Saturday, 31 October 2015

Friday wrap-up: Chinese collider...

Not too much happening lately, or perhaps I have been keeping too busy with other things? Either way, we had a week away; so here's some news from the last two weeks.

  • A number of articles appeared yesterday saying that state-run Chinese media is reporting (as has been brewing for a while now) China will begin building the next supercollider in 2020. Here's hoping they carry through with it! As well this week, Phase II (prototyping) of the HL-LHC project has begun.
  • Ending with some visual delights, here is François Moncarey’s projection mapping work which opened TEDxCERN:

  • A few days ago the Cassini spacecraft performed its deepest ever dive through the southern plumes of Saturn's moon Enceladus (and returned some incredible images).

Friday, 16 October 2015

Friday wrap-up: Marcy...

Wherein I list some (mostly) recent happenings, ramble a bit, and provide links, in an order roughly determined by importance and relevance to particle physics. Views are my own. Content very definitely skewed by my own leanings and by papers getting coverage, and it may not even be correct. It is a blog after all...

  • Geoff Marcy resigned from the Berkeley astronomy department after it was found he sexually harassed students (and after the majority of the department signed this letter); see the NY Times article here (who themselves were accused in an open letter of taking an empathetic stance in an earlier article). See also Ethan Siegel and links therein.
  • CosPA 2015 (indico) was on this week.
  • APS gave out some prizes: a new award, the APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research went to Ed Witten, and the J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics went to Peter Lepage.
  • NASA released high resolution Apollo 11 photographs on flickr not too long ago. Planetary Society made a great video out of them:

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Friday wrap-up: neutrino Nobel Prize...

Wherein I list some (mostly) recent happenings, ramble a bit, and provide links, in an order roughly determined by importance and relevance to particle physics. Views are my own. Content very definitely skewed by my own leanings and by papers getting coverage, and it may not even be correct. It is a blog after all...


  • The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 was awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass." See the plethora of articles already online: Nobel Prize site, APS, CERN, symmetry, ConversationNew Yorker, Forbes...


  • TEDxCERN (rulebreakers and visionaries) was on Friday; find the videos here.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Friday wrap-up: 1/fb, various links...

Wherein I list some (mostly) recent happenings, ramble a bit, and provide links, in an order roughly determined by importance and relevance to particle physics. Views are my own. Content very definitely skewed by my own leanings and by papers getting coverage, and it may not even be correct. It is a blog after all...

  • A huge amount of data was accumulated this week. ATLAS surpassed 1/fb of integrated luminosity, and at the time of this writing is sitting at >1.4/fb!


  • A rumour emerged last weekend of gravitational wave discovery at LIGO; there's a nature column claiming it is unlikely and/or just a drill.
  • The Quark Matter 2015 conference (indico; hashtag) was on this week.
  • The CMS Experiment has a new outreach initiative: CMS Voices on twitter, with a new CMS physicist every month.
  • Links without thinks:
    • Wall Street Journal: "China's Great Scientific Leap Forward," an opinion piece from Gross and Witten [behind a paywall but for me is accessible via a Google search].
    • Life and Physics by Jon Butterworth: "Fermilab's giant magnet begins its journey into the quantum badlands," on the muon $g-2$ experiment which began this week at Fermilab.
    • Nautilus: "The Trouble with Theories of Everything," from Lawrence Krauss.
    • Backreaction has been busy: "No, Loop Quantum Gravity has not been shown to violate the Holographic Principle," and "When string theorists are out of luck, will Loop Quantum Gravity come to rescue?"
    • Terence Tao has submitted a solution to the Erdős discrepancy problem, motivated by a suggestive comment on his blog; see articles at nature news, and Quanta.
  • In audio/video media:
  • Myriad awesome images emerged from NASA this week of "recurring slope lineae" on Mars, hypothesised to be formed by the flow of briny liquid water. See Emily Lakdawalla's blog for a scientist's take.