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This blog - which, in different sites, has been online since 2005, hence for over 10 years now...

Reviews In Physics - A New Journal

The publishing giant Elsevier is about to launch a new journal, Reviews in Physics. This will be...

The Plot Of The Week: CMS Search For Majorana Neutrinos

The CMS collaboration has released yesterday results of a search for Majorana neutrinos in dimuon...

One Year In Pictures

A periodic backup of my mobile phone yesterday - mainly pictures and videos - was the occasion...

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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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Last Monday Stephen Hawking gave a lecture at the George Washington University for the 50th anniversary of NASA. There he discussed the chance of a contact between our civilization and an extraterrestrial one. And he warned about the risks we may be facing.
My friend Peppe Liberti, a physicist and blogger from southern Italy, sent me today a amusing list of essential biographies of scientists. I wish to share them with you here, after I explain what this is about.

The rules of the game are quite simple: find an amusing way to summarize as succintly as possible (usually not exceeding two lines of text) the life and works of a well-known scientist.

Here is Peppe's bid: five really good ones.



  • Ludwig Boltzmann was one that sought an equilibrium. He died in an irreversible manner.


  • Georg Cantor tried to order the infinities. Ended in a closed set.


Researchers who blog are a rare and endangered species.

As far as rarity is concerned, it is easy to understand why that is so. Scientific research is a round-the-clock occupation, not your regular nine-to-five job. If a researcher has spare time, he or she is expected to invest it in doing more research: for Science is a mission, not a job! Because of that, finding the time to do outreach in a blog, broadcasting recent scientific results, or just expressing one's views is a demanding challenge, especially when one also has a family to attend to.
"Every great man nowadays has his disciples, but it is always Judas who writes the biography."

Oscar Wilde
Analogies are a powerful way to explain complicated scientific concepts. I use them as much as I can whenever I describe particle physics in this blog or when I give a outreach talk in a school. However, good ones are not always easy to find. One usually needs examples from everyday life, which are simple to describe and which do not possess distracting features.

Today I wish to try my luck with you, to see if you come up with an analogy which is better than the one I could find to explain a feature of weak interactions. I must say I am not dissatisfied with my own find, but it is always good to subject oneselves to external judgement.
This is to inform you of the new luminosity record set today by the Tevatron collider at Fermilab. The machine has been working excellently, improving its performance as the machinists found ways to obtain higher stacks of antiprotons, reducing inefficiencies in the transport of the beams from one accelerator to the other in the injection process, or finding better beam tunes. A painstaking work that brought increasing returns, it seems.