# Accelerator News

News about various colliders of various vintages:

The Tevatron has been shut down for the past two months for maintenance and various improvements. It should start up again this coming week, for latest news on its status, see here.

Seed magazine is starting a series of articles on the LHC. One prediction about the LHC that I feel confident making is that it is going to get a lot of press coverage.

A group called the LHC Theory Initiative has been trying for a while to get the NSF to fund new postdocs and graduate student fellowships for physicists working on LHC phenomenology. So far they have been turned down, with the panel that recommended not to fund this presumably concerned that money going to this purpose would be taken away from the standard NSF group grants that fund particle theory groups at many institutions. The full NSF proposal is available on-line.

Science magazine has an article about Barry Barish, who is leading the Global Design Effort for the ILC.

The same issue of Science has a paper by Steinhardt and Turok promoting their cyclic cosmological model as explaining the small value of the cosmological constant, together with an article by Vilenkin criticizing them and promoting the anthropic point of view.

Update: Experimentalist Michael Schmitt, sometimes commenter here, has an excellent new blog about accelerator-based particle physics at the Tevatron and LHC entitled Collider Blog.

Update: The Tevatron start-up was going smoothly until early yesterday morning when they ran into serious trouble. Here’s the report from the FNAL accelerator update page:

At 1:24 AM, Operations reported a raccoon attack on the Linac gallery. It seemed to be a coordinated effort. Fortunately, by 1:53 AM, a joint force of operators and Pbar experts managed to drive the raccoons out of their hastily made fortifications. Then at 4:18 AM, the raccoons made what some thought to be a counter attack on the Division Headquarters, but others believed it to be only a simple reconnaissance incursion. No raccoons were either injured or captured during these encounters. Operator losses were low.

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### 50 Responses to Accelerator News

