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Long-time readers of this blog (are there any left ?) know me well since I often used to ...

Aldo Menzione And The Design Of The Silicon Vertex Detector

Below is a clip from a chapter of my book where I describe the story of the silicon microvertex...

What Next ?

Yesterday I was in Rome, at a workshop organized by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear...

Standard Model Or Minimal SUSY ?

If I look back at the first times I discussed the important graph of the top quark versus W boson...

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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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Black holes are all the rage these days, with theorists arguing about firewalls and Hawking's paper being handled by the press in rather improper ways. Meanwhile at the Large Hadron Collider ATLAS and CMS are furthering their searches for microscopic versions of the same objects, which could exist if the energy scale at which quantum gravity effects make themselves felt is orders of magnitude smaller than the place where they ought to be -i.e., at the Planck energy.
I received yesterday a copy of the brand-new book by Ilya Narsky and Frank Porter, "Statistical Analysis Techniques in Particle Physics" (Wiley-vch 2014), and I would like to offer here my impressions and thoughts on the material.
Chapter 10 of the report on the 2013 community summer study held at Snowmass, titled "Communication, Education, and Outreach" is available since Jan 24th in the Cornell ArXiv. It is a 26-pages document describing the importance of outreach activities to foster the development of particle physics, and offering ideas and strategies to improve the communication between scientists and policy makers. This is none other than the problem I have often referred to as the one of "filling the gap" between science and the general media.
"The most important task at hand is experimental. Based on our considerations of dynamical symmetry breaking through preons and the assumption of universal size for all quarks and leptons, we are led to predict that quarks and leptons have an inverse size of the order of 2-3 TeV. This can be tested by high-luminosity 5-10 TeV machines in the near future by looking for form factors for quarks and leptons and for excess production of lepton pairs in pp or ppbar collisions."

Jogesh Pati, "Preons and their implications for the next-generation accelerators", Proceedings of  the third annual workshop of the ICTP Summer Workshop on Particle Physics, Trieste 1983, p. 399-459.
I must say I feel proud of myself tonight.

In Italy a unified procedure to rank candidates to the position of associate or full professor has been launched last year, and I of course participated to the qualification by sending a documentation of the work I performed and the articles I wrote in the course of my scientific career. With me, thousands of other candidates did the same.

Note that as a researcher for the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) I am presently following a career parallel to the one existing in the University. Despite that, in Italy everybody knows that titles such as the one granted by the selection mentioned above are important for one's career.
"Statistical power does not corrupt"

Leland Wilkinson, "Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals", in American Psychologist, August 1999.

[Note: "power" in the context of statistical tests measures the probability that a test rejects the null hypothesis when the alternate hypothesis is true). Thanks to Michael Schmitt for pointing out the quote]