The LHC media blitz is in full swing, with last week’s long New Yorker article now followed by an unusually long and detailed New York Times piece titled A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions. Dennis Overbye does an excellent job of covering the story. Besides the experimentalists actually involved in building the machines, he quotes theorists John Ellis, Joe Lykken, Nima Arkani-Hamed and Michelangelo Mangano. To distinguish this piece from the New Yorker one, here it’s Mangano who is the one who consumes a lot of espresso. There are side-bars about the recent problem with the Fermilab magnets and about the implications for string theory (not much). There’s a multimedia component to the Times coverage, with interactive graphics, a slide show, a podcast (an interview with Arkani-Hamed, described as “one of the physicists at the center of the project”), and a video.
I do fear all this LHC coverage is peaking too early. With still probably at least a year to go before the machine even starts taking data, the coverage may already be generating an LHC overexposure problem: see Chad Orzel’s new posting Tired of the LHC. If Chad is already complaining about this, boy is he going to be grumpy about it by a year from now…
The New Yorker keeps its physics theme going this week with cover art that includes a blackboard full of basic equations from quantum mechanics.
The NY Times article includes the usual not very cogent explanation of the role of the Higgs. For something much better aimed at explaining Higgs-hunting to the general public, see the online interactive presentation Hunt for Higgs, part of a web-site about the LHC called Big Bang.
Blogging may be light the next week or so since I’ll be traveling. First stop is Trieste, where I’ll be speaking at 5pm on Friday as part of a large event there called FEST. From there I’ll make brief visits to Geneva, Paris and London, back here in New York late next week.