlook; and this is an Italian newspaper, as should be obvious).



The piece reports news on the Chilean earthquake. Here is a quick-and-dirty translation of the relevant part: "In Conception 350 buried under the rubble. Jackals in action. The government imposes the offside."