1. Ponderer of Things says:

Barish came to our lab to give a talk about ILC, and I wanted to ask a question, but didn’t because didn’t want to appear to be an ahole: “If ILC is not funded (at least if US gov’t pulls out), is this the end of the line for huge “super” accelerator projects”? Anyone wants to take any guesses? 2. […] Woit has a blog post which says in part: ‘… Science has a paper by Steinhardt and Turok promoting their cyclic cosmological model as explaining the small value of the cosmological constant, together with an article by Vilenkin criticizing them and promoting the anthropic point of view.’ […] 3. sunderpeeche says: I have asked this question (what if US does not fund ILC?), to people who work on ILC. Nobody will give a clear answer. One can argue nobody knows the answer. Certainly the EPP2010 report, full of “US leadership” does not augur well for “International” anything. The rest of the world may build ILC without USA. If super-accelerators (VLHC?) continue to not find anything beyond SM, it will be ever harder to justify new machines. As for the prediction that LHC will generate a lot of press coverage, that is par for the course. All large new accelerators do, whether built or not. CERN generated enormous publicity for LEP. The SSC was not lacking for publicity. The construction of NAL (later FNAL) was a major event in its day, so was the SLAC linac. 4. Michael says: If the LHC finds nothing beyond the Standard Model (ie, if it finds only a SM-like Higgs boson), then one can forget about future accelerators, including the ILC. The interest of people outside high-energy physics for another big, expensive machine will whither, and many will ask: what about all the great ideas and promises that were made (for example, in the EPP2010 and HEPAP documents) back in 2005, 2006, 2007? There are many basic arguments why new phyisc should show up at the TeV scale, and personally I believe thi s makes the LHC a good bet. However, I have seen comments posted to this web site expressing doubt that supersymmetry or other signs of physics BSM will be discovered at the LHC. Since string theorists are deep thinkers, this has worried me a lot. Yesterday at a dinner I asked David Gross about the skepticism of some of the string community about the LHC. His reply was, basically, that the arguments for new physics at the TeV scale are incontrovertible and that people in the string theory community do not have a basis to overturn them. (Nota bene: I am rephrasing quite a bit…) What will be the answer? Only the analysis of real data will tell us. If Nature is cruel, then we will not only be disappointed, we will probably lose an entire line of basic inquiry. Who would fund Colombus for a crazy voyage across the ocean? Only those will lots of money and the desire to be the most powerful. Who would have guessed what was to be learned? 5. woit says: Michael, What “new physics at the TeV scale” was Gross referring to as there being incontrovertible arguments for? As far as I know, the only solid arguments are that you have to see a Higgs or something else. Things like supersymmetry, technicolor, extra dimensions, not only are not necessary, but already in trouble with precision electroweak measurements from current accelerators. Sunderpeeche, My prediction was somewhat tongue in cheek, but more precisely, in units where the publicity for SLAC was 1, FNAL was maybe as much as 5-10 SLACS, LEP and the SSC around 50 SLACS, I’ll predict that for the LHC the magnitude will be at least 100 SLACS, achieving a new world record. 6. sunderpeeche says: “My prediction was somewhat tongue in cheek” well yes, I figured as much. Columbus was funded because Queen Isabella wanted to compete with Portugal (and note that Cristoforo Colombo was initially turned down, but Queen I changed her mind). If Columbus had sailed across the ocean, found nothing, turned back and said, “I didn’t reach China/Japan, but I found out the ocean is bigger than we think it is” well that would probably have been the end of any further voyages. So it is with the LHC. If it finds no physics beyond SM, justifying the next machine will become REALLY hard. 7. Tony Smith says: As to the Columbus analogy: Short route to India/China/Japan = supersymmetry a la superstrings America = something already indicated by Viking voyages etc = SM Higgs Maybe detailed study of SM Higgs (for which ILC/NLC/whateverLC is needed in addition to LHC) would (as did detailed exploration/exploitation of America) lead to results far more ultimately enriching for humanity than finding a false-hope supersymmetry = a short route to India/China/Japan would have been. Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ PS – As to “… David Gross …[said]… that the arguments for new physics at the TeV scale are incontrovertible and that people in the string theory community do not have a basis to overturn them. …”, that statement may be true if restricted to the universe of superstring true believers. However, for others, it seems that the only “incontrovertible” arguments are circular, in that they use assumptions (whether or not explicitly stated) that are equivalent to the existence of TeV scale supersymmetry a la superstrings. If there are any such “incontrovertible” arguments that do not involve such assumptions, I would be very interested in seeing them spelled out, rather than mentioned solely by vague insubstantial reference. 8. sunderpeeche says: This post is not (totally) tongue in cheek, and is only partially a reply to Woit, and is perhaps totally nonsense. The construction and operation of FNAL (late 60’s-early 70’s) provided a major source of employment for professional black people, at a front-rank scientific institution, and took place at (or close) to the peak of the civil rights movement. We tend to think of accelerator labs as purely civilian projects., e.g. Robert Wilson famously testified to Congress (this is taken from Wikipedia but I have heard it many times before) —- In 1967 he took a leave of absence from Cornell to assume directorship of the not-yet-created National Accelerator Laboratory which was to create the largest particle accelerator of its day at Batavia, Illinois. In 1969, Wilson was called to justify the multimillion-dollar machine to the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. Bucking the trend of the day, Wilson emphasized it had nothing at all to do with national security, rather: It has only to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending. —– It was not quite the same with the SLAC linac. At the time of construction of the Linac, the US military was building the North American Early Warning Defense System, a set of radar domes spread out across Alaska and northern Canada, to detect Soviet bombers/missiles. The klystrons to accelerate the electrons in the Linac were precisely what the military needed to power the radar stations. Nobody talks about this out loud. The military got what it wanted (R+D and contruction knowhow) without any protests from the hippies and flower children of San Fran. One longs for the good old days when one could trip through the physics lab with bellbottoms and LSD. No internet, no cell phones, no blogs… In short, major accelerator projects are sociological events, not simply physics experiments. But the publicity for the modern machines seems to contain a much greater degree of hype (all hype?). The SSC was “for America to have the biggest accelerator in the world” which was simply foolish. 