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Another Collider Physics Source

Just a short entry to mention that the blog of my colleague Michael Schmitt, a professor at Northwestern...

New CMS Results

The Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratories in Geneva is currently in shutdown, finalizing...

The Quote Of The Week - Shocked And Disappointed

"Two recent results from other experiments add to the excitement of Run II. The results from Brookhaven's...

ECFA Workshop: Planning For The High Luminosity LHC

I am spending a few days in Aix Les Bains, a pleasant lakeside resort in the French southwest,...

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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 remember very well the very first meeting of the Heavy Flavour Working Group in CDF that I attended in the summer of 1992. I was a summer student back then, and my understanding of spoken English was not perfect, so as a graduate student started discussing with his slides the results he was getting on the top quark mass reconstructed in simulated single-lepton top pair decays, I struggled to follow his talk -the physics was just as hard to follow as the English.
"In 1934, L.E.Kinsler at the California Institute of technology was studying the Zeeman effect as a means for evaluating the charge-to-mass ratio of the electron, e/m. The deduction of e/m from the measured wavelength differences involves, in addition to a high-precision measurement of the magnetic field, a knowledge of the way in which the individual electron spins and orbital angular momenta are coupled. However, there are certain quantities or combinations of quantities that are independent of the nature of the coupling.
One of the positive side-effects of preparing a seminar is being forced to get up-to-date with the latest experimental and theoretical developments on the topic. And this is of particular benefit to lazy bums like myself, who prefer to spend their time playing online chess than reading arxiv preprints.

It happened last week, in the course of putting together a meaningful discussion of the state of the art in global electroweak fits to standard model observables, and their implications for the unknown mass of the Higgs boson: by skimming the hep-ph folder I found a very recent paper by a colleague in Padova, which I had shamefully failed to notice in the last couple of careless visits.
This morning, upon leaving Brussels to go back home after my seminar in Louvain-la-Neuve, my attention was caught by a big green banner hanging from a tall building at Place Schuman. It said "Safe Internet Day" and below, in smaller fonts, "think before you blog". I found it inspiring.

A blog, if used correctly, is a very nice tool which enhances one's possibility to express one's ideas, or to do scientific outreach, as in my case. It may also be used for self-promotion at times (and the opportunity does not escape me, although I try to self-contain these outbursts). But a blog, if it attracts traffic, may become also a dangerous instrument, which must be handled with care.
This afternoon I am leaving to Belgium. I have been invited by the Université Catholique de Louvain to give a seminar on the status and the future of the Higgs boson searches at the Tevatron collider. This was a good pretext to sit down and learn the latest details of the analyses carried out by CDF and DZERO, and to do some real work of my own, mainly to understand what are the discovery or exclusion prospects for the Higgs in the US in the next few years. I have somehow described my conclusions in a recent article.
Earlier today I reported about the publication of a paper by a non-professional physicist, Carl Brannen. Now I have to do the same for a paper -the first one in a long and groundbreaking series, you can bet- from the CMS collaboration, one of the two main experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.