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Guess the Plot

I used to post on this blog very abstruse graphs from time to time, asking readers to guess what...

Fun With A Dobson

It is galaxy season in the northern hemisphere, with Ursa Mayor at the zenith during the night...

The Season Of Muons

Particle physics is so cool - you get to build huge detectors with a specific goal clearly stated...

Instead Of An April's Fool

Taking inspiration from Resonaances, who this year offers much more than an April's Fool in his...

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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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James D. Bjorken, also known as "BJ" by colleagues and physicists around the world, has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Wolf prize in Physics together with cosmologist Robert Kirshner. Bjorken deserves a lot of credit for his contribution to subnuclear physics: the official motivation is 

"For predicting scaling in deep inelastic scattering, leading to identification of nucleon's pointlike constituents "

Today I collected in my mailbox the hefty "Review of Particle Physics", the publication of the Particle Data Group which contains a summary of everything we know about subatomic particles. For the first time, the publisher is a Chinese journal: Chinese Physics C. This might be considered a detail, but it is a sign of times: China has been increasing its involvement in fundamental physics research in the last decade, and it may well become the leading country in this business in the future.
ATLAS sent today to the Cornell arxiv and to the journal JHEP their latest measurement of the top-antitop production asymmetry, and having five free minutes this afternoon I gave a look at the paper, as the measurement is of some interest. The analysis is done generally quite well, but I found out there is one things I do not particularly like in it... It does not affect the result in this case, but the used procedure is error-prone. 

But let's go in order. First I owe you a quick-and-dirty explanation of what is the top asymmetry and why you might care about it.
Me

Me

Jan 30 2015 | 6 comment(s)

This blog - which, in different sites, has been online since 2005, hence for over 10 years now - enjoys a core of faithful readers, who over the years have learnt more detail on my personal life than they probably thought they'd need. But it also occasionally attracts larger crowds of web navigants with an interest in particle physics. They have all rights to not know who I am and whether I am a 20yo geek or a retired professor, male or female, etcetera. 
The publishing giant Elsevier is about to launch a new journal, Reviews in Physics. This will be a fully open-access, peer-reviewed journal which aims at providing short reviews (15 pages maximum) on physics topics at the forefront of research. The web page of the journal is here, and a screenshot is shown below.

The CMS collaboration has released yesterday results of a search for Majorana neutrinos in dimuon data collected by the CMS detector in 8 TeV proton-proton collisions delivered by the LHC in 2012. If you are short of time and just need an executive summary, here it is: no such thing is seen, unfortunately, and limits are set on the production rate of heavy neutrinos N as a function of their mass. If you have five spare minutes, however, you might be interested in some more detail of the search and its results.