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One More Thing About The Myth Of The Desert

In the previous post I discussed, among other things, a purely empirical observation on the mass...

False Claims In Particle Physics

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Scientists Left Behind

As the well-informed readers will realize, I am hat-tipping Hank Campbell and the catchy title...

Choosing Models By Eye

Given the use that people do of Google searches nowadays, and the rather special nature of my usual...

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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 »

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]

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). 


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. 

While preparing for another evening of observation of Jupiter's atmosphere with my faithful 16" dobsonian scope, I found out that the satellite Io will disappear behind the Jovian shadow tonight. This is a quite common phenomenon and not a very spectacular one, but still quite interesting to look forward to during a visual observation - the moon takes some time to fully disappear, so it is fun to follow the event.
This however got me thinking. A fully eclipsed jovian moon should still be able to reflect back some light picked up from the still lit other satellites - so it should not, after all, appear completely dark. Can a calculation be made of the effect ? Of course - and it's not that difficult.