The Number Of My Publications Has Four Digits

While tediously compiling a list of scientific publications that chance to have my name in the...

35% Off World Scientific Titles

I think this might be interesting to the few of you left out there who still read paper books (I...

Magic In Particle Reactions: Exclusive Photoproduction Of Upsilon Mesons

Exclusive production processes at hadron collider are something magical. You direct two trucks...

Another Bet Won - With My Student!

Okay, this one was not about the umpteenth statistical fluctuation, hopelessly believed by somebody...

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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 »


Some unforeseen Christmas-vigil blog activity bringing here a few visitors more than average was traced today back to BBC News, who discussed the 2010 science highlights here.

The incoming link is in this paragraph:

The evolving role of the blogosphere in science came to the fore as particle physicists were preparing to gather in Paris for their annual conference. Internet rumours suggested that the US Tevatron particle smasher had seen hints of the elusive Higgs boson.

A reader of this blog asked in the comments thread of a recent piece the following interesting question:

"Assuming mH = 201 GeV/c2, how many Higgses shoud have been produced at
the Tevatron by now with an integated luminosity of 10 inverse
femtobarns? And how many H -> ZZ -> µµµµ would one expect to see?"
As sure as death and taxes, and as timely as a Swiss watch, the Tevatron collider never ceases to awe us. Well into its twentysixth year of life, the aged and celebrated proton-antiproton collider sitting just a few meters underground in the west Chicago suburbs hit the mark of 10 inverse femtobarns of collisions delivered to the core of the CDF and DZERO detectors.

10 inverse femtobarns! Ten inverse femtobarns of proton-antiproton collisions is a HELL of a lot of them. Plus, you should multiply that number by two, since the same number of collisions happened inside two different collision areas -those manned by the two competing collaborations.
An expert is a man who has made all of the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr
A faithful reader of this blog has been asking me for answers to some of the 42 questions which were given at an exam for particle physics researcher wannabes in Italy in 2005. I already provided some answers in a separate post a few months back, but the reader asked for an answer to some specific exercises which I had not bothered to deal with here. I will do so now.
A new result for the production cross section of Z boson pairs in proton-antiproton collisions at the 2-TeV Tevatron collider is now public, thanks to the efforts of the CDF collaboration. The measurement, in a nutshell, confirms Standard Model predictions nicely: the cross section is determined to be 1.45 picobarns, with an asymmetric error bar of of +0.60-0.51. The Standard Model, on the other hand, predicts that the cross section is 1.21 picobarns. The agreement of the two numbers, within uncertainties, says that all is well in the searched final state, and no unforeseen effects are at work.