Monday, 21 September 2009


Last week I was stranded at a conference far in Italy. There was no internet to speak of; instead, the venue was offering alternative commodities. Like for example a chapel:

It striked me as a really good idea. They say that science and religion cannot go hand in hand, but that's obviously not true. Take the first example in a row: the Higgs searches at Tevatron.
According to the plot on the right, Tevatron has roughly a 30 percent chance of finding a 3 sigma evidence for the Higgs in the most interesting region between 115 and 130 GeV. Since we speak of chances the matter is open for prayers. Therefore chapels should be available not only at conferences but also at every accelerator facility.

In that case one would expect the following pattern:
  • Tevatron would pray that they find the Higgs
  • The LHC would pray that Tevatron does not find the Higgs
  • Graduate students at the LHC would pray for any data at all before they turn fifty
  • Everybody would pray that the magnets do not explode
  • Except for Hawaii surfers and Holger Nielsen who would pray for the contrary
And, as usual, gods will cast dice to decide whose requests should be granted.


Anonymous said...

are you sure that senior people involved in tevatron experiments will not pray for the magnets to explode?

or else are they not so confident about tevatron chances?

Jester said...

No, they are not that evil. They dont want to see the LHC destroyed - humiliated would be enough :-)