Various and Sundry

Various HEP-related links:

Update: Wired describes job opportunities for physicists and astrophysicists in the fashion industry.

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6 Responses to Various and Sundry

  1. Anthony Reynolds says:

    I thought Scott Aaronson’s blurb about Sean Carroll’s book was a bit over the top. Tears of joy? Really?

  2. Peter Woit says:

    Anthony Reynolds,

    Aaronson is the first person thanked in the book, for extensive editorial help. I suspect he may be the one responsible for keeping the multiple universe woo to a minimum in the book itself.

    Too bad he likely had no say on the book jacket. I do wonder what he thinks of the ongoing Carroll multiple worlds promotional campaign.

  3. Shantanu says:

    Peter: I don’t think the KICP conference on cosmic controversies is livewebcast (despite the link you mentioned). Only the panel debates are put up online.

  4. Peter Woit says:

    I’m getting the livestream at that link right now, Arkani-Hamed is on…

  5. tulpoeid says:

    So, the physics briefing book looks really good as an up-to-date summary of the field.

    However, one sentence in the linked CERN Courier article grabbed my attention: “Readers are reminded that the discovery of neutrino oscillations constitutes a ‘laboratory’ proof of physics beyond the Standard Model.”

    Last I checked, there was nothing “proving” BSM physics in neutrino oscillations. I went through that part in the book looking for developments that I might have missed and there are none. Actually, quoting Par.6.1.1,

    “To obtain finite neutrino masses, the Standard Model has to be extended in some way. A minimal extension is to introduce gauge singlet neutrinos (so-called right-handed or sterile neutrinos) which would allow to write down a Dirac mass term for neutrinos, in the same way as for all other fermions. This could indeed be the only source of neutrino masses, but in this case coupling constants need to be smaller than 10^-11 and lepton-number conservation has to be postulated as a fundamental symmetry.”

    Despite clarifying that the SM might turn out to be adequate, a few lines above it is stated indeed that “The discovery of neutrino oscillation proves that neutrinos have non-zero masses. This is one of the few solid experimental proofs of physics beyond the Standard Model, as new interactions or new elementary particle states are needed to introduce this mass term in the Lagrangian.”

    I’m not saying that I wouldn’t like neutrino masses to turn out BSM, but … is neutrino hype the new selling point? Are we so desperate now?

  6. Peter Woit says:


    I pretty much agree, although the “neutrino masses are BSM” argument is a common one. What people have in mind is the argument that if you don’t add a sterile right-handed neutrino fields and just have Majorana mass terms, the usual Higgs sector won’t do it, you need something else. However, you can just add a sterile right-handed neutrino field and have exactly the same kind of Dirac mass terms as for the other fermions (then you have to explain why the Yukawas are so small, but you don’t understand anything about the values of Yukawas anyway). To me, calling such a scenario “BSM” is kind of misleading.

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