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"Extraordinary Claims, The 0.000029% Solution" And The 38 MeV Boson AT ICNFP 2014

Yesterday I gave a lecture at the 3rd International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics, which...

More On The Alleged WW Excess From The LHC

This is just a short update on the saga of the anomalous excess of W-boson-pair production that...

A Useful Approximation For The Tail Of A Gaussian

This is just a short post to report about a useful paper I found by preparing for a talk I will...

True And False Discoveries: How To Tell Them Apart

Many new particles and other new physics signals claimed in the last twenty years were later proven...

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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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The ATLAS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN's 8-TeV proton-proton collider now being recommissioned to run at the close-to-design energy of 13 TeV in 2015, has published a few days ago on the Cornell ArXiv the result of a search for Higgs bosons decaying to Zγ pairs.
A new paper by Davison Soper and Michael Spannowsky has been sent to the Cornell preprint ArXiv last week. It proposes a new technique to reconstruct the decay of heavy particles within hadronic jets, and shows how this can improve the sensitivity to heavy new particles by studying in particular the case of a heavy Z' boson decaying to boosted top quark pairs. I believe the technique is very interesting and I will try to give a few impressions of it here; before I do, let me introduce the topic for outsiders.
Yesterday I visited a high school in Treviso, a small centre in north-west Italy. The students of the last two years participate in a program called "masterclasses" which includes lessons on particle physics and astrophysics and a visit to the department of Physics in Padova, where they will be taught how to distinguish particle decays using real LHC data.
On January 25th 1996 the CDF collaboration submitted for publication to Physical Review Letters  the result of their measurement of the rate of jet production as a function of jet transverse energy, performed on 20 inverse picobarns of data collected by the experiment in the 1992-93 run of the Tevatron collider. That measurement deviated at its high-energy tail from predictions of quantum chromodynamics, suggesting that the underlying model -and most likely, the parton distribution functions (PDF) which describe the probability of finding partons with given fractions of their parent momentum- was at fault.
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.