Monday, July 2, 2012

LftW: 2nd July

Physics links:
  • 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?"
Other links:
Victor Keegan's Guardian report on Beatle myths in 1969
Victor Keegan's Guardian report on mysterious phone calls from the US ... 

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