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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 »

A comment in the thread under my recent post on the greedy bump bias stimulates me to provide here idiot-proof instructions on how to study the effect by yourself, if you wish to spend your time this way. In fact, if I provide you with a simple piece of code plus some fairly immediate instructions on how to set up ROOT in your own PC, I bet you can be up and checking biases in five minutes. Want to try ? Let's see.

  1. Go to the ROOT home page.
Here is the concluding part (for the first part see here) of a discussion of a few subtleties involved in the extraction of small new particle signals hiding within large backgrounds. This is a quite common problem arising in data analysis at particle physics experiments, but it is not restricted to that field. Quite on the contrary: narrow Gaussian signals are commonplace in many experimental sciences, and their identification and measurement is thus an issue of common interest.
Rita Levi-Montalcini, Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986, turns 100 years old today: she was born on April 22nd, 1909 -before World War I had begun!

"Ok," you might say, "she's probably bedridden and demented by now."  Not in the least. She is in full possession of all her wits, is a very active Senator, and has declared a few days ago that her brain works better now than it did when she was 20, because of her experience. I bet she is not kidding.
If you have recently given a close enough look at the search results that the CDF and DZERO experiments have been producing at a regular pace on the Higgs boson - every six months, that is: for summer and winter conferences - and your exposure to particle physics results is not broad enough, you might have gotten a biased perception of how searches for new particles are performed nowadays.
sierra leoneIn Sierra Leone mothers use caustic soda to home-make soap, and children often exchange it for water and drink it. During 2008 alone, 249 children have been admitted in the surgical pediatric unit of the Emergency center in Goderich, near Freetown - a number twice higher than that recorded in 2007.

Patients who ingested caustic soda are subjected to periodic esophageal dilatation, which is the only way to give them the hope of autonomous nutrition and thus a life.
My mailbox has an automated spam filter, but often some smarter messages seep through and end in there; since, however, I already receive hundreds of emails a day, I am not too happy to entertain myself with ones I do not need: so I have developed a sort of instinct to automatically ignore messages which are likely to be spam. Wrong!