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A Capella Science At CERN

Do you know the works of Tim Blais, the guy behind "A Capella Science"? I sincerely hope you do...

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...

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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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Playing chess games flawlessly is a super-human endeavour, which even machines are still having a hard time achieving. However, the occasional flawless game does arise in human practice, albeit rarely. Usually it is a grandmaster who pulls it off. The absence of sub-optimal moves can be ascertained by extensive computer analysis these days, so the quality of the moves is not in question. 
Academics direly need objective, meaningful metrics to judge the impact their publications have on their field of expertise. Nowadays any regular Joe will be able to show many authored papers in their CV, and it will be impossible to objectively assess the relative merits of each and every one of them, if you are trying to rank Joe in a list of candidates for tenure, or just a research job at a University. 
CERN has equipped itself with an inter-experimental working group on Machine Learning since a couple of years. Besides organizing monthly meetings and other activities fostering the dissemination of knowledge and active research on the topic, the group holds a yearly meeting at CERN where along with interesting presentations on advances and summaries, there are tutorials to teach participants the use of the fast-growing arsenal of tools that any machine-learning enthusiast these days should master.
These days the use of machine learning is exploding, as problems which can be solved more effectively with it are ubiquitous, and the construction of deep neural networks or similar advanced tools is at reach of sixth graders.  So it is not surprising to see theoretical physicists joining the fun. If you think that the work of a particle theorist is too abstract to benefit from ML applications, you better think again. 

While spending a few vacation days on a trip around central Italy I made a stop in a place in the Appennini mountains, to visit some incredible caves. The caves of Frasassi were discovered in September 1971 by a few young speleologists, who had been tipped off by locals about the existence, atop a mountain near their village, of a hole in the ground, which emitted a strong draft wind - the unmistakable sign of underground hollows.

Yesterday's seminar at CERN by Giuseppe Ruggiero unveiled the preliminary results of a search for the rare decay of charged kaon into a pion and a neutrino-antineutrino pair, performed by the CERN NA62 experiment. The result in truth had been already shown a couple of weeks before at the Moriond conference, so it's no news - or if you prefer, it's two nu's - as indeed (spoiler alert) one such event was observed, with two neutrinos inferred from it.