On the new CDF measurement of the W boson mass

Just before the LHC Run 3 restart, the big news in particle physics was (and probably still is) the new measurement of the mass of the W boson from the CDF experiment. I talked about it a week ago at the postposed-from-Christsmas-due-to-Omicron Nine Lessons for Curious people (see picture below, live Feynman-diagram drawing FTW.) What I said is also pretty well summarised in an article I wrote for BBC Science Focus:

W boson: Is the new measurement for the subatomic particle’s mass the first chink in the armour of the Standard Model?.

Posted in Particle Physics, Physics, Science | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on On the new CDF measurement of the W boson mass

LHC Run 3, the beginning

Today will be a busy day at CERN, with beams scheduled to go around the Large Hadron Collider tunnel, a big step towards the start of “Run 3”. This comes after a long, three year shutdown where, while struggling with challenges from COVID and the invasion of one of our associate member states by a (now suspended) observer state, a series of upgrades and maintenance tasks have been carried out on the accelerator and the experiments.

You can read some articles about it, with nice quotes from colleagues, here and here for example. And for a while at least you can hear me talking about it with Rick Edwards and Rachel Burden on BBC 5 Live Breakfast (just before 7am).

There’ll be no new collisions today, they should come in June, with the new (slightly) higher energy collisions targetted for July. You can see the long-term schedule here, and we’re still in the orange. Green is where the physics really happens.

But the machine is alive again, and it’s good.

Continue reading
Posted in Particle Physics, Science, Physics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Does sound make heat?

This is just a link to another of those quick physics answers I do sometimes for BBC Science Focus: Does sound make heat?

The previous one of these sort of connected with a conversation I had on twitter. I think this one probably connects with twitter in general, to be honest.

Posted in Physics, Science | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Does sound make heat?

Pi, and why we don’t melt

I got involved in a discussion the other day, initiated by the science writer Natalie Wolchover, about the geometry of the Earth and our intuitive understanding of it.

Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics, Physics, Science, Travel, Writing | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Pi, and why we don’t melt