Archive for January, 2012

Not too long ago we discussed this paper on one of our informal seminars. The paper is called “The eighteen arbitrary parameters of the standard model in your everyday life” by R. N. Cahn, and the paper dates back to 1996. It is an RMP colloquia paper.

I think it still reads great and it explains what are the mysteries of particle physics and how making small changes in the Standard Model could lead to completely different physics.

Well, in those days there were only 18 parameters in the standard model. Now that we have neutrino masses there are a couple more. Because of this,  by many standards, this is considered prehistory. On the other hand, one can take this as a benchmark to calibrate  all the accomplishments of particle physics experiments since then.

What I like about the paper is that in some sense it gives a feeling for how non-generic the parameters of the standard model are.



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What’s in a picture


Today’s guessing game is:

What is this a picture of?


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Happy new year!

Well, I guess it is 2012. 2011 just went by in a blink.

I expect 2012 should be the year for the discovery of the Hicks Bison. That was how it was pronounced by someone at a New Years eve party that I attended.

On another note, the weather is good where I’m at, the world hasn’t ended and quantum mechanics has not been disproved over the holidays.

I also made a resolution to write a few more posts here this year than last year. We’ll see how long I keep that resolution.

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