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A Word About the Author

March 16, 2017

td for elsevierThis blog, now active since 2011, is mainly the result of my efforts to bring to public domain the information from presentations, posters and discussions taking place at the Neutrino Telescopes conferences. I thus thought I would put here some information on myself here.

My name is Tommaso Dorigo. I am not a neutrino physicist – in fact I have spent all my research time at particle colliders, collaborating with CDF (1992-2012) and CMS (2001-present). Since 2005 I have a blog where I do outreach in particle physics and related topics. My current web site is at http://www.science20.com/quantum_diaries_survivor – the name “Quantum Diaries Survivor” comes from the 2005 “Quantum Diaries” endeavour, to which I was asked to participate as an activity for the “international year of physics”. I found out I got a kick from blogging, and I have not stopped since. The web contains over 2000 articles I wrote in the course of the last 13 years. About 200 of them are in this site, which I only attend to during the week of the conference.

frontcoverI  am employed by INFN at the University of Padova. Since 2015 I  am the scientific coordinator of the European project AMVA4NewPhysics, a ITN network of 18 nodes which trains early-stage researchers in physics and machine learning. I am also an editor of the Elsevier journal Reviews in Physics. In 2016 I published the book “Anomaly! Collider physics and the quest for new phenomena at Fermilab” (see cover on the right; you can purchase a copy of the book here).

Speaking of the book, which describes the sociology of a large particle physics experiment (CDF) confronting with different views on how to handle anomalous signals unearthed in thedata, below I paste a few reviews and links.

 

Synopsis:

“From the mid-1980s, an international collaboration of 600 physicists embarked on the investigation of subnuclear physics at the high-energy frontier. As well as discovering the top quark, the heaviest elementary particle ever observed, the physicists analyzed their data to seek signals of new physics which could revolutionize our understanding of nature.
Anomaly! tells the story of that quest, and focuses specifically on the finding of several unexplained effects which were unearthed in the process. These anomalies proved highly controversial within the large team: to some collaborators they called for immediate publication, while to others their divulgation threatened to jeopardize the reputation of the experiment.
Written in a confidential, narrative style, this book looks at the sociology of a large scientific collaboration, providing insight in the relationships between top physicists at the turn of the millennium. The stories offer an insider’s view of the life cycle of the “failed” discoveries that unavoidably accompany even the greatest endeavors in modern particle physics.”

Endorsements:

“In this book, Tommaso Dorigo gives the reader a fascinating look at experimental elementary particle physics from the inside, showing the warts as well as the triumphs. Unusually for such a book, he focuses not just on the discoveries and the milestone measurements, but also on the would-be discoveries that did not pan out — the apparent departures from the Standard Model of particle physics that turned out to result from statistical fluctuations or imprecise modeling. The reader will come away with a new appreciation for the challenges of doing high energy experimental physics and getting it right.” – Edward Witten,  1990 Fields Medallist, Princeton University

“Dorigo has written a charming and irreverent description of how a successful, large, particle physics collider detector group functioned to make important discoveries — and to avoid mistakes. The approach is continuous anecdotes, and along the way the reader learns enough physics to grasp the outcomes. He also makes clear how physicists know well who should get credit for major contributions even in a large detector group.” – Gordon Kane, Author of “Supersymmetry and Beyond”, 2013

” Tommaso Dorigo’s Anomaly! is itself an anomaly amidst popular science books, giving an unusually lively and clear-eyed inside look at how physics is done at the large particle collider collaborations. The physics results from the Tevatron collider have now entered the textbooks, but the very human story of the suspenseful twists and turns behind them has never before been told. If you’re even slightly interested in how particle physics is really done, this is your chance to find out. Dorigo is a talented and irreverent scientist, but at the same time a compelling and entertaining writer, and Anomaly! brings the recent history of high energy physics to life.” – Peter Woit, Author of “Not Even Wrong”, 2006

“Elementary particles don’t have ambitions or emotions, but the people who study them surely do. In Anomaly!, Tommaso Dorigo takes you on an expert-guided journey into both the massive machines that discover the building blocks of nature, and the egos and ids of the scientists behind them. An entertaining and provocative view into what life is really like on the cutting edge of physics.” – Sean Carroll, author of “The Particle at the End of the Universe”, 2012

“A captivating narrative that makes you feel the excitement of an experiment on the verge of a fundamental physics discovery.” –  Gianfrancesco Giudice, author of A Zeptospace Odyssey, 2009

“What makes Anomaly! unique is the sense of what research is like within a collaboration determined to make history. There have been other accounts of discovery in particle physics experiments … But none has captured the boom-and-bust cycle of collaborative frontier science quite so well and quite so entertainingly as Dorigo. His lively tour of the false discoveries and crushed ambitions, the outrageous hope, hard work and intense focus is a guilty pleasure in the very best sense.” – Times Higher Education

Reviews:

by Peter Woit at “Not Even Wrong”

by Tara Shears at “Times Higher Education”

by Tristan du Pree at “The Reference Frame

– by Andrea Giammanco for the “Italian Physics Society”

 

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