Paola Nicoletti's Artwork

Tormented water masses with distant horizons in flames. Multicoloured reflexions over living oceans...

Lucid Dreams: Exploring The Dark Side

No, this post is not about some exotic new physics model predicting dark photons or other useless...

Higgs Boson-Inspired Artwork By High-School Students

The "Art&Science" project is coming to the final phase as far as the activities in Venice are concerned...

Physics World's Review Of "Anomaly!"

A new review of my book, "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab"...

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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More »

Last December, when the ATLAS and CMS experiments gave two bacl-to-back talks at the end-of-the-year LHC "physics jamboree" in the CERN main auditorium, the whole world of particle physics was confronted with a new question nobody had seen coming: could a 750 GeV particle be there, decaying a sizable fraction of the time into pairs of energetic photons? What new physics could account for it? And how to search for an experimental confirmation in other channels or phenomena?

The text below is part of a chapter of "Anomaly!" which I eventually removed from the book, mainly due to the strict page limit set by my publisher. It is a chapter that discusses the preparations for Run 2 of the Fermilab Tevatron, which started in 2002 and lasted almost 10 years. There were many, many stories connected to the construction of the CDF II detector, and it is a real pity that they did not get included in the book. So at least I can offer some of them here for your entertainment... [A disclaimer: the text has not been proofread and is in its initial, uncorrected state.]

The first few copies of my new book, “Anomaly! – Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab” arrived this morning from Singapore.

The INFN exam for nuclear and subnuclear physicists, to select 58 new researchers, took place on September 19th (first test) and 20th (second test) in Rome. Two different locations for the two tests were set up as the number of candidates who enrolled in the selection were 720, a too large number to manage in a single location.
Yesterday I read with interest and curiosity some pages of a book on the search and discovery of the Higgs boson, which was published last March by Rizzoli (in Italian only, at least for the time being). The book, authored by physics professor and ex CMS spokesperson Guido Tonelli, is titled "La nascita imperfetta delle cose" ("The imperfect birth of things"). 
The 2012 measurements of the Higgs boson, performed by ATLAS and CMS on 7- and 8-TeV datasets collected during Run 1 of the LHC, were a giant triumph of fundamental physics, which conclusively showed the correctness of the theoretical explanation of electroweak symmetry breaking conceived in the 1960s.

The Higgs boson signals found by the experiments were strong and coherent enough to convince physicists as well as the general public, but at the same time the few small inconsistencies unavoidably present in any data sample, driven by statistical fluctuations, were a stimulus for fantasy interpretations. Supersymmetry enthusiasts, in particular, saw the 125 GeV boson as the first found of a set of five. SUSY in fact requires the presence of at least five such states.