9. Michael says: We all seem to agree that no new physics at the LHC is a disaster for experimental high-energy physics. Concerning the promise of new physics at the TeV scale, people make the argument in various ways. Since I am an experimenter I am not the best person to make the agument, but I do know that is does not necessarily involve supersymmetry. I do understand that string theory does not require a low-scale supersymmetry. However, that is not the point. If there is a SM-like Higgs (one that is responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking), then the mass of that particle is not stable against radiative corrections, in the Standard Model. Therefore, something beyond the SM must enter to “control” those corrections. Low-scale SUSY is one popular possibility, but there are others (such as Little Higgs models, and some extra-dimensional phenomenlogical models). If the low-scale MSSM also provides a way to unify the gauge couplings, explain the Higgs mechanism through the large Yukawa coupling of the top quark, and naturally provide a viable dark-matter candidate, then it may be in a better position as a speculation than other competing models. There is no proof that low-scale SUSY is right, but all of the phenomenologists and model-builders I know insist that new physics must enter at the TeV scale. It was interesting to me that David Gross, a famous string theorist, had the same definite opinion. It is true that some models are ruled out by precision electroweak data, but the MSSM is not. Also, little Higgs models and many extra-dimensional models manage to survive those constraints. It is supposedly a virtue of the MSSM that it does not lead to large deviations in those observables – the fact that data confirm the SM means they also tend to agree with the predictions of the MSSM, making it difficult to constrain the MSSM using precision ewk observables. The MSSM does have problems in the flavor sector: why aren’t there many CP-violating phases, and why aren’t there large FCNC’s? Why would one have an alignment of flavor-mixing matrices, or minimial flavor violation in general. But then again, we understand almost nothing about flavor, right? 10. Tony Smith says: sunderpeeche said “… major accelerator projects are sociological events, not simply physics experiments … The construction and operation of FNAL (late 60’s-early 70’s) provided a major source of employment for professional black people, at a front-rank scientific institution, and took place at (or close) to the peak of the civil rights movement. …”. IIRC, Georgia, which in the 60s had senatorial influence (Russell) at least as powerful as Dirksen of Illinois, made a bid for the NAL site, but lost out to Illinois primarily because the “professional black people” felt uneasy about living in Georgia (this was before 1973 when Maynard Jackson became mayor of Atlanta). When I try to think what comparably important sociological reason might be advanced for putting ILC in the USA as opposed to Geneva or Asia, I draw a blank. Further, when I try to think how the USA military would benefit from a USA site (a la SLAC klystrons mentioned by sunderpeeche), I also draw a blank. If access to research positions and experimental results is substantially non-discriminatory, then, really, why does the USA physics community feel so strongly that the ILC should not be in Geneva ( a very hospitable place for a cosmopolitan work community ) or Asia ( as they say, it is their turn now ) ??? Isn’t the most important thing that it be built and used to at least examine Higgs etc in detail, and not where it is located (and who gets the most construction contracts and labor jobs) ??? If it is REALLY about who gets construction contracts and jobs, then isn’t it just another pork-barrel project ??? Isn’t perception of pork-barrelling one of the factors that killed SSC ??? Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ 11. Tony Smith says: Michael says “… We all seem to agree that no new physics at the LHC is a disaster for experimental high-energy physics. …”. Since nobody can be everybody without me (even if Harvard Professor Motl’s characterization of me as a “moronic crackpot” were to be correct), Michael is wrong. I don’t see any problem with a 115-200 MeV Higgs and no other signals not already seen (although maybe missed by most consensus analyses) at Fermilab and elsewhere, because ILC (or its equivalent) would in that event be needed to provide more detailed observation of how that Higgs is related to such things as (to mention only one possibility) T-quark condensates. It would NOT be “a disaster for experimental high-energy physics”, although it would take such physics down roads not so well travelled now. However, it might be seen as “a disaster” from the viewpoint of some physics empires/castles that would, in such an event, be seen to be built on sand. Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ 12. Tony Smith says: Sorry for a typo – 115-200 MeV Higgs should be 115-200 GeV Higgs in my immediately preceding comment. Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ 13. SomeBody says: LHC = Last Hope Collider? 14. sunderpeeche says: Since my post on the SLAC klystrons did not get deleted out of hand, let me provoke the Gods that be…. FNAL provided high-skilled job opportunities for blacks/minorities at the cutting edge. (I assume the Apollo moon project did the same, but I do not know.) The Chicago Industrial Research Corridor was set up along I-80 near FNAL in anticipation that the lab would attract high-quality (or high-tech) research firms to the area. (In the event, Fermilab was too specialized to play such a role, firms like AT&T Bell Labs and Exxon etc were more effective in that regard.) Pork-barrelling does play a significant role. It makes a difference if a lab is within easy reach. It also provides ancillary employment to hotels, restaurants, etc, (although now people complain of “radioactivity”). When the BNL was being chosen, II Rabi wanted it in New Jersey, close to Columbia because he knew the nearest university would dominate the lab. Norman Ramsey led a strong team from Harvard/Cambridge to have the lab near Boston. So Rabi signed on Johns Hopkins just to move the center-of-gravity of the universities closer to Columbia. The eventual site on Long Island was the compromise. The host country of the ILC will get major (possibly non-scientific) benefits. Certainly the size of expts today is so large that proximity to a home univ is not so significant. But it seems that with the ILC, pork-barreling is getting mixed up with jingoism (ILC will restore “US leadership” in expt HEP). 