Monday, April 20, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

ATLAS: 2.5-sigma four-top-quark excess

ATLAS has posted a new preprint

Analysis of events with \(b\)-jets and a pair of leptons of the same charge in \(pp\)-collisions at \(\sqrt s = 8\TeV\) with the ATLAS detector
boasting numerous near-2-sigma excesses (which could be explained by vector-like quarks and chiral \(b'\) quarks, but are too small to deserve much space here) and a more intriguing 2.5-sigma excess in various final states with four top quarks.

Saturday, April 18, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Double slit experiment in the Heisenberg picture

What we observe is not the Nature itself but the Nature exposed to our method of questioning.

Natural science does not simply describe and explain Nature; it is part of the interplay between Nature and ourselves.

The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist. But at the bottom of the glass, God is waiting for you.

Werner Heisenberg
Even though wave mechanics was in no way the first or deepest formulation of quantum mechanics, it quickly became popular because the "wave function" looks like a classical wave and this fact makes it easier for the people to "visualize" what's going on. This "advantage" is actually a disadvantage because the visualization leads the people to the totally incorrect concept that the state vector is a classical wave or object of a sort, which it's not, and that it should be distinguished from (i.e. considered mutually exclusive with) nearby "similar" state vectors, which it shouldn't, and the popularity of the Schrödinger picture "helps" the people to preserve their anti-quantum misconceptions.

Friday, April 17, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Greece near the abyss

Greece has survived April 9th, the first possible date of the default. Some people moved the deadline to May 9th (weekend), others to May 12th. We hear that it could come in late May or June, too. Check this debt timeline. The government could actually be able to raise cash from the Greek citizens, the patriots who want to support their communists in charge and who know that things will be even worse if and when the government goes bust. No foreigners are buying the new Greek debt anymore but the domestic lenders could be a factor that was underestimated.

Because Greece has vigorously pissed on the April 24th deadline and one may expect at most a "Hi" from the meeting in Riga, the EU commission has set a "decisive" new deadline at May 11th.

But whatever the exact dates are, it seems likely that the default isn't too far. The Syriza comrades' promises that they would be able to suck the financial blood (ever growing amounts of it) out of other European nations by a "clever" combination of blackmail and doublespeak isn't working at all. If they don't want to be remembered as the men who threw Greece into the third world, they may have the last days to admit that they have lost. They need to apologize to everyone whom they have offended, admit that Marx, Tsipras, Varoufuckis, Krugman and similar individuals are just worthless piles of stinky garbage, and immediately start reforms – much more systematic and deeper pro-market reforms than what Samaras was doing in recent years.

Doing "just the same as Samaras" may fail to be enough right now.

Hawking's disease kills Czechia's youngest prime minister (45)

Approximately one year ago, the public was getting increasingly certain that Mr Stanislav Gross was suffering from a very serious – and probably fatal – illness.

This is actually not a photoshopped image. He allowed to be photographed in this form.

For some time, media speculated he had cancer; or just a minor injury affecting the spinal chord, and so on. At some moment, the picture became rather solid. Gross was tortured by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The neurons controlling voluntary muscles start to die. You can't move, speak, and swallow too well, and at the end, you can't even breath.

I don't know why one can't replace the lung/breathing muscles by mechanical ventilators or pumps of some sort – but I am not a physician.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

LHC: chance to find SUSY quickly

This linker-not-thinker blog post will largely show materials of ATLAS. To be balanced, let me begin with a recommendation for an UCSB article Once More Unto the Breach about the CMS' excitement before the 13 TeV run. Note that the CMS (former?) boss Incandela is from UCSB. They consider the top squark to be their main target.

ATLAS is more into gluinos and sbottoms, it may seem. On March 25th, ATLAS released interesting graphs

Expected sensitivity studies for gluino and squark searches using the early LHC 13 TeV Run-2 dataset with the ATLAS experiment (see also PDF paper)
There are various graphs but let's repost six graphs using the same template.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dark matter self-interaction detected?

Off-topic: My Facebook friend Vít Jedlička (SSO, Party of Free Citizens) established a new libertarian country, Liberland (To Live And Let Live), where the government doesn't get on your nerves. Before he elected himself the president, he had to carefully choose a territory where no one will bother him, where no one would ever start a war; he picked seven squared kilometers in between Serbia and Croatia because these two nations wouldn't dare to damage one another. ;-) There's a catch for new citizens, however: the official language is Czech.
Lots of mainstream writers including BBC, The Telegraph, IBTimes, and Science Daily promote a preprint claiming that they see the non-gravitational forces between the particles that dark matter is composed of:
The behaviour of dark matter associated with 4 bright cluster galaxies in the 10kpc core of Abell 3827 (published in MNRAS)
Richard Massey (Durham) and 22 co-authors have analyzed the galaxy cluster Abell 3827 – which is composed of four very similar galaxies (unusual: they probably got clumped recently) by the new Hubble Space Telescope imaging and by ESO's VLT/MUSE integral field spectroscopy.

Max Born's Nobel lecture

I decided to read Max Born's 1954 Physics Nobel Prize lecture,

The statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics (PDF),
in some detail. Even though it was written and spoken more than 60 years ago, it makes such a perfect sense. Unsurprisingly, the lecture is a combination of physics and history. Let's look at those 12 pages.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Cornell study in PNAS: women STEM faculty are 2-to-1 overrepresented

The fair fraction of female faculty is 2 times lower than the current one

Steven Pinker called it a shocker of a study but I am not surprised at all. The results coming from the paper I will discuss pretty much agree with my estimates based on the insider knowledge of similar mechanisms.

Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci (Cornell) just published a paper in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Sunday, April 12, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Manifest unitarity and information loss in gravitational collapse

Guest blog by Prof Dejan Stojkovic, University of Buffalo

Dear Lubos,
First, I would like to thank you very much for his kind invitation for a guest post. I am certainly honored by this gesture.

We recently published a paper titled “Radiation from a Collapsing Object is Manifestly Unitary” in PRL. The title was carefully chosen (note the absence of the term “black hole”) because of its potential implications for a very touchy issue of the information loss paradox. I will use this opportunity to explain our points of view.

Smolin's lie about Dyson and Einstein

I need to apologize because my intuition about an episode of the history of science wasn't right. A commenter found a story about Dyson's and Einstein's interactions at Princeton on the Internet. And I found it totally plausible. Andrew of PopularTechnology.NET was skeptical and as of now, he has provided me with enough evidence that his skepticism was justified and my attempts to humiliate his skepticism were not substantiated.

What was it all about?

Saturday, April 11, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

New wave of LHC alarmism

Nina Beety is a community organizer.

She has previously written a 170-page-long rant (plus a hilarious song) against "smart meters". But now, while the LHC is waking up again (protons have already circulated at 6,500 GeV, this time the news is for real), she wrote a detailed rant for the far left-wing website,

Harnessing “Black Holes”: The Large Hadron Collider – ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction.
You may want to read this stuff and laugh – or cry – because this loon may be a role model for what other similar folks – including male community organizers – actually believe. And it ain't pretty.

Friday, April 10, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

India freezes Greenpeace accounts

India has been a defining country of the "third world" and even though nowadays, we praise it not just as a cradle of civilization but also as an emerging market, a BRIC member, the home of Bollywood, many call centers, numerous excellent string theorists, and even a future second ITER-like fusion reactor, there is some sense in which India remains a canonical third-world country.

Unlike the communist-party-based regime in China, India is a democracy. One should be annoyed by the fact that a democracy such as India has GDP per capita about $5,000 while the adjacent non-democracy of China has over $10,000. Why is it so? There may be various reasons but I am afraid that at some level of development, some non-democratic control over the affairs may be beneficial.

Various harmful organizations such as ecoterrorist NGOs – and Greenpeace is the most famous one – have been freely doing their job and it didn't help India's economy, either.

Does fracking release radon and cause lung cancer?

The dark-on-light template didn't pass the one-week test. If you can't live without it, you may make it return for a month (or \(N\) months) if you send me $99 (times \(N\)) via PayPal.

In recent years, the United States have experienced the fracking revolution. The rock is hydraulically fractured by a liquid composed of water, sand, and chemicals. One can obtain cheap fossil fuels – mostly shale oil and gas – from geological layers that didn't look like nice fossil fuel reservoirs before.

Timelapse of drilling and fracking a well.

People can get the organic compounds which are diluted in the rock. As the video above shows, it takes less than 2 minutes to create the well, establish the company, do the paperwork, and start to make profits. America has become nearly energy independent, its trade deficit decreased, and several TRF American readers are happy about their investments into fracking. But just like the shale oil or shale gas is released from the rock as if it were a sponge, so can some other, less desirable elements and compounds.

What about radon?

Thursday, April 09, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Switzerland's 10-year yields drop below zero

We learn from the Wall Street Journal and everyone else that Switzerland has sold $0.4 billion of CHF-denominated 10-year bonds with the yield minus 0.055 percent. It's the first time in the human history when 10-year bonds went negative although Northern European and German (and, update April 14th, Czech) yields of 5-year bonds have already looked below zero.

Also, Mexico sold $1.6 billion worth of EUR-denominated bonds with the yield 4.2% which is sensible – but the shocking part is that it is a 100-year bond, also the first one in the human history. So far, the most futuristic was a 1%-yield Austrian bond maturing in 2062. These unprecedented numbers open a couple of questions.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Freeman Dyson on the gas that we call life

If you can sacrifice 23 minutes, here is a fun interview with Freeman Dyson (who is 91 now)

Video: Conversations that matter - Earth is actually growing greener (Vancouver Sun)
They introduced Dyson as a monster mind. In fact, he is so smart that he was once in the same building with Albert Einstein, they say. ;-)

In 1981-2006, a quarter of a century, the Earth was mostly getting greener (green color on the map).

Dyson argues that CO2 has many direct and staggering consequences for the life on Earth that are more important than the indirect and questionable influences via the climate. For example, the 40% rise in CO2 since the Industrial Revolution meant about a 20% increase in the agricultural yields per unit area (in average: results vary). I like to use the same square-root formula.

And make no mistake about it, this is a big deal. If you use a naive estimate, you could expect that there would be 20% less food, and perhaps 20% of the world population (over a billion of people) could die of hunger if CO2 quickly returned to the preindustrial levels! Fortunately, the carbon dioxide won't drop quickly, and even if it did, the value 20% could be significantly lowered by better trade, redistribution, and transition to more efficient (although sometimes less tasteful) crops etc.