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Hot Topics

Possible new particle excitement

Quantum Diarist Pauline Gagnon tracks the anticipation and excitement around announcements made in December by ATLAS and CMS reporting the detection of a few events that might, might indicate a new particle decaying into two photons.

A frenzy among theorists

Pauline Gagnon | Feb. 4, 2016  

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Aujourd’hui, les scientifiques du Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory ou LIGO ont fièrement annoncé avoir détecté les toutes premières ondes gravitationnelles. Décrites il y a exactement cent ans dans la Théorie de la Relativité Générale par Albert Einstein, ces ondes, qu’on a longtemps crues être beaucoup trop faibles pour être captées, ont enfin été détectées. En

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A faint ripple shakes the World

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Today, scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory or LIGO have proudly announced having detected the first faint ripples caused by gravitational waves. First predicted exactly one hundred years ago by Albert Einstein in the Theory of General Relativity, these gravitational waves, long believed to be too small to be seen, have at long last

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The title says it all. Today, The Light Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory  (or simply LIGO) collaboration announced the detection of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two black holes located somewhere in the Southern sky, in the direction of the Magellanic  Clouds.  In the presentation, organized by the National Science Foundation, David Reitze (Caltech), Gabriela

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Is the world flat? That question was posed by popular rap musician B.o.B. on his Twitter account this past week, prompting angry, but comical video and rap responses by popular science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson and his musician nephew. What do we really know? A few thousand years ago, Greek philosophers and Phoenician explorers began

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Depuis le 15 décembre, j’ai compté 200 nouveaux articles théoriques, chacun offrant une ou plusieurs explications possibles sur la nature d’une nouvelle particule qui n’a pas encore été découverte. Cette frénésie a commencé lorsque les expériences CMS et ATLAS ont toutes deux rapporté avoir trouvé quelques événements qui pourraient révéler la présence d’une nouvelle particule

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Frenzy among theorists

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Since December 15, I have counted 200 new theoretical papers, each one suggesting one or several possible explanations for a new particle not yet discovered. This flurry of activity started when the CMS and ATLAS Collaborations both reported having found a few events that could possibly reveal the presence of a new particle decaying to

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In the late 1980s, as particle colliders probed deeper into the building blocks of nature, there were hints of a strange and paradoxical behaviour in the heart of atoms. Fundamental particles have a curious quantum mechanical property known as “spin”, which the electron carries in magnitude ½. While the description of electron’s spin is fairly

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After a long-anticipated data run, LHC proton-proton running concludes in early November.  A mere six weeks later, on a mid-December afternoon, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations present their first results from the full dataset to a packed CERN auditorium, with people all over the world watching the live webcast.  Both collaborations see slight excesses in

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Si, et vraiment seulement si…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Si le LHC était une échelle et les nouvelles particules tant recherchées, des boîtes cachées sur les étagères les plus hautes, la montée en énergie du LHC s’apparente à l’acquisition d’une échelle plus longue donnant accès aux dernières étagères. Fin 2012, les échelles étaient plus courtes, mais on en avait dix fois plus, facilitant l’exploration

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If, and really only if…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

If the LHC were a ladder and the new sought-after particles, boxes hidden on the top shelves, operating the LHC at higher energy is like having a longer ladder giving us access to the higher shelves. By the end of 2012, our ladders were shorter but we had 10 times more than now. ATLAS and

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