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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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After the outbreak in China of the COVID-19 virus, Italy has fallen in the middle of the most acute sanitary emergency we ever experienced in a long while. And what's worse, other countries are sadly joining it. As I write this piece, over 15,000 Italians have tested positive to the virus, and over 1000 have already died. Based on very convincing analysis of data from China, we know that the real number of cases is higher by at least a factor 20, if not 100. In these conditions, individuals have to protect themselves and help reduce the spread of the virus with all possible means - most importantly, by staying home and cutting all social contacts.

A new long article which appeared on the arXiv preprint repository last week is sending ripples around the world of particle physics phenomenology, as its main result -if proven correct- will completely wipe off the table the one and only long-standing inconsistency of the Standard Model of particle physics, the one existing between theoretical and experimental estimates of the so-called anomalous magnetic moment of the muon.
Tomorrow morning the Cornell arXiv will publish the preprint of a long scientific article, the result of 4.5 months of painstaking work by yours truly. So I thought I would give you a preview of its contents. Of course, it will take more than a single post to do a good job - I guess I can describe the generalities here, and leave it to another time the plunging into technical details that may only be interesting to insiders.

First of all, what experiment are we talking about? It is called "MUonE", and it aims at measuring with the utmost precision the rate at which muons scatter elastically off electrons, as a function of the transferred energy of the scattering reaction. 

A few days ago I received from my esteemed colleague Massimo Passera, a theorist and an INFN director of research in the Padova section where I also work, a draft of a new article he produced with his colleagues Antonio Masiero and Paride Paradisi, which is relevant to my present interests. The paper discusses what new physics effects could be accessible by the precision measurement of elastic scattering of energetic muons off electrons, in a setup which is being considered at the CERN north area for the determination of the hadronic contribution to the effective electromagnetic coupling (the article has meanwhile being published in the arXiv).

The Tevatron collider, the giant marvel accelerator built at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the eighties and operated there for over thirty years, until its demise in 2012, lost one of its fathers the other day, as Alvin Tollestrup passed away.

Tollestrup was maybe the key contributor to the project of putting together a 1-TeV particle accelerator, solving many issues for the construction of its superconducting magnets. But he also was for a long time the spokesperson of the CDF experiment, and the driving force behind the collective effort that led CDF to see a first evidence of the top quark in 1994, and then claim discovery for the long sought sixth quark in 1995.

The ATLAS Collaboration has released last week the results of a careful analysis of a large dataset of proton-proton collisions acquired during Run 2 of the Large Hadron Collider. This is a measurement of CP violation effects in the system of B hadrons.

Although LHC and ATLAS are things that readers of Science20 may be acquainted with, I realize that the previous 14-word sentence contains already a mention of at least four unknown entities to 99.99% of non specialists, so I suspect I have to open a parenthesis already now.