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Volunteer-Based Peer Review: A Success

A week ago I offered readers of this blog to review a paper I had just written, as its publication...

Extraordinary Claims: Review My Paper For $10

Bringing the concept of peer review to another dimension, I am offering you to read a review article...

A New Search For The A Boson With CMS

I am quite happy to report today that the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider has...

PhD Positions For Chinese Students in Padova

I am using my blog to advertise the opening of PhD positions in Padova University, to work at several...

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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 muon is a remarkable particle, and its characteristics continue to be of interest eighty years after its discovery despite the fact that we have measured them better than almost anything else around. So, for instance, the muon lifetime is known to better accuracy than that of any other unstable particle; and the muon anomalous magnetic moment remains at the top of our list of things to determine more precisely nowadays.
One and a half years ago ATLAS produced measurements for the Higgs boson mass using their selected sample of H->gamma gamma and H->ZZ*-> 4-lepton decay candidates, based on data collected in 2011 and 2012. That preliminary measurement was rather surprising as the two independent determinations appeared to disagree with one another at the 2.5-sigma level. The matter even spurred some online debate (see e.g. my blog entry) and a few gambling addicts waged $100 on the fact that those might be two distinct particle states.
With still three months to go and 663 teams participating, the Higgs challenge has not even entered a hot phase yet, and still there is a lot to watch in the leaderboard at the kaggle site.
In the last few days, there has been a total revolution in the leading position, and a considerable increase in the best scores. And Lubos Motl is again third (and he would be first if there had been no movement in the other positions), implicitly answering some detractors who wrote comments in a previous post on the matter here. See the standings below.

On my first day at the Erice School of Science Journalism this past week I attended a lecture by Alessio Cimarelli, who discussed "When Data Journalism meets Science: a "Hackathon"". The speaker (who owns the site called "dataninja") showed several examples of how to mine the web to construct databases and display results on several topics. It was quite interesting to see the techniques he used, but I felt compelled to interrupt him at some point, in the interest of the school participants.
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: