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The Daily Physics Problem - 1

Today I wish to start a series of posts that are supposed to help my younger colleagues who will...

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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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45

Feb 05 2011 | 22 comment(s)

Today I turn 45 years of age.

Overall, physically I do not feel much different from, say, 15 years ago. I consider myself lucky, since I am generally in good health. Never have I had to sleep in a hospital bed, not a single night. I will spare you a list of all the minor health problems I had in my life, but the list would be very short anyway.

Yet I know this is bound to change. 45 years of age is roughly the time when some of our physical faculties start to decline at a faster rate than in the previous 20 years. One of the sharpest changes which occurs at this age in most individuals is the loss of focusing ability at short distance: presbyopia, a loss of elasticity of the crystalline. I am just now starting to detect the first signs of that condition.
A recent paper in the arxiv describes the observation, in 7 TeV proton-proton collisions produced by the LHC collider in the core of the LHCb detector, of a new decay mode of the particle called "B-sub-s", a meson which is a bound state of a anti-bottom-quark and an s quark.
"The only use I know of a confidence interval is to have confidence in it"

L. J. Savage, in "The foundations of statistical inference", Methuen, London (1962).
A week ago a meeting was held in Chamonix to discuss in detail the schedule for the near future of the Large Hadron Collider, and to take a decision on the schedule, in particular for 2012.
"Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math"

Anonymous
This morning, as I walked out of home headed to work, the sky was clear and still dark. As I looked up, I immediately noticed the bright light of Venus above the houses of Venice. Have you ever watched Venus on a clear morning sky ? It is a marvelous sight! No wonder the planet was named after the most beautiful of all goddesses.

My trip to the University, in Padova, begins with a 7-minute walk to the Venice train station, followed by a 40 minute ride and then a further 15-minute walk in Padova to reach the Physics Department. While on the train I usually busy myself with document editing on my laptop, but on my walks I use to try and put to work the other main CPU I have got - my brain.