The publication of the novel "The three body problem" written by Chinese author Cixin Liu rekindled my interest about this long-standing issue in classical dynamics. As also pointed out in the novel, an empty space is stationary (and boring). An empty space plus a spherical body is also stationary (still boring). An empty space plus … Continue reading The three-body problem

# A few thoughts about the 750 GeV diphoton bump

The big news in particle physics during the winter 2015-2016 is certainly the excess found by the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations in the invariant mass of two high-energetic photons in the data acquired in 2015 at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 TeV. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then it's time to catch … Continue reading A few thoughts about the 750 GeV diphoton bump

# Comparing Apples to Apples

How big is the biggest apple you could buy from your favorite supermarket? Surprisingly enough, you can actually give a reasonable answer just buying a bag of apples. In the example below, I weighed 8 apples and created a histogram with 5 bins in the range 100 - 150 g using CERN ROOT. TH1D * h = … Continue reading Comparing Apples to Apples

# Is Toronto bigger than…?

After I moved to Toronto, Canada, many friends keep me asking whether their hometown can fit into my new city's borders. Intrigued by their questions, I superimposed some maps taken from google, with same scale (1cm = 5 km). I also sketched an approximate border of Toronto to make the comparisons easier. What I've found … Continue reading Is Toronto bigger than…?

# What to do in physics when “everything else fails”

10. Subtract Infinity 9. Add heavy fermions 8. Set all fermion masses to zero 7. Invent another symmetry 6. Throw it on the lattice 5. Blame it on the Planck scale 4. Recall the success of the SM 3. Invoke the Anthropic Principle 2. Wave hands a lot, speak with a strong accent 1. Manipulate … Continue reading What to do in physics when “everything else fails”

# A Little Bit of Entropy

I'm reading a very interesting book written by Seth Lloyd called "Programming the Universe: a quantum computer scientist takes on the Cosmos". Highly recommended! I enjoyed in particular how entropy is compared to a spreading disease: a disease of ignorance. What is it all about? Let me explain briefly. From statistical mechanics, entropy is a measure … Continue reading A Little Bit of Entropy

# Are more babies born when there’s a new moon?

Introduction According to folklore, more babies are born under a New Moon. I was also said that during those days midwives have to book for more shifts. I think this is a pretty simple statement that can be tested (falsified) with some basic statistics, the main problem being where to find good data. My answer? Facebook, of … Continue reading Are more babies born when there’s a new moon?