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Highest Energy Collisions ? Not In My Book

Yesterday I posed a question - Are the first collisions recorded by the LHC running at 13 TeV the...

Bang !! 13 TeV - The Highest Energy Ever Achieved By Mankind ?!

The LHC has finally started to produce 13-TeV proton-proton collisions! The picture below shows...

EU Grants Submitted And Won: Some Statistics

The European Union has released some data on the latest call for applications for ITN grants. These...

The Challenges Of Scientific Publishing: A Conference By Elsevier

I spent the last weekend in Berlin, attending a conference for editors organized by Elsevier. And...

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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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Alas, for once I must say I am not completely happy of one new result by the CDF collaboration - the experiment to which I devoted 18 years of my research time, and where I learned almost everything I know about experimental particle physics.
The latest paper by the ATLAS Collaboration is a very detailed report of the search for Higgs boson decays to W boson pairs in Run 1 data. The H->WW* process contributes significantly to the total bounty of Higgs boson candidates that the two CERN experiments have been able to collect in the 2011 7-TeV and 2012 8-TeV proton-proton collisions, but the presence of neutrinos in the final state prevents the clean reconstruction of an invariant mass peak, hence the WW* final state has remained a bit "in the shadows" with respect to the cherished ZZ* and gamma-gamma final states.
Travel Blog

Travel Blog

Dec 11 2014 | 0 comment(s)

While I do intend to update this blog today or tomorrow with a report on a nice new measurement, my blogging activities have generally slowed down a bit this week, as I am traveling. On Monday I flew from Venice to Paris and then to Miami (in a brand new A380 - that was the first time for me on that giant plane). On the next day I flew to Cancun, and then headed to Playa del Carmen where I am currently staying. 
Great - after posting a blog on alpha_strong and the new CMS measurement of its value yesterday, today I am leaving for the US. My internet connection is going to be shaky during my trip, and right now I am living on the free airport wifi in Paris, waiting to board on my flight. But fortunately, I don't need to worry about answering the comments I receive to that post  - in fact the two main commenters, Vladimir and John, are answering each other well enough that I do not need to intervene...
One of the funniest misnomers in particle physics is the naming of coupling strength parameters of the fundamental interactions as "constants".

We speak of a fine structure constant (alpha) to address one of the most important parameters of electromagnetism; and we call "strong coupling constant" the coupling strength parameter alpha_s of QCD. But these are not constants at all! In fact, they are parameters that show a quite distinct dependence on the energy of subatomic processes.
Diet Is Over

Diet Is Over

Dec 04 2014 | 13 comment(s)

Four months ago I started a diet, as my weight had gone above my comfort zone (77kg, when my optimal weight is of about 70kg). I basically implemented a regime (which has worked in the past) of about 1300 calories a day, cutting mostly on extras (desserts, snacks, alcohol) and bread, and just eating a bit less of everything.