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The Quote Of The Week - Shocked And Disappointed

"Two recent results from other experiments add to the excitement of Run II. The results from Brookhaven's...

ECFA Workshop: Planning For The High Luminosity LHC

I am spending a few days in Aix Les Bains, a pleasant lakeside resort in the French southwest,...

No Light Dark Matter In ATLAS Search

Yesterday the ATLAS collaboration published the results of a new search for dark matter particles...

Cold Fusion: A Better Study On The Infamous E-Cat

Do you remember the E-Cat ? That is an acronym for "energy catalyzer", the device invented by the...

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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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I have spent the last few days at a School of Science Journalism in the pleasant town of Erice, in western Sicily. The school, held at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, brought together science communicators, freelance writers, magazine editors and press office consultants to listen to a small set of lectures, which this year (the fifth of the school) centered on the topic of "the digital world".
Today among the three top players -those in the money- at the Higgs challenge we see the appearance of Lubos Motl, whom I had signalled as a participant in an earlier posting. We all know that Lubos is a smart guy, but I doubted whether he would take this very seriously. However, it seems he is. As we speak he has submitted almost 100 solutions (you can submit up to 5 solutions per day, so that means having worked at this at least 20 days in a row).

In the clip below you see the top standers from the challenge site's leaderboard:






You are the first to arrive to a dinner party and must choose the table where to sit, relying on your past experience of how handsome members of the opposite sex (you're straight) usually choose their seat. You need to buy stocks based on past performances and trends. You travel to some distant location and would like to know what's the weather like there, but there is no forecast for that particular place. What do you do ?
Programmers may not be the guys with the best sense of humor around, but I found it quite entertaining to read a web page with a collection of source code comments arising a smile.

The one I liked the most is the following - not even a comment, but the way the guy called the object he instantiates:

"After the 1974 London Conference, with its strong confirmation of the quark model, a general change of view developed with regard to the structure of hadrons. [...] the quark structure of hadrons became the dominant view for developing theory and planning experiments. A crucial element of this change was the general acceptance of QCD, which eliminated the last paradox, namely, why are there no free quarks ? The conjectured infrared slavery mechanism of QCD provided a reason to accept quarks as physical constituents without demanding the existence of free quarks. The asymptotic freedom property of QCD also provided a ready explanation of scaling [...].
One of the nice details lost in the big picture of the Higgs boson discovery of 2012 is that a significant part of the signal put in evidence by ATLAS and CMS is produced by a very special kind of interactions between the protons accelerated by the LHC. These are "vector boson fusion" processes, whereby it is not the protons or its constituents that come in direct contact, but rather, each proton emits a W boson, and it is the latter pair which fuse together, give rise to a Higgs particle.