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Apologizing for a hiatus due to vacations, I am posting today a tentative logo of the Marie-Curie...

In Memory Of David Cline

I was saddened today to hear of the death of David Cline. I do not have much to say here - I am...

Early-Stage Researcher Positions To Open Soon

The Marie-Curie network I am coordinating, AMVA4NewPhysics, is going to start very soon, and with...

Seeing Jupiter In Daylight

Have you ever seen Venus in full daylight ? It's a fun experience. Of course we are accustomed...

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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 publishing giant Elsevier is about to launch a new journal, Reviews in Physics. This will be a fully open-access, peer-reviewed journal which aims at providing short reviews (15 pages maximum) on physics topics at the forefront of research. The web page of the journal is here, and a screenshot is shown below.

The CMS collaboration has released yesterday results of a search for Majorana neutrinos in dimuon data collected by the CMS detector in 8 TeV proton-proton collisions delivered by the LHC in 2012. If you are short of time and just need an executive summary, here it is: no such thing is seen, unfortunately, and limits are set on the production rate of heavy neutrinos N as a function of their mass. If you have five spare minutes, however, you might be interested in some more detail of the search and its results.
A periodic backup of my mobile phone yesterday - mainly pictures and videos - was the occasion to give a look back at things I did and places I visited in 2014, for business and leisure. I thought it would be fun to share some of those pictures with you, with sparse comments. I know, Facebook does this for you automatically, but what does Facebook know of what is meaningful and what isn't ? So here we go.
The first pic was taken at Beaubourg, in Paris - it is a sculpture I absolutely love: "The king plays with the queen" by Max Ernst.



Still in Paris (for a vacation at the beginning of January), the grandiose interior of the Opera de Paris...
This morning I woke up at 6AM, had a shower and breakfast, dressed up, and rushed out in the cold of the fading night to catch a train to Mestre, where my car was parked. From there I drove due north for two hours, to a place in the mountains called Pieve di Cadore. A comfortable ride in normal weather, but this morning the weather was horrible, with an insisting water bombing from above which slowly turned to heavy sleet as I gained altitude. The drive was very unnerving as my car is old and not well equipped for these winter conditions - hydroplaning was frequent. But I made it.
The CMS Collaboration at the LHC collider has recently measured a non-negligible rate for the fraction of Higgs boson decays into muon-tau pairs, as I reported in this article last summer. The observation is not statistically significant enough to cause an earthquake in the world of high-energy physics, and sceptics like myself just raised a gram of eyebrows at the announcement - oh yeah, just another 2-sigma effect. However, the matter becomes more interesting if there is a theoretical model which allows for the observed effect, AND if the model is not entirely crazy.
A comet is a magical sight in the heavens. Comets visible to the naked eye are a uncommon event, and sometimes they put up very suggestive shows in our skies. Those of us who have witnessed the apparition of a bright comet do not forget that experience easily. 
The recent landing on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko of the Rosetta spacecraft has made even more fascinating the observation of comets from the ground, as we got treated by close-ups of the comet surface that resemble mountainous terrains on Earth. Imagining a rock streaming in the sky, coming nearby after a long trip from the Oort cloud, and maybe returning sometimes in the future, or maybe getting lost forever, is truly remarkable.