Friday, 15 May 2015

Friday wrap-up: IBL, SABRE...

Wherein I list some (mostly) recent happenings, ramble a bit, and provide links, in an order roughly determined by importance and relevance to particle physics. Views are my own. Content very definitely skewed by my own leanings and by papers getting coverage, and it may not even be correct. It is a blog after all...

  • ATLAS News had a wrap-up of the 900 GeV collisions performed last week. It was cool to see an event display with the insertable B-layer in action (the fourth and most inner layer of the pixel layers on the right insert):

  • The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory project here in Australia has received $1.75 mil from the federal government to match the State's contribution from earlier this year. The funding will go a significant way to constructing the clean room to host SABRE, the first southern hemisphere dark matter direct-detection experiment, the advantages of which I've mentioned earlier.
  • If the dark matter distribution in M87 is spiked at the centre, then this arXiv preprint claims that thermal relic dark matter is ruled out for an unprecedented $m_{DM}\lesssim 100$ TeV! As well, an apparent excess at high energies can be explained by $\mathcal{O}(1-100)$ TeV dark matter. I wonder if this paper will become another galactic centre excess for hep-ph?
  • The result has been on the arXiv for a while, but the CMS+LHCb $B_s (B^0)\to \mu^+\mu^-$ analysis was published in Nature, which I thought was interesting enough to note. As far as I can tell from a quick Inspire search, this is the first paper from the LHC Collaborations published in Nature. Note the 6 months from receipt to publication...
  • A few very interesting articles this week:
    • Nautilus: the story behind the OPERA superluminal neutrinos.
    • Aeon: on the pervasiveness and apparent non-falsifiability of inflation.
    • Scientific American: on physicists as philosophers.
    • Quanta: ultra-high energy cosmic rays, the Oh-My-God particle, and an EeV+ hotspot in the sky.
  • In video/audio media:
    • New physics frontiers at the 13 TeV LHC from CERN. [3 minutes]
    • A first video spot at Quanta Magazine: In Theory with David Kaplan (of Particle Fever fame) on what happens if you fall into a black hole. [2 minutes]
    • And if you'd like to learn more about the man responsible for backing the foundation that supports Quanta Magazine in the first place (and for Chern-Simons forms, and for Renaissance Technologies), you should watch the very interesting interview with James Harris Simons at Numberphile. [19 minutes]
    • Stephen Hawking on intelligence. [15 minute talk]
    • Excellent video at SmarterEveryday on how the window shutters on the space station work. [8 minutes]
  • Finally, updates on space missions: 
    • New Horizons can now make out all of Pluto's known moons.

    • The bright spots on Ceres we've been following now appear to be deposits of ice at the bottom of a crater.

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