Finding All-Hadronic Top - Again

The top quark is the heaviest known subatomic particle we may call "elementary", i.e. one we describe...

Program Of The Statistics Session At QCHS 2016

I am happy to announce here that a session on "Statistical Methods for Physics Analysis in the...

Top Evidence At The Altarelli Memorial Symposium

I am spending some time today at the Altarelli Memorial Symposium, which is taking place at the...

The Call To Outreach

I have recently put a bit of order into my records of activities as a science communicator, for...

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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 »

How many phenomenological papers discussing the 750 GeV diphoton resonance have you read since December 15th 2015 ? I believe that having read none of them, or ten, does not make a big difference - you missed most of them anyways. In fact, I think the count has gone past 200 by now. 
Do you know what a lucid dream is ? It is the experience of being aware of your asleep state during a dream. Lucid dreaming occurs during the REM phase of sleep, and it is usually created when, while dreaming, one suddenly realizes his or her dreaming state. The dream may then continue, but the individual has some degree of control over what happens. Laws of physics continue to not apply, of course, and one has the power of "writing the script", to some extent. In a sense, one's desires are the driver of the script.

One of the things I like the most when I do data analysis is to use "pure thought" to predict in advance the features of a probability density function of some observable quantity from the physical process I am studying. By doing that, one can try one's hand at demonstrating one's understanding of the details of the physics at play.

I (T.D.) am very happy to host here today a guest post by Daniel Hoak, a member of the LIGO collaboration, who participated in the discovery of gravitational waves that made headlines one week ago in the world media. Daniel earned his PhD in 2015 with the LIGO collaboration, and is currently working at the Virgo detector outside of Pisa. Daniel's picture is on the left.

Yesterday and today I have been spending time in Rome together with 600 Italian colleagues, at a symposium named "What Next". The idea is to discuss what should be the strategy of the institute to participate and support basic research in fundamental physics in the next few decades.

The format of the event is of short summary talks by ten "working groups" that examined different macro-areas: Precision SM Physics, Cosmic Ray Physics, Neutrino Physics, Flavour Physics, Gravitational Waves, Beyond the SM Physics, New Technologies, Fundamental Physics, and Dark Matter (I might have forgotten one). To each summary, delivered by two or three leaders of each working group, follows an open discussion that is allotted at least as much time as the presentations.
I believe that the recent discovery of gravitational waves has been described in enough detail by reporters and bloggers around, that my own contribution here would be pointless. Of course I am informed of the facts and reasonably knowledgeable about the topic, and my field of research is not too distant from the one that produced the discovery, so I could in principle offer something different from what you can find by just googling around. But I have a better idea.
What I think you cannot read elsewhere are the free thoughts I had as I listened to the announcement by the VIRGO collaboration. So maybe this may be a different kind of contribution, and of some interest to you.