Physics

ICHEP 2012 – Higgs Session | Cosmic Variance

As you may have seen from our live-blogging of the CERN seminars on Wednesday morning, after having told Sean and John I would be asleep, I woke up anyway and watched the announcement live at 3am my time. I don’t regret it for a moment – you don’t get to watch historic events like that every day! But the reason I’d originally intended to stay asleep was that I had a very long day ahead of me, since Wednesday evening I flew out to Melbourne to take part in the 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP).

Postcard from Geneva | Cosmic Variance

Here’s a short video, courtesy of NOVA, that we made on our trip to Geneva. Hopefully the excitement of the moment comes through… (Note: might be hard/impossible to view the video outside the US, sorry.)

Time Travel via YouTube | Cosmic Variance

Via everywhere on the internet, here’s Jeremiah McDonald, who used a 20-year-old videotape of his younger self to carry on a conversation across time. (Seems legit at a casual glance, but I suppose it could be faked.)

Sadly we can’t actually transfer information into the past. If we could, I would have started writing this book a bit earlier.

Science Friday | Cosmic Variance

Back in Los Angeles, after my brief action-packed jaunt to Geneva. Higgsteria continues, and I’ll be on NPR’s Science Friday later today to talk about it. That’s 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific time. Hope to do justice to the palpable air of excitement at CERN and around the world.

Look at This: Atom Casts a Tiny Shadow | 80beats

In the right light, everything casts a shadow—even an atom. A large object creates a shadow by physically blocking the light flying past it, and even a miniscule atom or ion can prevent photons with specific wavelengths from reaching their destinations.

The Contrarian: Why I’d Be the First to Return to the Fukushima Evacuation Zone

The Claim  Fukushima evacuees should not go home and risk health problems due to radiation exposure.
The Contrary View  Veteran journalist Jeff Wheelwright, who covers health and genetics, says the evidence linking small radiation doses to cancer is flimsy.

What’s a Higgs Boson, What’s Being Announced Tomorrow, and What’s Next | 80beats

July 4th is the big day! And not only because of fireworks. It’s the day of a press conference at which it is widely anticipated that CERN (the giant European particle physics laboratory) will announce that the Higgs boson—that much-touted particle needed to make the Standard Model of Physics complete—has been found at the Large Hadron Collider. Or at least, that something that looks very much like it has been observed.

Live-Blogging the Higgs Seminar | Cosmic Variance

A couple of us are going to try to live-blog the July 4 Higgs update seminars from CERN. This effort will be subject to the whims of internet connectivity, of course, but we’ll do our best.

Final Word from the Tevatron on the Higgs Hunt | Cosmic Variance

Last September 30, at 3:00 in the afternoon, after a quarter century of operations, the Tevatron collider at Fermilab collided its final proton and antiproton. Since then, physicists from the two big Tevatron experiments CDF and D0 have been analyzing the complete data set, totaling 10 inverse femtobarns, squeezing every last bit of statistical significance in the search for the Higgs boson.

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