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How long until it's interesting?

Last night, for the first time, the LHC collided particles at the center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. Routine collisions should follow early in June. The plan is to collect 5-10 inverse femtobarn (fb-1) of data before winter comes, adding to the 25 fb-1 from Run-1. Show More Summary

So the equations are not…

Working on rough layouts of one of the stories for the book. One rough panel ended up not looking so rough, and after Monday's ink dalliances I was itching to fiddle with brushes again, and then I thought I'd share. So... slightly less rough, shall we say? A more careful version would point the eyes a bit better, for example... Show More Summary

LHC achieves record-energy collisions

The Large Hadron Collider broke its own record again in 13-trillion-electronvolt test collisions. Today engineers at the Large Hadron Collider successfully collided several tightly packed bunches of particles at 13 trillion electronvolts. Show More Summary

Breaking Boards

One of the highlights of teaching introductory mechanics is always the “karate board” lab, which I start off by punching through a wooden board. That gets the class’s attention, and then we have them hang weights on boards and measure the deflection in response to a known force. This confirms that the board behaves like…

Small teams, big dreams

A small group of determined scientists can make big contributions to physics. Particle physics is the realm of billion-dollar machines and teams of thousands of scientists, all working together to explore the smallest components of the...Show More Summary

On Toys in Science

The big social media blow-up of the weekend was, at least on the science-y side of things, the whole “boys with toys” thing, stemming from this NPR interview, which prompted the #GirlsWithToys hashtag in response. I’m not sorry to have missed most of the original arguments while doing stuff with the kids, but the hashtag…

Ready for the day…

I have prepared the Tools of the Office of Dad: -cvj At least until lunchtime. Then, another set to prep... Click to continue reading this post ?

‘t Hooft on Scale Invariance…

Worth a read: This is 't Hooft's summary (link is a pdf) of a very interesting idea/suggestion about scale invariance and its possible role in finding an answer to a number of puzzles in physics. (It is quite short, but think I'll need...Show More Summary

Looking to the heavens for neutrino masses

Scientists are using studies of the skies to solve a neutrino mystery. Neutrinos may be the lightest of all the particles with mass, weighing in at a tiny fraction of the mass of an electron. And yet, because they are so abundant, they...Show More Summary

Quick Experiment…

On my way back from commencement day on campus last Friday I got to spend a bit of time on the subway, and for the first time in a while I got to do a quick sketch. (I have missed the subway so much!) Later on, at home, I found myself with a new couple of brushes that I wanted to try out, and so I did a brushed ink sketch from the sketch... Show More Summary

Various News

First test collisions at 6.5 TeV/beam at the LHC are tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning. At CERN today there’s a workshop about the Higgs Machine Learning Challenge. Also on the topic of LHC data analysis news, Tommaso Dorigo announces the … Continue reading ?

Toy Roller Coasters and the Energy Principle

One of the points I make repeatedly in teaching introductory mechanics (as I’m doing this term) is that absolutely every problem students encounter can, in principle, be solved using just Newton’s Laws or, in the terminology used by Matter and Interactions, the Momentum Principle. You don’t strictly need any of the other stuff we talk…

Lurie and Categorifying the Fourier Transform

Before I turn to the main topic of this posting, a lecture by Jacob Lurie, I’d like to point to something else involving him, a comment and posting at Mathematics Without Apologies, a blog you should be following anyway. On … Continue reading ?

Drell-Yan, Drell-Yan with Jets, Drell-Yan with all the Jets

All those super low energy jets that the LHC cannot see? LHC can still see them. Hi Folks, Particle colliders like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are, in a sense, very powerful microscopes. The higher the collision energy, the smaller distances we can study. Using less than 0.01% of the total LHC energy (13 TeV),

Five announcements

1. Sanjeev Arora sent me a heads-up that there’s a discussion about the future of the STOC conference  at the Windows on Theory blog—in particular, about the idea of turning STOC into a longer “CS theory festival.”  If you have opinions about this, don’t miss the chance to make your voice heard. 2. Back in January, […]


Because Date Night #2 since the Arrival! -cvj Click to continue reading this post ?

Miscellaneous Academic Job Market Notes

A few things about the academic job market have caught my eye recently, but don’t really add up to a big coherent argument. I’ll note them here, though, to marginally increase the chance that I’ll be able to find them later. — First, this piece at the Guardian got a lot of play, thanks in…

Next Week’s Hype

I know I should be coming up with material on different topics here, but the multiverse stuff sometimes is just too hard to ignore. Next week’s Comicpalooza in Houston will feature string theorist Gerald Cleaver. His blurb tells us that: … Continue reading ?

The accelerator in the Louvre

The Accélérateur Grand Louvre d’analyse élémentaire solves ancient mysteries with powerful particle beams. In a basement 15 meters below the towering glass pyramid of the Louvre Museum in Paris sits a piece of work the curators have no plans to display: the museum’s particle accelerator. This isn’t a Dan Brown novel. Show More Summary

Philosophy and Pictures of Physics

I’ve been sort of falling down on my obligation to promote myself– I’ve written two blog posts for Forbes this week, and forgotten to post about them here. The first is a thing about philosophy in physics, and how Einstein illustrates both the good and bad aspects of a philosophical approach. The second is a…

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