1. 2012

    Day 5: Plenary sessions (again!)

    DIS 2012 wrapped up today, and the last day of the conference was filled with another round of plenary sessions (attended by everybody). This time, though, the talks were mostly devoted to summarizing the parallel sessions which took place over the previous three days.

    The conference was divided up by topic into seven working groups: structure functions, the future of DIS, diffraction and vector mesons, electroweak and new physics searches, hadronic final states, heavy flavor, and spin physics. Each of these working groups was organized by two or three conveners, who were also responsible for putting together and presenting the summary slides. I have to recognize the impressive amount of work this must have taken: in one afternoon, the conveners went through every single presentation given in the conference, and organized and adapted the main conclusions from all of them into an experimental and a theoretical summary talk for each working group. Not to mention they had to stay awake and attentive for the entire three days of talks — much easier said than done!

    Anyway, the full summary presentations can be found on Indico, so if you’re interested, go ahead and check those out. I’ll post a more …

  2. 2012

    Midweek report: parallel sessions

    We are now in the middle of DIS 2012, the part known as the parallel sessions because, well, they are in parallel. Specifically, at any given time during the conference there will be 5-7 presentations going on in different rooms. With four sessions per day and three or four 20-minute talks per session, that means there have probably been almost 200 physics presentations given in this one building in just the past two days!

    With that breadth of material, I can’t hope to cover them all — in fact, I haven’t even been able to properly “digest” just the ones I’ve been to! Unfortunately there are no particularly attention-grabbing talks like major experimental results, so nothing necessarily stands out of the pack; instead, here’s a somewhat arbitrary selection of some of the interesting presentation titles. If you are interested in this sort of thing, feel free to follow the links and read them; if not, make it into a drinking game or something.

  3. 2012

    Day 1: Plenary sessions

    DIS 2012 kicked off today with a full day of plenary sessions, general talks that everyone in the conference attends. (Well, not everyone attends, but there’s nothing else going on at any rate.) The slides of all the talks presented today are available on the conference website, but here are some of the interesting results.

    Results from the Tevatron and LHC

    Under the principle of “save the best for last,” I am getting this out of the way first: none of the major experiments have any new results of widespread importance to present. In particular, the Higgs search stands exactly where it was two weeks ago when the Moriond results were presented. This is no surprise because, for one thing, the Higgs boson is an electroweak phenomenon whereas DIS is more about the strong force; also, any major results would be presented at a bigger conference. DIS is a fairly specialized field of study so it doesn’t attract all that many people, in the grand scheme of things.

    Of course, that’s not to say there is nothing to report at all. The Tevatron experiments are finishing up analysis of their data and they have found some interesting …

  4. 2012

    What is Deep Inelastic Scattering?

    Since I’ll be writing about the Deep Inelastic Scattering Workshop this week, I was planning to make a pre-conference introduction post explaining in some detail what DIS actually is. But as it turns out, one of the plenary talks tomorrow is devoted to exactly that subject — plus I’m really tired after traveling for about 18 hours and walking around the city for another four or so. So I’ll start with a quick introduction and update this with more information tomorrow.

    Deep Inelastic Scattering

    Deep inelastic scattering itself is a particular type of physical process that occurs when a hadron (a particle made of quarks and gluons, such as a proton) collides with a lepton (a particle that, as far as we know, has no constituents).

    • It’s “deep” because the lepton has very high momentum as measured in the proton’s reference frame, so the way it behaves in the interaction can depend on very small features of the proton’s structure.
    • It’s “inelastic” because some of the kinetic energy of the original two particles is lost. In modern DIS, that energy goes into splitting the proton into many outgoing particles.
    • It’s “scattering” because the …
  5. 2012

    DIS 2012

    I’ve mentioned this once or twice here before, but it’s time this gets a blog post of its own: I’ll be going to DIS 2012 next week!

    DIS 2012 is the XX International Workshop on Deep Inelastic Scattering and Related Topics. It’s a fairly large (~300 people) conference on particle physics which focuses on the analysis of data collected from strong interaction collisions.

    I’ll be at the conference to give a presentation based on the paper I worked on last summer, and also to represent the Stack Exchange network. The people at Stack Exchange even gave me a nifty box of branded merchandise — stickers, pens, and markers — to hand out at the conference. I’m hoping this is going to attract some attention to our Physics site.

    While I’m at the conference, I’ll be attending a bunch of different talks and posting frequent (hopefully daily) updates right here on the blog. The schedule is already up on the conference website, so if anyone is interested in hearing about a particular presentation, let me know and I’ll see what I can do to check it out!