Monday, June 27, 2016

Landau's Nobel Prize in Physics

This is a fascinating article. It describes, using the Nobel prize archives, the process that led to Lev Landau's nomination and winning the Nobel Prize in physics. But more than that, it also describes the behind-the-scenes nominating process for the Nobel Prize.

I'm not sure if the process has change significantly since then, but I would imaging that many of the mechanism leading up to a nomination and winning the prize are similar.


Wednesday, June 08, 2016

New Physics Beyond The Higgs?

Marcelo Gleiser has written a nice article on the curious 750 GeV bump coming from the LHC as announced last year. It is a very good article for the general public, especially on his condensed version of the analysis provided by PRL on the possible origin of this bump.

Still, there is an important point that I want to highlight that is not necessarily about this particular experiment, but rather about physicists and how physics is done. It is in this paragraph:

The exciting part of this is that the bump would be new, surprising physics, beyond expectations. There's nothing more interesting for a scientist than to have the unexpected show up, as if nature is trying to nudge us to look in a different direction.

If you have followed this blog for a considerable period of time, you would have read something similar in my many postings. This is especially true when I tried to debunk the erroneous claim of many crackpots who keep stressing that scientists are merely people who simply work within the box, and can't think outside of the box, or refuse to look for something new. This is of course, utterly dumb and false, because scientists, by definition, study things that are not known, not fully understood, etc. Otherwise, there will be no progression of knowledge the way we have seen it.

I'm going to keep harping this, because I continue to see nonsense like this being perpetuated in many different places.