As a form of encouragement for the first steps in the scientific publishing world, I am here taking the licence to draw your attention, dear reader, to the first article published here by my nephew Enrico, who isn't even 18 years old yet but is already showing significant writing and researching skills.
The article discusses the effects of an Italian law meant to reduce pollution by forcing the use of "green" gasoline. Unfortunately hings in Italy always end up half-baked: the government did not force the dismiss of non-catalitic cars, and Enrico shows quite clearly that this has ended up creating more pollution than if nothing had been done.
Our present understanding of fundamental physics implies the existence of three generation of matter particles, which we consider structureless and "elementary", both in the sense that they cannot be divided into smaller entities, and in the sense that they are the building blocks of all observed manifestations of matter.
"So string theory is certainly among the directions that deserve more investigation. But should it continue to be regarded as the dominant paradigm of theoretical physics ? Should most of the resources aimed at the solution of the key problems in theoretical physics continue to support research in string theory ? Should other approaches continue to be starved in favor of string theory ? Should only string theorists be eligible for the most prestigious jobs and research fellowships, as is now the case ? I think the answer to all these questions must be no. String theory has not been successful enough on any level to justify putting nearly all our eggs in its basket".
Lee Smolin, "The Trouble With Physics"
I was quite saddened today to hear the bad news that Uli Baur passed away prematurely yesterday. Uli was a professor of physics at the University at Buffalo, and his research interests focused on electroweak phenomenology. I knew Uli as I worked with him in a workshop at Fermilab, when we tried to determine the Run II potential of the Tevatron in the physics of weak bosons. He was a brilliant theorist, known for his good manners and charm. He was also a CMS collaborator (although I did not know that! We are simply too many in these large collaborations...)
The time is now. If you are going to fantasize about the possibilities of an extended Tevatron running and how likely it is that your favourite physics model may be tested by CDF and DZERO, you are advised to get in the game.
"I learned the stopping-rule principle from Professor Barnard in conversation in the summer of 1952. Frankly, I then thought it a scandal that anyone in the profession could advance an idea so patently wrong, even as today I can scarcely believe that some people resent an idea so patently right."