Entries by mfb

Intransitive Dice with a Twist

Intransitive dice are sets of dice that don’t follow the usual rules for “is better/larger than”. If A<B and B<C, then A<C. If Bob runs faster than Alice and Charlie runs faster than Bob, then Charlie runs faster than Alice. If die B wins against die A (larger number wins) and die C wins against […]

Results Shown at EPS Conference

The EPS conference was a week ago, and many new results and future plans were shown. A good general overview has been collected by Paris Sphicas in his Summary slides. I had a look at some presentations and collected things I personally found interesting. Warning: The selection is heavily biased, I cannot cover everything, and […]

LHC Part 4: Searching for New Particles and Decays

  The LHC experiments are in full swing collecting data this year (more information in the forum), and a while ago the collaboration of the CMS experiment released 300 TB of old (2011) data that everyone can analyze (forum thread). But how do these analyses look like? There are two main analysis types: Searches for […]

The Complexity of Modern Science

Science today is incredibly complex. Anyone who ever did scientific research knows that, but many in the general public seem to be completely unaware of this. I think this is a point where science communication can improve. “I listened to some science TV show, now I came up with my own theory.” This could have […]

Neutrino Masses and Speed

It was hard to miss the 2011 OPERA neutrino speed measurement that indicated superluminal neutrino speeds (and turned out to be a measurement error), but measurements of neutrino masses and speeds have a long tradition. Neutrinos are very light particles that interact via the weak interaction and gravity only. There are three types of neutrinos: […]

LHC Part 3: Protons as Large as a Barn

  See also part 1 and part 2 of the series. The LHC commissioning phase is coming to and end. On Wednesday May 20th 2015, the first collisions at full energy (13 TeV) happened, a world record and very exciting for the experiments. The collision rate was still low, of course. To predict it, physicists […]

LHC Part 2: Commissioning

  Last month, I wrote a FAQ about working at the LHC, at the time the first beams were circulating in the machine after a stop of two years. We did not have collisions yet, and data taking won’t happen before June. So what is taking so long? A lot of maintenance work was done […]