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Diboson Resonances Review Available Online

This is just a short note - a record-keeping, if you like - to report that my long review on "Collider...

Searching For Light Dark Matter: A Gedankenexperiment

Dark Matter (DM), the mysterious substance that vastly dominates the total mass of our universe...

Roberto Carlin To Lead CMS Experiment In 2019-20

Great news for the CMS experiment - and for Italy, and for my institution, Padova, where I coordinate...

Your Main Reference For Resonances Decaying To Boson Pairs

Some shameless self-promotion is in order today, as my review titled "Hadron Collider Searches...

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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More »

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The Collider Detector at Fermilab, CDF for insiders, is the longest lasting physics experiment ever (yes, I know about the pitch drop and no, I do not consider that a physics experiment). Designed in 1979, it was assembled in the early eighties, and operated since 1985 to 2011. Now, in two weeks it will stop data taking, and soon will be decommissioned.
In two weeks I will be talking at TEDx Flanders, in the magnificent theatre of the Flemish Opera of Antwerp, Belgium. I can't wait, of course, and I have prepared a presentation which is hopefully going to be digestible, but I would hope enjoyable, for the thousand total outsiders who will listen to it in-between a couple dozen other extremely interesting performances and talks. The program is indeed quite diverse and exciting, and the event will last the full day of Saturday, Sept. 24th.
Walter Bonatti died yesterday at 81 years of age. One of Italy's greatest "old style" climbers, Bonatti is especially famous for the first ascent to the K2, the extremely hard to climb, 8611-meter-tall mountain in the Karakorum.
I enjoyed a lot reading a "discussion" prepared by Maury Goodman on the value of "confidence level", discovery thresholds, and what physicists believe or not. If you are a HEP physicist and you want to widen your horizons on the value of statistical claims in experimental results, you are bound to read it. But you might find it thought-provoking and enlightening even if you are a layman, provided you can use three neurons in a row.

A few random excerpts should convince you to read the whole piece:

Manjib:  No reasonable high energy physics will believe a two sigma effect.

The diffusion of advanced graphical tools that we have witnessed in the course of the last two decades has caused a corresponding evolution in the way physicists display their data. True, there still exist pockets of resistence here and there; but these are usually due to old farts who are unwilling to learn the new tricks. To them the old cynical sentence by Max Planck unfortunately applies, and it can be paraphrased as follows:

"A new data display tool does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them use it, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
A hadron collider is a really nice toy to play with. Sometimes when I look at all those scientists busying themselves with the design, the construction, and the operation of the Large Hadron Collider and its experiments, as well as the analysis of the produced data, all I see are kids who play with their toys - bigger toys, as big as possible in fact, because their craving is always growing and cannot be satiated.

I of course see myself that way, too. To me my job is a game -well, I see my life that way too!  But I am divagating into philosophical observations which deserve another place to be discussed. Instead, here I want to show you why I think these detectors are marvelous toys. Give a look at the graph below, courtesy ATLAS.