The Universe Speaks in Numbers

I have reviewed Graham Farmelo’s new book for Nature.

You can find the full review here.

Mathematics, physics and the relationship between the two is a fascinating topic which sparks much discussion. The review only came out this morning and has already sparked a flurry of emails. Generally I’d prefer it if the discussion were to be held in the comments here rather than my inbox.

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Exploring the “Higgs Portal”

The Higgs boson is unique. Does it open a door to Dark Matter?

All known fundamental particles acquire mass by interacting with the Higgs boson. Actually, more correctly, they interact with a quantum field which is present even in “empty” space, and the Higgs boson itself is an “excitation” – a quantum ripple – in that field. Either way, what this means is that if you create a Higgs boson, it can and will decay, producing other particles, via those same interactions.

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Particle & astro-particle physics annual UK meeting

The annual UK particle physics and astroparticle physics conference was hosted by Imperial this week, and has just finished. Some slightly random highlights.

Dark Matter PDG

Goals (slide from the plenary talk by Chris McCabe, KCL)

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Observation of a previously unseen behaviour of light

Evidence  Observation: Another update from the arXiv – this went (well) over 5 sigma today (link to ATLAS paper at the bottom of the article).

Life and Physics

Beams of light do not, generally speaking, bounce off each other like snooker balls. But at the high energies in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN they have just been observed doing exactly that


At the Guardian.

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