Timeline of a discovery

The ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC have produced an animated GIF showing how their signal for the Higgs boson built up as they gathered data.

There are a couple of different ones, for different decay modes — basically, the signal that they use to identify the Higgs

Find them here:
ATLAS: Higgs -> Two photons: http://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/pub/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults//Hgg-FixedScale-Short2.gif
ATLAS: Higgs -> Four Leptons http://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/pub/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults//4l-FixedScale-NoMuProf2.gif
ATLAS: Higgs -> Two WW: https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/pub/AtlasPublic/HiggsPublicResults//WW-FixedScale.gif

CMS: Higgs -> Four Leptons http://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/pub/CMSPublic/Hig13002TWiki/HZZ4l_animated.gif

They’re nice to look at no? I’ll explain what they’re showing in a later post

Discovered at Tommaso Dorigo’s blog


The mysterious size of the proton

One of the stories to come out of atomic physics in the first part of this year that grabbed my attention was the continuing saga of the puzzle of the proton size. I really find this interesting because it shows that there are still surprises waiting for us in physics, even when we’ve though that we’ve understood everything as well as possible. Read on for a description of the experiment and what’s going on.

Continue reading

Downloading Dreamspark Microsoft Windows on Ubuntu

Dreamspark is Microsoft’s name for providing discounts to educational and research institutions, like schools and universities. At my institution (and I don’t know how many others), we have access to Windows, Word, etc… through onthehub.com. As a big open-source fan, I usually run Ubuntu on my laptop and desktop, but occasionally need to use Windows-only applications for work. My usual solution to this is to use VMWare or Virtualbox to run Windows without having the mess of dual-booting. Continue reading

Invisible authorship

We’ve all probably had uncomfortable, just-no-good answer exists, long discussions about who gets to be an author on a paper. I know that I have.

Do students, do engineers, do people helped build the apparatus but left three months before the data was taken…?

That’s why a retraction in Environmental Microbiology has me really scratching my head… “Additionally, the authors were unable to identify Javier Grande”. Really?

As a side note, this reminds me of the Nobel Laureate who co-authored a paper with his pet hamster. But at least the hamster exists.

(Originally found on Retraction Watch)