The Daily Physics Problem - 1

Today I wish to start a series of posts that are supposed to help my younger colleagues who will...

Book News And A Clip

My book "Anomaly! - Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab" is slowly getting...

How Much Light Does A Proton Contain ?

Gavin Salam's talk at the "Altarelli Memorial" session of the ICNFP 2016 conference, which is presently...

Poster Session At ICNFP 2016

I am spending a week in Kolimbari, a nice seaside place in western Crete. Here the fifth International...

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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 »

Long-time readers of this blog know that one of the recurrent topics has always been the precision measurement of the top quark mass. The reason for this is at least three-fold. 
One, I started my career in experimental HEP with searches and measurements of the top quark properties, and the mass was one of the parameters I spent quite some time working on. 
Technically it also creates a diboson final state - two photons - but no, here I am not going to talk about the tentative new particle of which ATLAS and CMS continue to see hints in their data, at a mass of 750 GeV and with characteristics that increasingly resemble those of a heavy higgs boson. Oh, see - I am doing precisely that. It is admittedly hard not to speak of that thing nowadays, but I will insist, as I think it is too good to be true, and so it must be false. 

UPDATE: Tiziano tells me that he has been misquoted by the Guardian - he was quoting himself a colleague when he mentioned the 20:1 bet. Sorry to say this bet is not on, at least until the person who offered the bet in the first place will manifest him- or herself....

I bet most of you, who are interested in Physics, know what I mean when I talk about "the 750 GeV particle". Last December, the ATLAS and CMS experiments released information about a tantalizing hint of a new particle with a mass in the 750 GeV ballpark. The resonance was seen in the decay to pairs of energetic photons. Since both experiments see more or less the same thing, this may be a fluctuation, but if it is, it is a really rare one. 
I am very happy to report that Professor Giorgio Parisi won another prize. Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist who is very well known for his decisive contribution to QCD, with the DGLAP equations (the P stands for his last name) that govern the dynamics of gluons. However his work did not stop there - after that result Parisi continued excellent research and it is not by chance that he collected prizes and acknowledgements along the way for the more recent contributions he has given to theoretical physics. 
The 2016 prize called after Lars Onsager is given to Giorgio by the APS
I think it is due time that I point out a few interesting articles that have appeared in the past couple of months in the blog of the AMVA4NewPhysics network, a consortium of 16 among universities, research institutes, and industries that has the goal of studying Higgs physics and new Physics with the LHC, using advanced statistical learning methods.
The issue is not new. Scientific journals require articles to produce quantitative answers - of course, that's how you do science. And scientists usually rely on a formalism based on classical statistics to report those results: they report the probability of their data given some hypothesis. P-values, that is.