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  • richardmitnick 12:56 pm on February 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Seth Zenz at Quantum Diaries: “Can the LHC Run Too Well?” 

    seth
    Seth Zenz

    “For CMS data analysis, winter is a time of multitasking. On the one hand, we are rushing to finish our analyses for the winter conferences in February and March, or to finalize the papers on analyses we presented in December. On the other, we are working to prepare to take data in 2012. Although the final decisions about the LHC running conditions for 2012 haven’t been made yet, we have to be prepared both for an increase in beam energy and an increase in luminosity. For example, the energy might go to 8 TeV center-of-mass, up from last year’s 7. That will make all our events a little more exciting. But it’s the luminosity that determines how many events we get, and thus how much physics we can do in a year. For example, if the Higgs boson exists, the number of Higgs-like events we’ll see will go up, and so will the statistical power with which we can claim to have observed it. If the hints we saw at 125 GeV in December are right, our ability to be sure of its existence this year depends on collecting several times more events in 2012 than we got in 2011.

    But we expect that the LHC will do better, starting close to last year’s peak, and then pushing to ever-higher luminosities. The worst-case we are preparing for is perhaps twice as much luminosity as we had at the end of last year.

    But wait, why did I say “worst-case”?

    Well, actually, it will give us the most interesting events we can get and the best shot at officially finding the Higgs this year. But increased luminosity also gives more events in every bunch crossing, most of which are boring, and most of which get in the way. This makes it a real challenge to prepare for 2012 if you’re working on the trigger, because have to sift quickly through events with more and more extra stuff (called “pileup”). As it happens, that’s exactly what I’m working on.”

    Very interesting. See the full post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 1:55 pm on January 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From CERN at Quantum Diaries – Rolf Heuer: “Mastering complexity” 

    rh
    Rolf Heuer

    Rolf Heuer tells us:

    “I have just returned from an interesting few days at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, where my main message was that science needs to be far higher up the political and business agenda than it is today. This is only the second year I’ve participated, but I have the impression that this message is being heard: one of the things I raised this year is the importance of linking the scientific content of the meeting more closely with the political thread, and I’ll be taking that forward with the Forum before next year’s Davos meeting.

    Science is complex. There’s no getting around that. But it’s essential that everyone engage constructively with it. That’s particularly true of the political and business leaders in Davos, whose decisions on science-based subjects can influence everything from the well being of our children to the future of the planet. It’s vital that those decisions are taken from an informed position and on rational grounds.

    The challenge that science faces is that we live in a world where it’s de rigueur to know your Shakespeare, Molière or Goethe, but quite all right to be proudly ignorant of Faraday, Pasteur or Einstein. It hasn’t always been that way, and it doesn’t have to be that way. But right now, there’s a trend in society towards scientific apathy, and even antagonism. This is dangerous for us all and it’s incumbent on the scientific community to address the issue.”

    See the full very interesting and important post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 3:29 pm on January 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Byron Jennings of TRIUMF at Quantum Diaries: “The Role of the Individual in Science and Religion” 

    bj
    Byron Jennings

    “Lady Hope (1842 – 1922)[1] in 1915 published a claim that Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) on his death bed had recanted his views on evolution and God. This story published thirty-three years after Darwin’s death was strongly denied by his family but has made the rounds of various creationist publications and web sites to this day. Now my question is: Why would anyone care? It may be of interest to historians but nothing Darwin wrote, said, or did has any consequences for evolution today. The theory itself and the evidence supporting it have moved far beyond Darwin. But this story does serve to highlight the different role of individuals in science as compared to religion or even philosophy.

    I have always considered it strange that philosophy places such importance on reading the works of long dead people—Aristotle, Descartes, etc. In science, Newton’s ideas trumped those of both Aristotle and Descartes, yet very few scientists today read Newton’s works. His ideas have been taken, clarified, reworked, and simplified. The same thing applies to the scientific writings of other great and long dead scientists. Nothing is gained by going to the older sources. Science advances and the older writings lose their pedagogical value. This is because in science, the ultimate authority is not a person, but observation.”

    Byron strikes again!! A fabulous article. Read the whole article here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 3:16 pm on January 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Quantum Diaries: MICHAEL DUVERNOIS on “The Largest Neutrino Collector 

    md
    MICHAEL DUVERNOIS

    “So what is the largest neutrino detector in the world? This discussion came up in regards to a very nice little educational video on YouTube that mentions the ANITA experiment:

    What is a neutrino?” on YouTube

    (these minutephysics pieces are quite good!)

    So, ANITA is the balloon-borne experiment mentioned in the video and of which I am a collaborator. But folks at IceCube claim that’s the world’s largest neutrino detector. And that’s a project I also work on. Furthermore, I was just at the South Pole working on a new neutrino detector called ARA (the Askaryan Radio Array) which has been mentioned as the largest neutrino detector in the world, even when only partially constructed. (See arxiv for a good ARA summary.)

    So what’s the truth? Well, as in so many different endeavors, it comes down to the definition of largest. Or largest in what sense.”

    See Michael’s full post here.And, please visit the links that he has provided for your greater edification.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 9:02 am on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    A New Blogger at Quantum Diaries: MICHAEL DUVERNOIS | ICECUBE RESEARCH CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN | USA 

    ScienceSprings welcomes Michael Duvernois.

    md
    MichaelDuVernois

    Greetings from the South Pole

    As a new Quantum Diarist, I wanted to introduce myself and my research work. And say hello from the bottom of the world. I am at the South Pole Station working on a new neutrino experiment called ARA, the Askaryan Radio Array.

