Offenbach in Athens

"La belle Hélène" is a beautiful operetta by Jacques Offenbach. Now for the first time it has...

Pictures Of March 20th Eclipse From Svalbard

I am presently in Athens for a few days, to give a seminar and meet the local group of CMS physicists...

A Paper on Leptonic CP violation

I received from Ravi Kuchimanchi, the author of a paper to be published in Phys. Rev. D, the following...

Searching For The A Boson

Besides being a giant triumph of theoretical physics and the definitive seal on the correctness...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Bente Lilja Byepicture for Sascha Vongehrpicture for Johannes Koelmanpicture for Georg von Hippelpicture for Josh Witten
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 »

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

In my friend Peter Woit's blog I read an interesting account of an interview to Greene and Kachru, two leading string theorists. Here is an excerpt, which Peter got from the World's Science Festival:

John Hockenberry, the panel’s moderator, asked Greene if he thought experimental evidence would come during his lifetime.

“I’d be surprised,” said Greene.

“And in your lifetime?” Hockenberry asked Kachru.