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Full many a Higgs… January 30, 2006

Posted by dorigo in personal, physics.
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My love for English Literature has lived undampened to this day from my high school, when I was infected by my English professor, Alessandro Todesca. I am an ignorant, I must confess: too lazy to deepen my knowledge, I just enjoy the few poems I got to know and love as a student. But I know most of them by heart.

I remember getting on my friends’ nerves once, when I recited – better say shouted – the whole Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner (a ballad by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in seven verses) during our ascent of Cima Scalieret, an easy but enduring 10000-feet peak in the Dolomites. Since then, I have become aware that reciting poems is not generally considered entertaining, and learned to keep them to myself, when – in vacant or in pensive mood – I have time to
silently spell them and enjoy their purity.

Today I was giving the finishing touches to my contribution to the TeV4LHC proceedings, when I happened to recall four lines from Richard Burns I put in the first page of my Ph.D. thesis. They are from “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”:

 Full many a gem of purest ray serene
 The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear; 
 Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen
 And waste its sweetness in the desert air.

Most certainly they came to my mind due to the combination of my receiving a Kunzite (see pic in an earlier post from today, below) and thinking about the Z boson decay to b quarks, which indeed was the subject of my Ph.D. thesis.

The relevance of these verses to the general melancholy of the Higgs hunter at the Tevatron is obvious… Suffices to say that the Tevatron is currently producing of the order of 20 Higgs bosons per day in CDF and D0, and yet they blush unseen, born by dark unfathomed caves of billion-event datasets, or waste their signal in the desert of a trigger veto.

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