    This project is a second generation effort to look at the the highest-energy (GZK) neutrinos using radio detection of the coherent (Askaryan) emission from showers in dense materials. We’re building at the South Pole to take advantage of the largest block of dense, radio-transparent media on Earth, the 3km thick ice sheet that covers the continent. This is my second summer season at Pole working on ARA, last year we installed an engineering detector that has operated quite successfully throughout the year and now we’re installing the first production detector station. Ultimately we’re aiming for a detector array covering about 100 square kilometers with the antennas capable of detecting signals down to the bedrock below. A truly large detector. It’s much larger, but optimized for higher-energy events, than the IceCube detector completed last summer season at the Pole.”

    So, Michael is giving us a view of another work project devoted to the research on neutrinos.

    Please see the full very interesting post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 4:31 pm on December 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Byron Jennings, TRIUMF via Quantum Diaries: “Can Science Answer the ‘Why’ Question?” 

    Byron Jennings is one of the finest and most thoughtful writers we have.

    i1
    Byron Jennings

    “The development of science is often portrayed as a conflict between science and religion, between the natural and the supernatural. But it was equally, if not more so, a conflict with Aristotelian concepts: a change from Aristotle’s emphasis on why to a dominant role for how. To become the mainstream, science had to overcome resistance, first and foremost, from the academic establishment and only secondarily from the church. The former, represented by the disciples of Aristotle and the scholastic tradition, was at least as vociferous in condemning Galileo as the latter. Galileo, starting from when he was a student and for most of his career, was in conflict with the natural philosophers. (I decline to call them scientists.) His conflict with the church was mostly towards the end of his career, after he was fifty and more seriously when he was nearing seventy. The church itself even relied on the opinions of the natural philosophers to justify condemning the idea the earth moved. In the end science and Galileo’s successors won out and Aristotle’s natural philosophy was vanquished: the stationary earth, the perfect heavens (circular planetary orbits and perfectly spherical planets), nature abhorring a vacuum, the prime mover and so on. For most of these it is so long and good riddance. So why do philosophers still spend so much time studying Aristotle? I really don’t know.”

    See Byron’s full post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 4:58 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From James Gillies, CERN, via Quantum Diaries: “Evolution or revolution? The search for the Higgs boson puts particle physics on the threshold of a new era” 

    James Gillies
    December 13th, 2011

    “Discovering the Higgs particle at the LHC would be a triumph, but showing that it doesn’t exist could be at least as exciting, perhaps heralding a revolution in our understanding of nature at a fundamental level. After two good years of operation at the LHC, the moment of truth is drawing near. By the end of the 2012 LHC run at the latest, we’ll know whether the simplest incarnation of the Higgs particle is real, or just a chimera. Whatever the case, many more years of research at the LHC will be needed to fully get to grips with the consequences.

    Whatever form the Higgs particle takes, or whatever mechanism drives the differences in fundamental particle masses, finding it is not a simple case of spotting the telltale signs and shouting Eureka! It is a painstaking process of statistical analyses based on measuring specific configurations of particles emerging from collisions.”

    See the full post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 2:37 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Quantum Diaries,   

    From Tona Kunz, Fermilab, via Quantum Diaries: “Fermilab hot on trail of Higgs boson with LHC, Tevatron” 

    Tona Kunz
    December 13th, 2011

    “Today physicists at CERN on the CMS and ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider announced an update on their search for the Higgs boson. That may make you wonder ( I hope) what is Fermilab’s role in this. Well, glad you asked.

    Fermilab supports the 1,000 US LHC scientists and engineers by providing office and meeting space as well as the Remote Operation Center. Fermilab helped design the CMS detector, a portion of the LHC accelerator and is working on upgrades for both. About one-third of the members of each of the Tevatron’s experiments, CDF and DZero, are also members of the LHC experiments.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 9:32 pm on December 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From BYRON JENNINGS, TRIUMF, at Quantum Diaries: “The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Evolution” 

    bj
    Byron Jennings

    “There are some things in science that are just so complicated that they cannot be explained to the uninitiated—things like quantum mechanics, the second law of thermodynamics, how a geek thinks, etc. To understand these things, it takes years of sleeping though dull lectures and late nights carous…. Oops, let’s start that again. It takes years of sitting in rapt attention at scintillating lectures, late nights studying (I have it right this time) and the secret initiation ritess. Don’t forget the secret initiation rites. But in this post, I am going to attempt the impossible and explain the second law of thermodynamics in a way that can be understood by the uninitiated. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread and all that. Now the second law is so complicated that there are several alternate but equivalent formulations….”

    Read Byron’s terrific post here. One word I did recognize, entropy.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
  • richardmitnick 12:47 pm on December 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Quantum Diaries,   

    From Byron Jenning of Triumf at Quantum Diaries: “The Trouble with Particle Physics” 

    bj

    “What is the current trouble with particle physics? That’s an easy one: a paucity of new experimental results that challenge the status quo. In contrast, in the past twenty years, cosmology has surged ahead, fueled by the new results from COBE, WMAP, Hubble, and other novel devices. Yet that field may now also be reaching the point of diminishing returns. Without new experimental results any field stagnates. But before addressing this in more detail let’s look at some other suggested problems with particle physics.” Which Byron does quite well.

    See the full post here.

    Participants in Quantum Diaries:

    Fermilab

    Triumf

    US/LHC Blog


    CERN

    Brookhaven Lab

    KEK

     
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