15. Michael says: Tony, what I meant is that a non-spectacular outcome from the LHC means that getting funding for the ILC will be extremely difficult and probably impossible. I was not commenting on the physics consequences. Sorry for not being clear. 16. Tony Smith says: Michael, thanks for your clarification. You are probably correct that absence of some spectacular hype-type result at LHC probably does mean ” that getting [USA] funding for the ILC will be extremely difficult and probably impossible”. Sad but true. Maybe Asians will want to take their turn in the accelerator game, and, since they are well-positioned financially and know how to think long-term, maybe they will build it and let those of us on the periphery peek in from time to time to see some of the knowledge generated at the Center. Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ 17. anonymous says: for the first time since 30yrs a collider will explore energies much above previous colliders and above the weak scale: it deserves the attention that it receives. Unlike in the case of Columbus/Colombo/Colon, now theorists are telling since 30yrs: “go and discover America” (i.e. SUSY or extra dimensions or etc). Finding only water would be truly revolutionary. 18. RahulM says: The problem with a 115-200 GeV Higgs in the Standard Model is that it’s mass is not stable under UV corrections. This violates a very basic physics principle we have seen at work from Newton till now: that physics is organized by energy scale. So far the structure we have observed is that phenomenon at lower energy scales are relatively unaffected by whatever happens at much higher scales. It is extremely strange that somehow the Higgs boson is completely different from all physics we have observed thus far. I am not propagating string theory or SUSY or extra-D or whatever, but there is a genuine TeV scale issue here. 19. Tony Smith says: RahulM says: “… The problem with a 115-200 GeV Higgs in the Standard Model is that it’s mass is not stable under UV corrections. … there is a genuine TeV scale issue here. …”. There is a genuine issue, but it does not necessarily indicate new physics at the TeV scale. For instance, in hep-ph/0307138, C. D. Froggatt says in part: “… the selfconsistency of the pure SM up to some physical cut-off scale /\ imposes constraints on the top quark and Higgs boson masses. The first constraint is the so-called triviality bound … The second is the vacuum stability bound: bound: the running Higgs coupling constant … should not become negative leading to the instability of the usual SM vacuum. … These bounds are illustrated in … Figure 3: SM bounds in the (Mt,mH) plane for various values of /\ , the scale at which new physics enters … we shall be interested in large cut-off scales /\ = 10^15 – 10^19 GeV, corresponding to the grand unified (GUT) or Planck scale. …”. As can be seen by going to the paper and looking at Fig. 3, a Higgs mass somewhere between 115 – 200 GeV ( by looking at Fig. 3, probably roughly around 150 GeV ) is consistent with a T-quark mass around 175 GeV and the Standard Model with a cut-off (new physics) at the Planck scale, so it seems to me that such a Higgs mass does NOT require new physics at the TeV scale, or anywhere else below the Planck scale. Tony Smith http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/ PS – Here I am assuming that RahulM’s reference to instability under UV corrections is reference to what Froggatt calls “the vacuum stability bound”. If RahulM is talking about something else, then I am willing to stand corrected. PPS – I am NOT saying that the ILC would be useless in such a case. For instance, it would be very interesting to try to explore in detail the Higgs – T-quark system in regions near the boundaries in Froggatt’s Fig. 3 to look for phenomena possibly involving triviality or vacuum instability, and the ILC in conjunction with LHC would be very useful in such investigation, which is consistent with Froggatt’s discussion of the possibility that “… that there exists another vacuum state degenerate in energy density with the vacuum in which we live. …”. He goes on to say “… Thus we predict that our vacuum is barely stable and we just lie on the vacuum stability curve …”. Since such things are already indicated in data from Fermilab etc, they are not “new physics” in the sense of being new supersymmetric partner particles etc, but such things are ( to me, at least ) very interesting and justify building ILC to study them. 20. I would concur with Michael that no new physics at the LHC is a disaster for experimental particle physics \em in the short run. But I prefer to look further. I am not too concerned about HEP 10 or 15 years from now – I have tenure – but much more concerned with the progress of science -well ok let’s say (physics \oplus astrophysics)- as a whole. Now, IF the LHC sees nothing at all (say, not even a single Higgs) that is maybe motivation for canceling the ILC, but just as much motivation for a whole class of new theoreticians to come ahead stampeding the old ones, and produce intelligent new theories. Old ideas die with their supporters in science, just as much as new ones must see them old farts die before they flourish. As for us experimentalists, a sabbatical to outer space to collect gamma rays would be in order, who knows, maybe it would do us good. The frontier, we all know, is out there now, not in the core of CMS and ATLAS. I am not at all sure it would be a damage to the progress of science – we have been stuck with the same kind of stuff for too long IMO. Cheers, T. 21. Michael says: I think the ILC should only be viewed as a follow-up to discoveries made at the LHC. If there is nothing more that a SM-like Higgs boson, then precision studies of its properties, while very interesting, will not be exciting enough to justify a 10-20 billion machine. All public arguments for the ILC assume that one will also make precision measurements of whatever new physics is revealed by the LHC. If there nothing to be studied besides the Higgs, then we need to rethink our strategy. If no SM-like Higgs boson is found and no new phyiscs either, then that would be quite interesting, and as far as I know one would be forced to study longitudinal W scattering, which one would certainly not do with an ILC. I believe that the future of particle physics does lie at the centers of CMS and ATLAS (otherwise I would not be working there), and that even the amazing discoveries of astrophysics will require some particle physics input to be fully comprehended. We will soon see! 22. Michael says: Thank you, Peter, for the very kind advertisement of Collider Blog! 23. Perhaps a composite higgs / technicolour is a better opportunity for the ILC, it would give a lot of parameter space to be searched, shouldnt it? 24. sunderpeeche says: Surely that’s the whole point of building the LHC/ILC? To search and discover what’s really out there (composite Higgs/technicolour new particles …). To boldly go where no hand has set foot? 25. andy says: It seems to me that funding phenomenologists / collider theorists / model builders whose research has some relevance to experiment is a _good_ thing (rather than shoving more\$ into the bottomless pit of string “theory”.

