Sunday, October 30, 2011

Miss USA 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rangoli 2011

Courtesy my niece:

Rangoli 2011

Full set

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bergeron on OPERA

Via Tommaso Dorigo,

About Statistical Questions Involved in the Data Analysis of the OPERA Experiment
Authors: H. Bergeron
(Submitted on 24 Oct 2011)

Abstract: The authors of the OPERA experiment [arXiv:1109.4897] claim that "the measurement indicates an early arrival time of CNGS muon neutrinos with respect to the one computed assuming the speed of light in vacuum". In this note we analyze the statistical aspects of the experimental results presented in [arXiv:1109.4897], assuming that no hidden experimental bias exists. Due to statistical constraints, we show (through two different methods) that the experimental data presented in [arXiv:1109.4897] do not permit to conclude unambiguously with the existence of a superluminal behavior of neutrinos. The problem lies essentially in the interpretation of the data and not in their veracity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Neutrinos on the brain - redux

Readers of this blog may have noticed that ever since the OPERA collaboration announced finding neutrinos that travel faster than light, I have been scratching my head about something.  Here, in the simplest possible terms is what I'm thinking about.

A how-to and a how to?

First - a how-to do something:
Second - a question about how to do something.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Auditors' contribution to the fiscal crisis

Floyd Norris has written in today's New York Times that the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board was harshly critical of 27 of 61 of the Deloitte & Touche's audits that it inspected, over three years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sneak Peek at Adobe's Image Deblurring

Neutrinos on the brain-12

(PDF) An attempt to understand the statistical error in the time-of-flight estimate in the OPERA experiment.

I'd rather stay up and finish this, but....

Neutrinos on the brain-11

Tommaso Dorigo tells us about the ICARUS collaboration's refutation of the OPERA superluminal neutrino result.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Neutrinos on the brain-10

C.I.P. points to this article from Technology Review. There is a discussion of a claim by Ronald van Elburg that the motion of GPS satellites is not factored into the time of flight calculations at OPERA.

My reply is that per this note the GPS satellite designers have thought of all of that. A key excerpt:

The concept of coordinate time in a local inertial frame is established for the GPS as follows. In the local Earth-Centered Inertial frame, imagine a network of atomic clocks at rest and synchronized using constancy of c. To each real, moving clock apply corrections to yield a paper clock which then agrees with one of these hypothetical clocks in the underlying inertial frame, with which the moving clock instantaneously coincides. The time resulting from such corrections is then a coordinate time, free from inconsistencies, whose rate is determined by clocks at rest on the earth's rotating geoid.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Neutrinos on the brain-9

Two pieces worth reading:
1. Tommaso Dorigo
2. Matt Strassler

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Neutrinos on the brain-8

From -7.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


CIP reports hearing:
At the end of the last century America had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash, and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Jobs, No Cash, and No Hope.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Thursday, October 06, 2011

RIP, Steve Jobs!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Neutrinos on the brain-7

OPERA and CERN were kept in sync. by using GPS in the "common view time transfer mode".   The synchronization was verified by using a clock that was moved.  Much is being made of the problem of relativistic corrections to the moving clock.  But perhaps that is not so important.

Neutrinos on the brain-6

Some more curve-fitting.

On hyperaccomplishment

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Neutrinos on the brain-5

There are three main lines of attack on the OPERA "faster-than-light" neutrino measurements:
1. Physics issues
2. Measurement issues
3. Data analysis issues

IMO, the data analysis is the least likely to have mistakes. Measurement issues, are for example, C.R. Contaldi's issues with the synchronization of clocks between CERN and Gran Sasso.  The real killer, however, is the Cohen-Glashow argument, that superluminal neutrinos, weakly interacting though they are, must shed energy rapidly; so much so as to make some OPERA observations impossible.

Peter Woit points out a slew of papers finding exotic ways to justify the OPERA results.
hep-ph is chock-a-block with papers purporting to explain the OPERA results, using theoretical models of varying degrees of absurdity.
Perhaps Sabine Hossenfelder has it right, in her tweet:
Explanation for OPERA result: A 5th force connecting the GPS with the collective physicists' subconsciousness begging for unexplained data.