Experimental physics is about investigating the world in a quantitative manner, by exploiting our technology to carefully map the wealth of phenomena that make planets turn around stars, atoms stick together, and hearts to beat. All of that can be understood by creating models of the underlying physics processes. These models need to be fed with input parameters which we must measure.
On July 6th, at 7PM CET (1PM in NY, 10AM in California) I will be chatting online with David Orban
on his show Searching For The Question Live
(#sftql) about the present and future of particle physics, artificial intelligence and its applications to research, science communication, and the whereabouts. I hope you will be joining us
, it should be fun!
For those of you who do not know who David Orban is:
It is not a secret that I love chess, and that whenever I have the chance to play some online blitz -in the absence of better competitions or tournaments- I plunge happily into it. However, my results vary, as sometimes my mind cannot be taken away from the program that won't run or this or that administrative forms still waiting to be filled.
I did not think I would need to explain here things that should be obvious to any sentient being, but the recent activity I detect on Facebook and other sites, and the misinformation spread by some science popularization sources and bloggers around the conclusions reached last week by the European Strategy Update for Particle Physics (EUSUPP), a 2-year-long process that saw the participation of hundreds of scientists and the heavy involvement of some of our leading thinkers, forced me to change my mind.
Fundamental science works by alternating phases of interpretation and refutation. When interpreting the result of experiments, physicists spend their time sweating shirt after shirt in the attempt of formulating economical and coherent explanations of observed phenomena. If the process converges, they formulate a theory which works well, whereby they celebrate for a little while. Then a second phase starts, when hypotheses are formulated on how to refute the shiny new model, finding effects and observatons that do not fit in the formulated framework. And so on.
For the past 11 years I have blogged for Science2.0 (formerly Scientific Blogging), and I have considered this site my true personal web page, too - the articles I have published here for over a decade are a much better representation of who I am, what I do, and of my personal expertise than anything else I can ever think of putting together in a web site.