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A Cool Rare Decay

By and large, particle physicists confronted with the need to awe and enthuse an audience of laypersons...

Move Over - The Talk I Will Not Give

Last week I was in Amsterdam, where I attended the first European AI for Fundamental Physics...

Shaping The Future Of AI For Fundamental Physics

From April 30 to May 3 more than 300 researchers in fundamental physics will gather in Amsterdam...

On Rating Universities

In a world where we live hostages of advertisement, where our email addresses and phone numbers...

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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 and the SWGO experiments. He is the president of the Read More »

When I explain to the public (in this blog, or at public conferences or schools) how the Large Hadron Collider operates, I have to gloss over a lot of detail that is unnecessary to grasp the important concepts, which enable other discussions on interesting subnuclear physics. This is good practice, and it also saves me from having to study details I have forgotten along the way - they say that what you are left with when you forget everything is culture, and I tend to agree. I have a good culture in particle physics and that's all I need to do some science popularization ;-)
As the twentythree regular readers of this blog know [(c) A.Manzoni], in recent times I have moved the main focus of my research to advanced applications of deep learning to fundamental science. That does not mean that I am not continuing to participate in the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider - that remains the main focus of my research; but it does mean that what remains of my brain functionalities is mostly invested in thinking about future applications of today's and tomorrow's computer science innovations. 
I was happy to meet Giorgio Bellettini at the Pisa Meeting on Advanced Detectors this week, and I thought I would write here a note about him. At 89 years of age Giorgio still has all his wits around him, and he is still as compelling and unstoppable as anybody who has met him will recall. It is a real pleasure to see that he still attends all sessions, always curious to hear the latest developments in detector design and performance. 

Two recent analyses by the CMS experiments stand out, in my opinion, for their suggestive results. They both produce evidence at the two-three sigmaish level of the signals they were after: this means that the probability of the observed data under the no-signal hypothesis is between a few percent and a one in a thousand, so nothing really unmistakable. But the origin of the observed effects are probably of opposite nature - one is a genuine signal that is slowly but surely sticking its head up as we improve our analysis techniques and collect more data, while the other is a fluctuation that we bumped into. 
The recent precise measurement of the W boson mass produced by the non-dead CDF collaboration last month continues to be at the focus of attention by the scientific community, for a good reason - if correct, the CDF measurement in and of itself would be the conclusive proof that our trust in the Standard Model of particle physics when producing predictions of particle phenomenology needs a significant overhaul. 
My attendance to the JENAS symposium in Madrid this week provided me with the opportunity to meet some of the senior colleagues who will influence the future development of technologies for fundamental research in the coming decade and more. Over coffee-break discussions, poster sessions, and social dinner I exploited the situation by stressing a few points which I have come to consider absolutely crucial for our field. 

Of course I am moved not only by caring for the progress of humanity but also by the fact that I would like the research plan I have put together in collaboration with a few colleagues to succeed... Ultimately, the two things are very well aligned though!