Various Items

  • CERN just issued a press release announcing the decision about the energy for the initial LHC run: 3.5 TeV/beam.

    The procedure for the 2009 start-up will be to inject and capture beams in each direction, take collision data for a few shifts at the injection energy, and then commission the ramp to higher energy. The first high-energy data should be collected a few weeks after the first beam of 2009 is injected. The LHC will run at 3.5 TeV per beam until a significant data sample has been collected and the operations team has gained experience in running the machine. Thereafter, with the benefit of that experience, the energy will be taken towards 5 TeV per beam. At the end of 2010, the LHC will be run with lead ions for the first time. After that, the LHC will shut down and work will begin on moving the machine towards 7 TeV per beam.

  • The Lost University will be running two courses on physics, starting September 22. The more advanced one will be taught by Jeremy Davies, based on Lynne McTaggart’s book The Field:The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe

    This book cites scientific experiments that examine the Zero Point Field, which is believed by some to be a universal energy source that connects everything.

    The other physics course will be taught by Sean Carroll, Clifford Johnson and Nick Warner. It’s entitled Introductory Physics of Time Travel and will be the prerequisite for a later course on “Advanced Physics of Time Travel”. One of the texts will be Sean Carroll’s forthcoming book.

    More about this from Clifford Johnson here.

  • The Anacapa Society, an organization aimed at promoting theoretical physics research at undergraduate institutions, has taken up permanent residence at Amherst, more here.
  • Tommaso Dorigo is trying to stir up trouble again, this time by pointing out the intriguing fact that, looking at events with just electron-positron pairs, both D0 and CDF have seen more than expected at an invariant mass around 720 GeV. Not that this is statistically significant or anything…
  • Talks from the recent FQXI conference in the Azores are available here.
  • Talks from the on-going Newton Institute workshop on Non-Abelian Fundamental Groups in Arithmetic Geometry are available here. Commentary from Jordan Ellenberg about Deligne’s talk is here. Jordan notes that:

    When I was first giving public lectures, someone gave me the hoary advice that I should quell nervousness by imagining the members of the audience in their underwear. Strange to think that, in this new broadband world, most of them actually are.

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    3 Responses to Various Items

    1. spear Mark the Second says:

      We’re finding out the LHC was pushed a bit far… too much reach on not enough money. An honored tradition, in its way… the original main ring at FNAL, the SLC at SLAC, and pretty much the whole CESR/CLEO program at Cornell. They all caught up by using operating funds to complete the job.

      CERN historically has gotten the resources for the reach they proposed. But now there is no competition, so why not? The only question is whether the public will turn against the LHC because the hype got a bit out of control last year. If Conan O’Brien makes a joke out of a couple billion for contacts as bad as an american toaster, that will be bad.

    2. Shantanu says:

      Peter, welcome back. Any comments on the recent review on quantum gravity
      (esp. the section on string theory) posted by Thomas in which your book is cited?
      Also videos of Planck 09 conference are online.

    3. Peter Woit says:


      See the next posting…

    Comments are closed.