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Guest Post: A. Kowacs, "Is There A Simpler Perspective On Some Fundamental Laws Of Physics?"

Andras Kovacs studied Physics at Columbia University. He currently works as CTO of BroadBit Batteries...

Artificial Intelligence In Hamburg

Are you going to be in the Hamburg (Germany) area on July 7th? Then mark the date! The AMVA4NewPhysics...

The Plot Of The Week - Higgs Bosons Hiding Inside Jets

Particle physicists call "jet" the combined effect of many particles produced together when an...

The Plot Of The Week - Detecting Dark Matter With Brownian Motion

I am reading a fun paper today, while traveling back home. I spent the past three days at CERN...

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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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On Chance

On Chance

Jul 31 2018 | comment(s)

What is chance? Or better, does the word "chance" really have an absolute meaning? I believe this is not an idle question. We tend to use that word to describe phenomena which we cannot trace back to an explanatory cause by a cause-effect relation. But words are important: labeling an event as due to chance has a direct impact on our perception of reality, as the statement that something "happened by chance" constitutes a final verdict, which labels the event as something not liable to be scrutinized in more depth.
There is very little I love more than the world wide web. No, seriously, I mean it.

Internet has changed my life more than any other "thing" around, and it has provided me with an enormous wealth - information, knowledge, simplification of otherwise difficult tasks, ease of access to data, solution to problems, connection with people all over the world, possibility to broadcast and publish. And entertainment, online gaming, music, videos, free porn, free movies, paid movies. I could go on, of course.
[Eleni Petrakou, Ph.D., is a physicist and an independent researcher, besides being a longtime follower of this blog. She now has a newsletter of her own; it is high S/N stuff - check it out here. After a past collaboration with the CMS experiment, she has recently become intrigued with the dynamics of the Sun, and she developed a model to try and predict the solar cycle, a 11-year variation of the activity of sunspots and solar flares whose origin is still debated. I asked her to describe the matter for this blog, and the text below is the result - TD]


DESCRIBING THE SOLAR CYCLE
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.