Margin of Error

We have achieved 100k COVID-19 tests in day hurrah! Bang the pots and pans and stuff.

There’s a certain amount of cynicism, with even the BBC fact-checking itself. Some of the tests are in the post, and several were on the same person. But there’s enough coverage in reality for the claim to be made (it doesn’t take much) and actually I find myself wondering about Matt Hancock.

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Posted in Politics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

URL right

I changed the title of my previous post, because I was worried it would mislead people, or at best look like a crap pun.


From the Guardian/Observer article linked below, poll by Opinium

It was originally called “A boost in testing times”. The potentially misleading — and entirely unintentional — pun here was that it could have made people think I had some information on speeding up COVID-19 tests, which I don’t, and which is too serious a thing to make clickbait puns about, frankly.

(The excellent and intended pun of course was the elision of the Lorentz boost of the Higgs boson in the measurement in question, the boost it gave to us testing the nature of said boson, and the boost to my morale of seeing a measurement I’d proposed more than ten years ago finally done.)

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A boost in trying times

My first ever blog post was about measuring the Higgs boson when it is produced with very high momentum and decays to b-quarks. When that happens, all the decay products of the Higgs appear in a single “jet” of particles. We proposed interrogating the internal structure of that jet to pick out the Higgs. In a seminar this week, Hannah Arnold from the ATLAS experiment showed the first actual measurement of this.


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Posted in Particle Physics, Physics, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Today I Learned

Hampstead Heath Constabulary appear to have taken on the role of personal trainers to the community.

As I took my officially-sanctioned exercise (stroll) today, one of them was driving very slowly along the paths wide enough to accommodate his car, and it was really impressive to see how everyone who had been slacking a bit suddenly became re-enthused with their yoga, or set off again on their circuit training. Especially impressed by the generously-proportioned bronze fellow who looked to be asleep on a bench at first but began doing press-ups on it within seconds of the appearance of the megaphone.

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Posted in Rambling, Silly | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment