Blogging ICHEP 2010

A collective forum about the 35th edition of
the International Conference on High Energy Physics (Paris, July 2010)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, brief summary

Since I was having trouble with the WLAN yesterday, I couldn't blog the first plenary session. My colleagues have already written in more detail about the most interesting results presented, so I'll just give a brief summary of my impressions: The LHC experiments are well on their way towards "rediscovering" the Standard Model (they have the low-mass resonances, the J/ψ, Υ, W and Z, and several top candidate events). Nicolas Sarkozy is a politician; it is of course a great honour to have him officially open the conference (in particular when he calls the participants "the hope of the planet"), but it might be unwise to put too much faith into his words regarding research funding. he Tevatron has excluded the Higgs mass range of 158 to 175 GeV and is beginning to also exclude a low-mass Higgs (although the LEP bounds are still stronger there). The rumour about a possible discovery of the Higgs as the Tevatron was just a rumour, the 2σ fluctuation observed is not significant.

A significant discrepancy between theory and experiment was, however, observed at the banquet: theory predicted a stable circulating beam of physicists scattering elastically off several targets representing the culinary traditions of the different French regions. Experimentally, a lot of pile-up events were observed, leading to early depletion of the targets and a failure to achieve saturation for many participants ... clearly, some more effort needs to go into the modelling of such high-density situations in culinary physics.

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