Anomaly! Now Available As E-Book

Today I would like to mention that my book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena...

Two Physics Blogs You Should Not Miss

I would like to use this space to advertise a couple of blogs you might be interesting to know...

The Six-Month Cycle Of The Experimental Physicist

Every year, at about this time, the level of activity of physicists working in experimental collaborations...

LHCb Finds Suppressed Lambda_B Decay

The so-called Lambda_b baryon is a well-studied particle nowadays, with several experiments having...

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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 »

Spring is my favourite season in Batavia, watching peaks blossom in every distribution... A comment by Lubos Motl (in the thread of a post of mine on Higgs searches in ZZ decay modes) alerted me of a new result by the DZERO collaboration, where a significant (2.5 standard deviations) fluctuation of the data in the mass distribution of t-prime quarks makes its ephemeral appearance. Lubos already covered it in his blog.
It was bound to happen, and well predicted in advance, but it still feels good to report it here. The LHC last night exceeded by a good 15% the previous record instataneous luminosity for hadron collider beams, previously held by the Tevatron collider at 4.024x10^32 cm^-2 s^-1. The new record (soon to be surpassed by the LHC itself, anyway) is now 4.67x10^32.
Note: updated list of links at the bottom.

(Older Note:
Bet on this signal! See at the bottom of the article! Odds are two to one in your favour now!)

(Older note
: Update at the bottom.)

It seems I am late on this one -an internal note by the Atlas collaboration seems to contain the discovery of a bump in the diphoton mass distribution from data collected in 2010 and 2011. They find a signal that seems consistent, in mass and resolution, with what one would expect from a Higgs decay, if the Higgs were sitting at 115 GeV, the value at which LEP II found some hint (a 1.7 standard deviation signal) before being shut down in 2001.
That's because you never learn anything new.

[By the way: if you were coming here to learn the solution of my riddle about the mysterious plot I posted here yesterday, be patient - I will publish an answer tomorrow on that issue.]
After the disturbance created by the Higgs rumour in ATLAS, I think we can go back to normal business - in this case, keeping my word on discussing things that were left hanging.

Your response to my small riddle was quite good, forcing me to provide a timely and exhaustive explanation of what is in the plot I posted a few days ago.
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is true both for photographs and for graphs, but sometimes the words are spoken to the wrong ears. I would like to offer you a very simple, visual test today: show you a picture and let you guess what it represents. Depending on the response, this might end in oblivion or be tried again with another subject.

So the question is: what does the picture below represent ?

A few hints:

- I did the graph myself, and it took me 10' of programming and a tenth of a second of CPU on my laptop.