Guest Post: Ben Allanach, On Open Access

Ben Allanach, guest blogger, is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge...

New Limits On VY Production From CDF: Good, But Also Disappointing

Alas, for once I must say I am not completely happy of one new result by the CDF collaboration...

The Plot Of The Week: Higgs Decays To WW In ATLAS

The latest paper by the ATLAS Collaboration is a very detailed report of the search for Higgs boson...

Travel Blog

While I do intend to update this blog today or tomorrow with a report on a nice new measurement...

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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 »

A very personal blog posting today. Well, at times it so happens that I feel like writing something about myself... That is the whole purpose of a blog for many, while I, like most of the writers here, usually have additional reasons; today the chance to write about myself comes handy though.

Twenty-five years ago this evening I was at a birthday party, with a bunch of friends. It was the birthday of two nice girls, and the party was held at the home of one of them. We were barely 20 years old back then (the two girls in fact were turning 20), and in similar occasions we used to smoke a lot, listen to music of the seventies, drink quite a bit, and party until late night.
The replication of fermion generations is one of the outstanding puzzles in particle physics. Could there be also a fourth generation of quarks and leptons ? There is no convincing theoretical or experimental reason why not. In some grand unified schemes consistency with the evolution of masses and couplings may indicate only three generations, but these models are not uniquely established. Thus it is important for collider experiments to continue the search [...]
A brand new result in Higgs boson physics has been presented by my old-time CDF colleague Wei-Ming Yao at the Moriond QCD conference two days ago. It is the combination of CDF and DZERO limits on the Higgs boson, and it constitutes a significant advancement in our knowledge of the standard model.

The result is simple to state in a single sentence, although it will take me several pages to explain it acceptably. The Higgs boson is excluded at 95% confidence level in the 130-210 GeV mass range, if there are four generations of matter fields.
"A male astrophysicist talks physics to the astronomers and astronomy to the physicists, but then he meets another astrophysicist, and they discuss women."

Have you ever seen a galaxy ?

I mean, not a picture of one. The real thing. A picture is a representation of reality, and as such it conveys to our senses only a pale suggestion of the stimulation that experiencing the real thing provides. In a world where images, still and in motion, have a dominant role in our lives, we tend to forget how different are some things when we experience them directly.
I was delighted to receive news this afternoon of three new interesting results produced by the DZERO collaboration in the analysis of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) processes.

QCD, the theory of strong interactions between quarks and gluons, is the "boring" part of the physics of high-energy hadron-hadron collisions. It used to be more more exciting twenty years ago, when the theoretical calculations were not as refined as they are now, and there was still a lot to understand in the physics of strong interactions between quarks and gluons. But nowadays, things are much more clear.