26. sunderpeeche says:

The corresponding argument that “the public” (somewhat vaguely defined here) makes is that it is a good thing to fund research which has an obvious immediate commercial profit. Nobody knows where this (~string theory/all of HEP) will all lead. The real problem is that Nature is cruel — expt HEP has not produced new puzzles (physics beyond SM) for 30 years.

27. hack says:

The raccoons are clearly in their last throes.

28. sunderpeeche says:
29. knotted string says:

‘Objects that have remained undisturbed for an extended period of time may become housing for pests.’

30. SomeBody says:

With his usual candor, Dorigo wrote:
“I am not too concerned about HEP 10 or 15 years from now – I have tenure”

In other words, never mind whether I’ll be doing anything that’s of any use to anyone, the taxpayers are stuck supporting me anyway.

Welcome to the brave new world of HEP as social welfare.

31. sunderpeeche says:

Let’s present the full sentence, shall we?

But I prefer to look further. I am not too concerned about HEP 10 or 15 years from now – I have tenure – but much more concerned with the progress of science -well ok let’s say (physics \oplus astrophysics)- as a whole.

Read the second half before writing anything mean-spirited.

32. Peter Woit says:

SomeBody,

Dorigo has a job at a university in Italy, which I guess is now permanent, so, he has tenure like most people with long-term university jobs in Europe. He’s not being paid by the US taxpayer, but is being paid (probably not very well..) by the Italian taxpayer to teach and conduct research at a university. His point was that the question of whether the US taxpayer is willing to pay for a new accelerator or otherwise spend large sums on HEP research doesn’t affect his paycheck.

Would you prefer that he not have a permanent job at an Italian university, but have his paycheck depend on the health of the US HEP budget? If you want to rant about scientists on the government tit pushing for more money for HEP research to feather their own nests, that’s fine, but Dorigo is just pointing out that that’s not the category he’s in.

33. SomeBody says:

What exactly is it about the second half that you think modifies the first half?

34. SomeBody says:

Woit, as in the ILC discussion, you seem to find it relevant whether taxpayers are in the US or elsewhere. I don’t.

I know very well where Dorigo is, what he’s doing and who is paying him to do it. There is nothing in his post supporting your interpretation that “His point was that the question of whether the US taxpayer is willing to pay for a new accelerator”. His point is quite simply that no matter what happens to HEP, his own paycheck is secure (a conclusion which I do not share BTW, considering Italy’s precarious financial situation).

“Would you prefer that he not have a permanent job at an Italian university”

That’s correct.

“but have his paycheck depend on the health of the US HEP budget?”

Actually, whether he realizes it or not (apparently not) that is already the case. But as far as my personal preferences are concerned, the answer is no. I’d prefer his paycheck to depend on his performance in a productive activity where he’s actually earning it.

35. sunderpeeche says:

It’s hard (if not impossible) to think of the long-term if you have to worry constantly about feeding yourself in the short-term. That guarantee of employment (such as
it is) is one of the features of tenure.

