Without going into details:
at 4.9 sigma confidence level (CMS)
at 5 sigma confidence level (ATLAS).
This is the discovery of a new fundamental particle. It is a boson and it’s spin is not equal to one.
You can also read the CMS press release at: http://cms.web.cern.ch/news/observation-new-particle-mass-125-gev
And the ATLAS press release at: http://atlas.ch/news/2012/latest-results-from-higgs-search.html
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
A good friend of mine, Sol Hill, is opening an exhibition of fine art photography tomorrow. Here is a sample from my e-mail inbox.
The exhibition is called:
Token Feminine and other Urban Noise.
You can find the information here.
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Sometimes life’s just too funny. I get stuff like this in my inbox from a site that stores old tests:
Why use a study guide when you can have the old
exam? Spend more time partying and less time studying.
Needless to say, when the site advertises things similar to “Why study the night before an exam when you can study on the day of the exam?” I wonder who buys this stuff. In the end it sounds like an invitation to cheat. Fortunately, most of the times this does not work, unless we professors get too lazy. This is when random number generators actually do a great job for science courses.
What is more dangerous nowadays is that people cheat by using the internet during exams even if they’re not allowed to. The problem is catching them. Fantastic tools like Wolfram Alpha can be used to remove the thinking out of a problem. Check this one (simple) example I just cooked:
The main problem is that at some point one actually needs to know if the student actually knows what a velocity really is. Or if the student can actually convert hours to seconds. In the end this is what certification of knowledge is about: we need to be able to certify that a student actually knows this stuff.
In the meantime, in the famous words of Garth and Wayne, party on.
Posted in Academia, Cheating | 2 Comments »
Last week was a week of endings.
First, the program I was organizing in the KITP ended. However, it is not all over: I’m in the coda, writing the exit report. In my opinion the program was successful, we had a lot of interactions and very interesting talks. And we will see what happens with the seeds that were planted a year or two down the line.
Secondly, I also finally had time to finish two books that I was reading. Surprisingly, I finished them on the same day.
Continue Reading »
Posted in Academia, books | 5 Comments »
Right now I’m in the midst of a program I helped to organize (and I’m still organizing) at the KITP. The program deals with the question of how to use numerical methods from lattice and gravity to make inroads into interesting (usually very hard) questions about quantum field theory (and quantum gravity) and the dynamics of the strong interactions at finite temperature (like in the heavy ion collisions).
We’ve had a lot of great talks about a wide variety of topics. Personally, I really liked the talk by Phillipe DeForcrand on the sign problem. The main reason I like it is because he had really simple examples that illustrate what the sign problem is all about. You can find it here.
And if you want to see what we’ve been hearing about, you can go here and see the full list of talks so far.
Posted in gravity, high energy physics, Physics, quantum fields, Quantum Gravity |
What keeps me up at night
Just so you know, I also have felt the biological urge to reproduce. What you see above is myself holding the newest addition to my family. It’s a boy!
In the language of physics this is definitely a phase transition in my lifestyle. And in spite of the warnings about how much work raising children is supposed to be, it is still more than what I imagined. Nevertheless, my wife and I are very happy. We are also very tired at the moment.
Finally, this new human explains some of the silence on this blog at the end of last year and more recently. Once sleep resumes I think I will be back to writing posts more often. I also hope to get some research done in the near future, but everything is taking 3-4 times as long than what it used to.
Posted in Personal | 8 Comments »