When you collide particles made up of quarks and gluons, such as the protons accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, you mostly expect particles made of quarks and gluons to emerge. That is because quarks and gluons most of the times interact by the strong interaction, which is itself mediated by the exchange of gluons; and the strong interaction knows nothing about all the other matter and interaction fields.
So how do you get energetic electrons, muons, photons, and weak bosons from a LHC collision? Well, the electroweak interaction which may produce these particles does play in, but its contribution is, er, weaker, by definition.
Gimme all 'em leptons!
In the ancient past, when a good portion of blog followers were interested in the writers' lives more than in actual content, I used to write a lot more about private issues here. I don't do that so often any more mainly because I think the interest of readers has shifted - or better, the composition of readers has changed. But I am not less keen to discuss private issues today than I was ten years ago. Privacy is not among the priorities of a blogger true to him- or herself anyway, at least from my point of view.
So, what am I up to these days? I thought I could give you some update. Maybe in one of my future posts I will also summarize the various research activities I am engaged in as of late, but let's keep this out of today's post.
Today I am giving the opening speech at a workshop with the same title of this post. The workshop takes place at the Center for Particle Physics and Phenomenology of Université catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, and it is in a mixed formula - we will have 33 in-person attendees and 72 more attending by videolink.
The workshop is organized by the MODE collaboration, which I lead. It is a small group of physicists and computer scientists from 10 institutions in Europe and America, who have realized how today's deep learning technology allows us to raise the bar of our optimization tasks - we are now targeting the full optimization of the design of some of the most complex instruments ever built by humankind, particle detectors.
In a recent post
I discussed how even the simplest kind of data display graph - the histogram - can sometimes confuse and be misinterpreted. Which is a total howler, as graphs are supposedly means of clarification and immediate, at-a-glance, interpretation of data summaries.
Time and again, I get surprised by observing how scientific graphs meant to provide summarized, easy-to-access information get misunderstood, misinterpreted, or plainly ignored by otherwise well-read (mis-)users. It really aches me to see how what should be the bridge over the knowledge gap between scientists and the general public becomes yet another hurdle.