- The important physics event of the next week will be the CERN press conference on the Higgs search analyses coming up on Wednesday at 9 am CEST. Peter Woit provides a preview, summarising what we might expect to hear. At Quantum Diaries, Aidan Randle-Conde explains why we might not want to combine the significances of detection obtained from ATLAS and CMS in order to obtain the magical "5 sigma" standard for detection. The official results probably won't provide a combined significance for this reason, but doubtless various bloggers and others will do so.
- On the day itself, this blog will not be the best place to get your news. Instead, you might wish to go here, or to one of the other links down the right-hand panel.
- On Friday, there was an intriguing paper uploaded to the arXiv, proposing a new type of dark matter detector made out of gold foils and single-stranded DNA. I don't know what to make of this paper: it sounds a little crazy, but then I don't know much about the molecular biology of using ssDNA. Two of the physicist authors — Katherine Freese and David Spergel — are well-known, serious scientists. I presume the other authors are biologists.
- Peter Coles put up a nice set of "order-of-magnitude" physics problems to have a go at, including for instance "How much brighter is sunlight than moonlight?"
- David Bromwich is very disappointed with Obama.
- On the other hand, Obama won a victory in the US Supreme Court last week on his healthcare reforms. Who benefits? Ask Paul Krugman.
- Other big news this week was that Germany finally conceded a little ground to Spain and Italy in Eurozone rescue talks. How significant was this? Some opinions here, here, and — interestingly, just before the concession occurred — here.
- Martin Wolf: What was Spain supposed to have done? (See also here.)
- Mark Thoma: Laughing at the Laffer Curve (and follow-up)
- A Manifesto for Economic Sense (that's behind a paywall, so you can read it here instead)
- 'Science' Without Falsification: Noah Smith and others
- This response to a New York Times op-ed piece is one of the funniest things I read all week. I think Americans might call it a "smack-down".
- And finally, something I missed out last week: for Paul McCartney's 70th birthday on the 18th of June, the Guardian ran a nice interactive feature with original reports from important moments in his life. I thought the most interesting one was this report from 1969, with a story of how fans from the US kept ringing a "magic telephone number" in England in order to speak to Mr. Billy Shears ...
|Victor Keegan's Guardian report on mysterious phone calls from the US ...|