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Eric Peng
Professional observer of things celestial, amateur observer of things China.
Professional observer of things celestial, amateur observer of things China.

Eric's posts

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Worrisome trend in academia or just xenophobia?

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Another article on China's demographic time bomb. Will the one-child policy turn out to be a disaster for China in 20 to 50 years?

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"Some call him China’s Sakharov, and that’s fine. But to me, Fang and the Communist Party are more like Galileo and the Roman church. An astrophysicist against powerful and arbitrary authority; the authority persecutes the physicist, but the physicist gets the truth right."

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Collecting photons at the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

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This sounds pretty cool.

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I wish I could be in the Southern hemisphere to see Comet Lovejoy, but being in space would be even better!
Lovejoy Video... from Space!?

Oh, now this is just getting ridiculous. Check out this fantastic video of Comet Lovejoy captured by the Space Station Commander Dan Burbank. He took a series of photographs of the comet which were then stitched together into this movie.

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Lots of excitement over rumors of LHC discovery of Higgs boson.
Higgs rumour hot off the grapevine

There appears to be a three-blogpost signal on the interwebs about another tantalising sub-three-sigma candidate for the Higgs around 125 GeV. More exciting than a faster than light neutrino. And much more interesting than the candidate bump that was hinted at earlier in the year at 144 GeV because it would demand a more complex structure to the Universe than a vanilla flavoured version of the Standard Model could provide. Which would be the best of all possible worlds for particle physicists because it would validate that Higgs mechanism and give them something else, such as supersymmetry, to look forward to.

There's an LHC bunfight planned later this month*, and it seems unlikely that anyone will be making even tentatively bold claims yet... certainly if the signal hasn't yet reached 3 sigma. But if we ever do find the Higgs, we'll hear about the developing bump well before it peaks over the 5 sigma level needed to claim a discovery.

Kudos to +Geoff Brumfiel for the tip off.

+Ed Gerstner

* Minor update: Here's a link to the agenda for the meeting where everyone is getting together to talk about the latest state of play:

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Excited that China has taken the first step toward joining LSST, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope! Now comes the hard part -- getting the funding and making the case to the Chinese community. This is a super cool project that will change science.

Listened to a few talks on Large Synoptic Survey Telescope today and it really impressed on me that petabyte is the new terabyte, and terabyte is the new gigabyte. When you have a 3400 megapixel camera taking images of the sky every 15 sec, it'll fill your hard drive in a hurry.
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