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She killed her son May 22, 2008

Posted by dorigo in news.
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This woman killed her five-year-old son, in a probable moment of pure folly. Italian justice is slow, inefficient, and baroque – you are supposed innocent until a third degree of judgement has been emitted – but in some cases it finishes its job. And in this case it did. I can now, without joy, write here what is implied by the verdict: In the damned morning of January 30th, 2002 Annamaria Franzoni brought her older son to the schoolbus stop, got back home, went to her bedroom where her younger son was probably crying, was taken by a blind rage, and hit the boy repeatedly with a copper tool on the head, until there was blood everywhere. Then she got back to her senses, probably cleaned herself as well as she could, and called emergency.

The investigations were long, controversial, crazy. An attempt was discovered which was forging false evidence to give credibility to a theory according to which somebody else had killed the boy (blood stains crafted along a possible escape route). Political ingerence, lawyers offering their services free of charge to acquire visibility. But today Annamaria Franzoni is in jail, convicted to 16 years of detention.

As I said, I do not rejoice for this unhappy ending. After all, Annamaria leaves two young children and a husband alone. She is probably not dangerous anymore -although nobody can say that for sure; but aren’t we all dangerous animals, under particular circumstances ?

In any case, let me say that I am totally convinced of her guilt. I have always been. Sure, no bulletproof evidence was found by the investigators. It is, theoretically, possible that somebody sneaked in Franzoni’s house during her five minutes of absence, rushed to the bedroom, killed the boy, and left, without leaving a trace, without being seen, and disappearing in the void. Theoretically. But I give this scenario a one-in-a-billion chance of being true.

No: as reluctant we may be to picturing a loving mother smashing the head of his beloved son, we have to face reality. It does happen. Men -and women sometimes, less frequently- are beasts, and they behave as civilized beings only because of conditioning from the outside environment. We do kill, and sometimes we do it for futile reasons, or just because our brain has temporarily shut off.

So, I am not happy for Annamaria Franzoni secluded in a prison. Instead, I am quite happy for the fact that justice managed, for once, to do its course. The prosecutors and the judges have to be thanked for carrying out a really unthankful task.

Comments

1. Kea - May 22, 2008

OK, I get it now. There are really 10 Tommaso’s who take turns blogging.

2. dorigo - May 22, 2008

Lol from #7 (on duty now)
Cheers,
T.

3. goffredo - May 22, 2008

How about talking about the real news? A death observed while it happened
http://www.physorg.com/news130593555.html

4. Bee - May 22, 2008

Gee, what a story that early in the morning! Luckily the first thing I read today what this advice how to deal with a rejection letter from a referee and I’m still giggling about it. Here it comes

“I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me.”

Attributed to Max Reger.

Anyway, something completely off-topic. I have a stupid question, I can’t quite figure out where this argument goes wrong: Consider you have a hydrogen atom with electrons. If you count the quantum numbers there are infinitely many states for it to be in, and they all lie in a finite energy range. That energy range is in comparison to typical collider energies tiny. So one could say you have an infinite amount of almost degenerated states. The probability to pair-produce a hydrogen-atom (not nucleus) and its anti-partner must be tiny, but if you multiply it with infinity the result is infinite. Thus, we’d be making a damned lot of hydrogen atoms. Now bound states aren’t outgoing states, you’d usually have to make them through hadronization/string fragmentation of some kind, but if you pair produce it seems to me there should be an existing, though tiny, probability this happens with all the appropriate particles with the right energies in the right places. Obviously, that’s nonsense. But exactly why so?

5. dorigo - May 22, 2008

Hi Bee,

lol, I can picture the LHC beampipe getting filled with hydrogen until it eventually explodes🙂

I do not understand the argument that since there’s an infinity of available quantum states for the electronic orbits the cross section gets enhanced. I would naively factorize the cross section for H antiH production as a pp \to p \bar p e^+ e^- X reaction (I am assuming a inelastic process at the LHC, where both projectiles dissociate into hadrons) with a factor accounting for the probability that the outgoing bodies bind into the hydrogen final states. If these are two different phases (and they certanly should be, given the different energy scales involved and so typical time scales) I would say one has, on the production side, a small probability because it is suppressed by alpha_em with respect to regular proton-antiproton production; then, a very small probability of wavefunctions of protons and electrons overlapping suitably, multiplied by a binding probability.

Maybe I am being too naive… Let me know, I have lots of brilliant minds next to me right now (I am sitting next to David Cline and nudging Gordie Kane on the other side).

Cheers,
T.

6. dorigo - May 22, 2008

Hi Goffredo,

interesting. Thanks for the link… I am hearing lots about supernovae at this conference. Apparently it is not so critical to measure them quite early on, as much as gather spectral and luminosity data for as many as possible at high redshift, for a clean determination of parameters on dark energy – you get the integrated history of the expansion from them.

Cheers,
T.

7. Bee - May 23, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

Yeah, I had roughly the same reaction in mind, with some minuscule probability that the state is bound. My problem is, if that state has an infinite amount of quantum numbers (with energies that are almost degenerate), then the phase space density would be extremely high in a fairly narrow energy range, no? You’d have to sum over all possible l,m,n.

-B.

8. Frank Wilhoit - May 23, 2008

The world is full of crazy people — there’s one more.

I have never understood the widespread fascination with the doings–whether harmful, spectacular, endearing, or merely baffling–of crazy people. Craziness is neither predictive nor explanatory and its study therefore strikes me as a total waste.

9. dorigo - May 23, 2008

Mumble mumble, Bee…

I admit I have no clue, but I will ask around. However, I believe I am not your best bet for a satisfactory answer… If you find it yourself though, please let me know!

Cheers,
T.

10. dorigo - May 23, 2008

Hi Frank,

as wasteful as it certainly is, craziness is a very particular manifestation of the human mind and as such it is intriguing to me.

Cheers,
T.

11. Bee - May 25, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

Yeah, please let me know! I think one probably just doesn’t sum over these quantum numbers, but I admittedly don’t quite see the technical reason. It’s an outgoing state, it has a quantum number, it’s being summed over which blows up the phase space. That’s about where I am stuck. Best,

B.


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