In the News

Category archives for In the News

So, the infamous OPERA result for neutrino speeds seems to be conclusively disproven, traced to a problem with a timing signal. Matt Strassler has a very nice explanation of the test that shows that the whole thing can almost certainly be traced to a timing error that cropped up in 2008. This problem is generally…

Richard Feyman famously once said that the double-slit experiment done with electrons contains everything that’s “‘at the heart of quantum physics.” It shows both particle and wave character very clearly: the individual electrons are detected one at a time, like particles, but the result of a huge number of detections clearly traces out an interference…

It’s been a while since I did any ResearchBlogging posts, because it turns out that having an infant and a toddler really cuts into your blogging time. Who knew? I keep meaning to get back to it, though, and there was a flurry of excitement the other day about a Nature Physics paper proposing a…

Neutrinos in the News

A little more tab clearance, here, this time a few recent stories dealing with those elusive little buggers, neutrinos. In roughly chronological order:< /p> The Daya Bay experiment in China has measured a key parameter for neutrino oscillation (arxiv paper), the phenomenon where neutrinos of one of the three observed types slowly evolve into one…

So, the news of the moment in high-energy physics is the latest results being reported from a conference in Europe. The major experimental collaborations are presenting their newest analyses, sifting through terabyte-size haystacks of data looking for the metaphorical needle that is the Higgs boson. And what are those results? It sort of depends on…

On Neutrinos and Cables

It’s not a good week for me to be writing about anything remotely controversial, but if I want to keep my physics blogging license, I need to say something about the latest fast neutrino news. This has followed the usual trajectory of such stories, with the bonus farcical element of people who blasted the media…

The Top Physics Breakthroughs of 2011

Physics World has released its list of the top ten breakthroughs in physics for the year, and it doesn’t include either fast neutrinos or the Higgs boson: The two physics stories that dominated the news in 2011 were questions rather than solid scientific results, namely “Do neutrinos travel faster than light?” and “Has the Higgs…

Mandatory Higgs Boson Post

I was planning to let today’s Higgs press conference pass with only a few oblique mentions in posts about other things, but apparently, I would lose my license to blog about physics if I did that. You’d think that, being married to a lawyer, and all, I’d know to read the fine print in these…

Not All Attrition Is Bad

One of the many things I wish I had had time to blog about during the just-completed term was the big New York Times article on attrition in science majors. This generated enough commentary at the time that people are probably sick of it, but I haven’t seen anything that exactly matches my take, so…

Fast Neutrinos: Still Fast

One of the more reasonable criticisms of the OPERA result showing neutrinos apparently moving faster than light was that they were claiming 20-nanosecond resolution on the timing of a neutrino pulse that was 10000 nanoseconds long. They got their timing by doing fits to the shape of the whole pulse, as described in that link,…