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Physics made easy

In this page I collect a few links to posts I have written since 2005, first on the Quantum Diaries blog (http://blogs.quantumdiaries.org/6/) and then in the present one. I have made no attempt at rationalizing the order, but I tried to give a very small hint at the real content of the posts. I will put more order here as soon as I have a chance…

So let’s do this in chronological order, starting from the new blog:

CMS“, January 27th 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/01/27/cms/ discusses the CMS experiment in construction at the CERN laboratories in Switzerland.

Answer to Fred: tiny signals and huge backgrounds“, March 15th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/03/15/answer-to-fred-tiny-signal-and-huge-backgrounds/ discusses, well, the game we play at particle colliders: extracting small signals of interesting processes from huge un-interesting background processes.

Events at a particle collider“, March 15th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/03/15/events-at-a-particle-collider/ discusses the different way physics collisions are studied in fixed target and collider experiments.

More details on Bs mixing“, April 11th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/04/11/more-details-on-bs-mixing/ discusses with some detail the measurement of the oscillation frequency of Bs mesons.

Searching for extra dimensions“, May 5th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/05/05/searching-for-extra-dimensions/ briefly discusses a new CDF results on the search for a signature of large extra dimensions.

b-jets are cool“, May 24th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/05/24/b-jets-are-cool/ is a nice discussion of the phenomenology of jets of hadrons produced by b-quark hadronization.

God’s choice algorithm“, June 3rd, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/03/gods-choice-algorithm/ is an explanation of an algorithm I have devised, using bootstrap techniques. Less than extremely clear, but another post on the same subject helps (see below).

Kaluza-Klein modes“, June 5th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/05/kaluza-klein-modes/ is a short discussion of the model that predicts the existence of large extra dimensions.

Why measure the top quark mass“, June 6th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/06/why-measure-the-top-quark-mass/ is a concise but clear explanation of an important plot for particle physics, which connects the top quark mass to the unknown mass and properties of the Higgs boson.

Do you believe in SUSY“, June 7th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/07/292/ discusses why particle physicists are interested in symmetries and presents a critical view of the theory of Supersymmetry.

The talk slides I promised“, June 8th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/08/the-talk-slides-i-promised/ explains God’s choice algorithm in a bit of detail. More readable than the formerly cited post on the same subject.

Spin-Parity analysis of the X(3872)“, June 9th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/09/spin-parity-analysis-of-the-x3872/ is a clear and concise explanation of the phenomenology of the decay of the X meson, discovered a few years ago by Belle and now studied at CDF.

Single top observation – when?“, June 9th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/09/single-top-observation-when/ discusses the production processes of single top quarks at the Tevatron.

Baryon number violation in the SM“, June 10th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/10/baryon-number-violation-in-the-sm/ is a short answer to a question on the topic of the title.

Jet energy scale for total beginners“, June 16th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/16/jet-energy-scale-for-total-beginners/ discusses in detail some issues with the measurement of jet energy. It should be followed by the two posts below.

E scale: what do we do with it ?“, June 19th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/19/e-scale-what-do-we-do-with-it-2/ discusses why the jet energy scale is so important at the Tevatron experiments. It is a continuation of the former post.

Three – Jet energy resolution for novices“, June 20th, 2006: http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2006/06/20/three-jet-energy-resolution-for-novices/ is the third post of the same series, together with the two above. It discusses with some detail why the resolution of the jet energy measurement is crucial for Tevatron physics.

And now the posts I wrote in the old blog:

Collecting Z0 Bosons“, January 9th, 2005:  http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/01/collecting_z0_b.html discusses the data acquisition system of the CDF detector in general, and the trigger for Z0 boson decays to pair of b-jets in particular.

Jets: how we detect them“, January 9th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/01/jets_how_we_det.html is a simple explanation of the detection process of hadronic jets in a collider detector.

A day at work“, January 12th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/01/finding_z_boson.html discusses the extraction of the Z->bb decay in CDF data in simple terms.

Beauty in a plot“, January 17th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/01/beauty_in_a_plo.html explains something more about the Z signal extraction.

Spinning neutrinos“, January 21st, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/01/spinning_neutri.html is a clear explanation of one of the most intriguing and beautiful experiments in particle physics, the one that determined the left-handed nature of neutrinos (I am quite proud of this one).

Blessed!!!“, February 18th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/02/blessed.html discusses once again the extraction of a Z->bb signal in CDF data, and produces the results and a concise explanation.

Colored partons“, February 23rd, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/02/colored_partons.html is a simple explanation of the structure of the proton in quarks and gluons, and what happens if you try to isolate one of these things from the rest. Quite readable IMO.

Hadronization“, February 25th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/02/color_radiation.html describes the process of fragmentation of quarks into jets of colorless hadrons, by taking Z decay as a starting point. It pairs well with the previous one.

Color flow“, February 27th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/02/color_radiation.html furthers a bit the properties of color in Quantum Chromodynamics, and should be read after the two previous ones.

For your eyes first“, March 4th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/03/for_your_eyes_f.html is a detailed account of my presentation at the Moriond QCD conference. Slides are shown and commented one by one.

Spectroscopy“, March 14th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/03/spectroscopy.html discusses the discovery of the X(3940) and then goes on to describe the famous tau-theta puzzle, a riddle that kept physicists busy in the fifties.

A new top mass measurement and why you should care about it“, June 19th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/06/a_new_top_mass_.html discusses the (then) most recent result on the top quark mass determination, and the implications of that measurement.

The Hyperballs disclosed“, June 27th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/06/the_hyperballs_.html is a simple explanation of an algorithm I have devised to improve the energy measurement of jets of hadrons. Quite readable, if you ask me.

New top cross section blessed!“, July 7th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/07/new_top_cross_s.html explains shortly what is a cross section, and why we measure it.

Insight in the new top cross section measurement“, July 10th, 2005: http://qd.typepad.com/6/2005/07/ok_so_i_promise.html discusses the details of the new method to extract a top quark signal in CDF data.

Happy reading!


1. Pietro - December 12, 2006


It would be a nice idea to update the list with the newer posts, wouldn’t it? :)


2. dorigo - December 13, 2006

Ciao Pietro,

yes, but I lack both energy and time… Not even in h-bar units.


3. dorigo - January 12, 2007

Now I partially fulfilled Pietro’s desire, in another page where I collect Higgs searches related posts.

4. dorigo - January 30, 2007

Hmmm, funny, but is that the best you can do ? I am leaving these comments on, so you can show below if you manage to improve.


5. Micro Black Holes » Introductory Physics - November 10, 2008

[...] Tommaso Dorigo has set up a page that explains the basics of experimental particle physics. [...]

6. nithya - February 17, 2009

an chess algorithm with an brief explanation in simple concept

7. digitap - April 6, 2009

OK, I’m a novice…actually, I’ve never taken a physics class in my life but I read a lot and pick things up easy enough. I read this comic but don’t get the punch line because I don’t understand Higgs Excitation. Here is the link: http://xkcd.com/564/ I stumbled across your web site researching this and you seemed like someone who would explain this comic strip. Thanks in advance for your time.

8. dorigo - April 7, 2009

Digitap, the cartoon makes no sense to me either. I suspect it is just nonsensical.


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