Update: CERN confirms that curtain will be raised at ICHEP on 4th July (see here for the official news).
In these days, at Moriond (La Thuile indeed, a great ski station) on Italian Alps, a conference is held (see here). Today is the Higgs day and people at Tevatron confirmed the clues found by CERN and announced last December. Higgs particle mass should be around 125 GeV. This has being reverberated on the media (see here). The evidence found at Tevatron is about two sigma (one percent probability that is not a fluctuation in the data) and so, one cannot claim a discovery and well below the three sigma evidence from CERN. For a final word we will have to wait summer conferences and new data from the restart of LHC at April.
Update: Here is Fermilab press release.
Update: Matt Strassler is pointing out in his blog that ATLAS has now a lower evidence for the Higgs particle than in last December. This seems something like the fluctuation of the last summer. Evidence for this would be now 10%.
Media all around the World are spreading the news. A defective apparatus at CERN caused so much ado. Back to Einstein again…
I am always happy to point out to my readers worthwhile readings from the web and mostly from significant sites. One of my preferred ones is New York Times. This time there is an interview by Claudia Dreifus to the great physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking is well-known for his fundamental contributions to cosmology and our current understanding of black hole physics positing the foundations to any future theory of quantum gravity. Hawking is also known for his enduring struggle against the motor neuron disease that afflicts him since the times of his youth. Notwithstanding such a hurdle he was able to find his way becoming one of the greatest living theoretical physicists. Hawking has been Lucasian Professor at Cambridge University and left the chair due to the age succeeded by Michael Green, a well-known string theorist.
Claudia in this interview gives relevance to Hawking’s disease and tries to give a picture on how Stephen was able to reach such high goals despite of this. It is also interesting to point out a couple of questions about LHC and the recent finding at Fermilab of a claim for a new particle discover (see here). All this makes the interview a worthwhile reading.
Criticisms to present management of science are recurrent claiming that only well-founded research is pursued while the search for new and risky avenues is generally dismissed as there is no revenue, at least in short time, and, in the worst case, any investment may be lost.
About this matter I have found an article on Physics World’s blog (see here). Of course, one can disagree about writer’s arguments but the feeling that we are livng a time of stall is somehow pervasive in some communities. My personal view is that we have recurring periods of hype and a lot of work for preparing them. In a period of hype giant figures emerge but to recognize giants that, nevertheless, prepared the field for the coming revolution era is surely more difficult. It is the same situation we find in soccer where there is a player doing a decisive pass but, in the end, we only remember the one that realized the goal.
Just to point out an interesting article in the New York Times (see here) about physicists working for financial markets. I have known some years ago a physicist that took this decision rather than keeping on living as a postdoc with very few bucks to maintain his family. I have never seen him again but I think he did not regret his choice.
The article is interesting as points out as a physicist working for certainties can become a scientist on uncertainties. Looking at their salaries you should interchange above adjectives.