I’ve spent most of the last month traveling, first to Latvia and Russia, then to China, finally to Seattle. Back now, looking forward to staying in one time zone and not seeing the interior of a plane for a while.

In China I visited Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Yellow Mountain, Hong Kong and Macao, all of which was an amazing experience (thanks to John Baez for, among other things, urging me to search out the few remaining sections of old Shanghai). The weather unfortunately was less than ideal, with record heat in Shanghai, rain at Yellow Mountain, and clouds the day of the eclipse. Still, it was a lot of fun to be in People’s Square and see the city go dark for 6 minutes. Here’s one view from about that moment:

After getting back to New York from China, I turned around and went out to Seattle to attend my friend Nathan Myhrvold’s surprise 50th birthday party. This was held at the new lab of his company, Intellectual Ventures, and among the organizers were Bill Gates and Lowell Wood. In attendance were many of the luminaries of the technology and culinary worlds, with Wylie Dufresne of New York’s WD-50 one of several chefs who came in to attend the party and serve amazing food to the guests. Not the sort of party I normally attend…

Regular blogging will resume imminently. Things seem to have been rather quiet the past couple weeks anyway. The news of delays at the LHC reported here earlier has been getting more media attention. There’s a very good article about the LHC problems by Adrian Cho at Science here, and the New York Times ran a front-page story yesterday. For some reason, the Times decided that it was important to quote what prominent theorists have to say about this, including:

“I’ve waited 15 years,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a leading particle theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. “I want it to get up running. We can’t tolerate another disaster. It has to run smoothly from now.”

Gordon Watts has some comments about this here (including pointing out that “running smoothly from now” is probably not in the cards), and there’s also a good posting at Resonaances.

My understanding is that the LMC (LHC Machine Committee) was meeting today to go over all that is known about the splices problem and discuss the question of what the highest energy is at which the machine can safely run in its current state. A smaller group of people, in consultation with the experiments and the director, will then have to decide either to run at that energy, or accept further delays for repairs to allow running at a higher energy. It’s not known how long that decision will take, but presumably it will come soon. If no further repairs are to be made, the current schedule has the machine ready for injection of a beam in mid-November.

Update: It’s 3.5 TeV/beam.

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12 Responses to Back

  1. Chris W. says:

    Welcome back!

    (Are you going to re-open comments on the previous post [“Weinberg at CERN”] or just let that sleeping dog lie?)

  2. Haelfix says:

    Yea the last post does deserve some scrutiny, b/c its interesting and there are some good arguments against that conclusion.

  3. Peter Woit says:

    I think I’ll just leave that one closed. This particular topic in quantum gravity has been discussed repeatedly on many blogs, the likelihood of anyone having anything new and enlightening to contribute on the subject seems small, and Lubos has provided a venue to argue with Weinberg about this.

  4. sorinis says:

    When is the 3.5 TeV happening? In November?

  5. woit says:

    Current schedule is to try and inject a beam at low energy mid-November, with about a month required to get usable colliding beams at 3.5 TeV. But they may be shutting down for a while over Christmas/New Years…

  6. Geometrick says:

    Is 3.5 TeV in the range for supersymmetry? When will we finally get some hard evidence of the existence or non-existence of SUSY?

  7. dir says:

    you missed beijing?

  8. Peter Woit says:


    I figured it best to leave Beijing for my next trip to China….

  9. graviton383 says:

    With this reduced center of mass energy and the relatively low integrated luminosity that is expected, it may take some reasonable time to generate sufficient SUSY signals
    beyond the bounds that already exist from the Tevatron. However, the real issue is not that but how long it will be for the detectors to be understood well enough to make any new physics claims.. if the new physics is at all subtle as would be the case for general SUSY.

  10. dir says:

    if you come to beijing, let me know. i’m an expert in food in beijing.

  11. ESPOL says:

    The power of the storms always cause us to wonder, nature always reminds us that we are small and limited

  12. Shantanu says:

    Peter, some other summer conferences/schools
    o NEw England Particle Physics summer retreat
    (see esp. the talk on physics beyond standard model)

    o Abhay fest
    Maybe you could report if you found anything interesting in these meetings

Comments are closed.