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Guest Post: Alessandro De Angelis, Multi-Messenger Astrophysics

I am very happy to host here today an article by my INFN colleague Alessandro de Angelis, a well...

On Chance

What is chance? Or better, does the word "chance" really have an absolute meaning? I believe this...

For The Love Of The Internet, Stop Sharing Bullshit

There is very little I love more than the world wide web. No, seriously, I mean it. Internet...

Guest Post: Eleni Petrakou, A Model Of The Solar Cycle

[Eleni Petrakou, Ph.D., is a physicist and an independent researcher, besides being a longtime...

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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 »

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What is spectroscopy ? 
(A) the observation of ghosts by infrared visors or other optical devices
(B) the study of excited states of matter through observation of energy emissions

If you answered (A), you are probably using a lousy internet search engine; and btw, you are rather dumb. Ghosts do not exist. 

Otherwise you are welcome to read on. We are, in fact, about to discuss a cutting-edge spectroscopy measurement, performed by the CMS experiment using lots of proton-proton collisions by the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). 
ICHEP And Me

ICHEP And Me

Jul 04 2018 | comment(s)

The ICHEP conference opened today in Seoul. This is the most well-attended conference in particle physics around, with usually over 1000 participants. 
The week-long event dictates the deadline of particle physics and astrophysics experiments around, as every collaboration wants to show updated results of their searches and measurements in that venue, to have a share of the spotlights. This means that you can bet the month of June was a hectic one for ATLAS and CMS collaborators alike (but also those of LHCb and ALICE, just to mention the main four CERN endeavours). 
Happy Birthday Higgs boson! The discovery of the last fundamental particle of the Standard Model was announced exactly 6 years ago at CERN (well, plus one day, since I decided to postpone to July 5 the publication of this post...).

In the Standard Model, the theory of fundamental interactions among elementary particles which enshrines our current understanding of the subnuclear world,  particles that constitute matter are fermionic: they have a haif-integer value of a quantity we call spin; and particles that mediate interactions between those fermions, keeping them together and governing their behaviour, are bosonic: they have an integer value of spin. 

While preparing for another evening of observation of Jupiter's atmosphere with my faithful 16" dobsonian scope, I found out that the satellite Io will disappear behind the Jovian shadow tonight. This is a quite common phenomenon and not a very spectacular one, but still quite interesting to look forward to during a visual observation - the moon takes some time to fully disappear, so it is fun to follow the event.
This however got me thinking. A fully eclipsed jovian moon should still be able to reflect back some light picked up from the still lit other satellites - so it should not, after all, appear completely dark. Can a calculation be made of the effect ? Of course - and it's not that difficult.
Interna

Interna

Jun 10 2018 | comment(s)

Summer is coming, and with it some more intense than usual travel for me. I actually started last month, when my path touched Rome, Athens, La Londe Les Maures (a small town on the south French riviera), and Athens again. Since being away from home means also having a chance to meet people you would otherwise not get in touch with, I have decided to make public my travel plan this year, in the hope of crossing the path of friends or acquaintances. 
Simulation, noun:
1. Imitation or enactment
2. The act or process of pretending; feigning.
3. An assumption or imitation of a particular appearance or form; counterfeit; sham.

Well, high-energy physics is all about simulations. 

We have a theoretical model that predicts the outcome of the very energetic particle collisions we create in the core of our giant detectors, but we only have approximate descriptions of the inputs to the theoretical model, so we need simulations.