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True And False Discoveries: How To Tell Them Apart

Many new particles and other new physics signals claimed in the last twenty years were later proven...

The SUSY-Inspiring LHC WW Excess May Be Due To Theoretical Errors

A timely article discussing the hot topic of the production rate of pairs of vector bosons in proton...

The Spam Of Physicists' Mailboxes

I guess every profession has its own kind of personalized spam. Here is a couple of recent samples...

Self Quote Of The Week: Why You Can't Weigh Quarks Directly

In the process of revising a chapter of my book, I found a clip I would like to share here, as...

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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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I have many friends around the world. Some of them are far away, some live close by; but it is not the spatial separation what determines how often we meet, talk, or spend time together: it is rather a combination of chance, will, and expendiency. There are friends who live one block away which I have not seen in ages, since we do not even bump into each other, as we get out to work and return home at different times of the day. And friends who live in another continent, which I meet every time I travel there. And the Internet has simplified things, but not entirely removed the problem.
"On the infrequent occasions when I have been called upon in a formal place to play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics."

(Richard Feynman)
A weekly visit to the Cornell Arxiv is more than enough for a physicist like me, since my daily work is not affected too much by whatever happens to be published there. Oftentimes, when I browse the contents of hep-ph (the folder containing preprints on particle phenomenology) I do not end up actually reading any papers, and limit myself to "sniffing" what is going on, by looking at the titles and author names. But at times I venture to browse through the pages, with mixed results.
I have no energy today to put together a detailed discussion of a brand new, exciting search for supersymmetric Higgs boson performed in data collected by the CDF experiment at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider. All I can do for you is to show the interesting result of the search, and give you some very general ideas of what this is and why it is interesting. Maybe tomorrow or Saturday I will be able to pay more justice to the analysis.
2010 has just started with the best auspices to bring us exciting new science, and there comes a pledge to forecast what will happen in 2020. Oh, well - rest is not what I became a scientist for.

Making non-trivial predictions today for how will basic research be in subnuclear physics ten years down the line is highly non-trivial. For exactly the opposite reason that it is equally hard in several other fields of research.
The success of today's particle physics experiments relies to a surprisingly large extent on a seldom told functionality of the giant apparata that detect the faint echoes of subatomic particles hitting or punching through their sensitive regions: the capability of triggering.