As they say in non-idiomatic non-Italian …. Ach du Lieber.

36. Peter Woit says:

SomeBody,

So, this has nothing to do with HEP, US or otherwise, but is just an ideological rant about the socialistic practice of tenure that isolates some academics from the healthy discipline of market forces.

Please, this is tedious, off-topic, and has nothing to do with what is being discussed here.

37. SomeBody says:

Woit, it has everything to do with HEP! Once upon a time, HEP was a vibrant source of new scientific knowledge which attracted the best and brightest. You need look no further than Dorigo’s post to see who’s attracted to it now, and why.

38. Chris Oakley says:

SomeBody,

I agree with Peter. Tommaso is probably being paid mostly for teaching, and at a rate lower than a schoolteacher. His research interests are probably tolerated by the funding authorities rather than encouraged. The luxury that you no doubt live in as a result of being a self-made billionaire he will have had to forego in exchange for doing what really interests him.

39. Peter Woit says:

SomeBody,

The academic tenure system you object to has been around for centuries, it has nothing to do with the current problems of HEP.

I don’t know Dorigo personally, but from his blog posts he appears to be a highly competent, serious researcher who works hard at and cares about what he does. He also has a sense of humor, and knows that there’s no incompatibility between doing serious work and not taking oneself too seriously.

40. SomeBody says:

Oakley: no. Dorigo is an INFN “researcher”, not a university employee. He does what you do for a living (writes code) but of course, unlike you he needs tenure to be able to do it, or (as pointed out by sunderpeeche) he would no doubt be unable to “think of the long-term”.

41. sunderpeeche says:

The LHC will give “something to do” (expt HEP) for approx 10-15 years. What comes next? The ILC is one answer. Modern expt HEP projects take so long now to come to fruition that one must start thinking years in advance. Who can do that? Not someone whose job contract is due to expire in a year or two.

As I learnt many years ago (biology class? it’s been a long time) we have two hands and two feet to count the four important things in life: food, food, s – – and food. It’s hard to think of the big picture if one has to scurry around all the time to find one’s next meal.

42. Somebody,

I need to speak up for Tommaso. I know him quite well since several years. He is intelligent, creative, hard-working and very serious, facts which I’m sure are known to the INFN. He is not kept employed simply because he writes code, and I have the impression that INFN standards are higher than that. I didn’t like his comment either and posted my own response, but anyone who knows Tommaso know that he likes to make flippant remarks to provoke reactions. It may be annoying, but please lets not denigrate his strengths as a researcher nor use his remark as a sign of the weakness of HEP.

thanks.

43. Peter Woit says:

I’ve deleted the rest of this thread about Dorigo. Please refrain from any more obnoxious attacks on him here. He has his own blog, if you want to attack him for what he has to say, go do it there.

44. Chris Oakley says:

Superstrings are snake oil, says Sam from the UK.

45. SomeBody says:

Speaking of the devil, am I the last person on the planet to find out that Amazon is comarketing these two as “Better Together”?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0618551050/ref=pd_bxgy_text_b/103-3759420-5756605?%5Fencoding=UTF8

46. RahulM says:

Hello, what I meant was that suppose there is a very heavy fermion field at some scale far removed from TeV. Say a GUT-ish fermion weighing 10^15 GeV. Then that would produce a huge correction to the Higgs mass, of the order of 10^15 GeV! Therefore the SM is sensitive to physics far beyond it’s own scale, which is counter to everything in physics we have seen thus far. All you need is a heavy fermion or a scalar lurking somewhere between 1 TeV and 10^19 GeV and the SM will “jump” like crazy. That is why we say some new physics is needed at the TeV scale to have a smooth transition between the SM and whatever happens at GUT/Planck/whatever scale when physics gets unified.

47. Not a Nobel Laureate says:

Modern day HEP experiments are similar to the construction of the pyramids of ancient Egypt
in that

1. They are now multidecade undertakings; and

2. It’s great fun if you’re the Pharoah, but questionable if you’re the pleb up to your knees in straw, mud and sh*t.

48. sunderpeeche says:

Basically, that’s the way it is. It’s good to be the King.

The racoons are not done yet.

At 8:06 PM, raccoons again tested the cross-gallery defenses. One raccoon was caught by a patrol and questioned. She claimed that she was disoriented by the high frequency noises and accidentally stumbled into the gallery. The patrol took her picture, paw print, and then escorted her out of the building.

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/news06/update_archive/update_5-30_5-31.html

Is a picture of the raccoon available?