Posted today on the arXiv:
L.G. Almeida, S.J. Lee, S. Pokorski, J.D. Wells, “Study of the 125 GeV Standard Model Higgs Boson Partial Widths and Branching Fractions”, arXiv:1311.6721.
The discovery of the Higgs boson, with mass known to better than the percent level, enables for the first time precision Higgs boson analyses. Toward this goal, we define an expansion formalism of the Higgs boson partial widths and branching fractions that facilitates such studies. This expansion yields the observables as a perturbative expansion around reference values of Standard Model input observables (quark masses, QCD coupling constant, etc.). We compute the coefficients of the expansion using state-of-the-art results. We also study the various sources of uncertainties in computing the partial widths and branching fractions more precisely. We discuss the impact of these results with efforts to discern new physics through precision Higgs boson studies.
Scholardox P5 (2013) note added today. This was written with the goal of understanding how triple gauge boson coupling sensitivities scale with different center-of-mass energy and luminosity of CLIC stages. Below is the full title and abstract.
Title: Energy and luminosity scaling of the sensitivity to dimension-six operators at high-energy e+e- colliders
Abstract: There exists in the literature careful simulation studies of the sensitivity to dimension-six operators at high-energy e+e- colliders for particular values of the energy and integrated luminosity. It is helpful to know how the sensitivities are altered with changing luminosity and changing energy without a complete re-simulation. This note estimates how the sensitivity changes in two cases: one where the dimension-six operator involves no derivatives and the other with two derivatives. In the case with two derivatives, which is for example applicable to anomalous gauge boson couplings, the sensitivity to the scale increases by the square-root of the increased energy.
[A write-up of this post, answers to potential criticisms, and simple LaTeX instructions for landscape mode can be found at this link.]
My collaborators and I posted article on arXiv today in two-column landscape format. Here’s why:
If you are like me, you have often been frustrated reading articles online. Invariably they are formatted in portrait mode, and if I try to fit the longer vertical part completely on the screen, the font is just too small to read well. I understand, of course, that it needs to be made that way, because if it is printed the font is just right.
However, if I let the pdf be longer than my screen height, when I page through the document I see only the upper half or two thirds of it, and perhaps what I am looking for is on the bottom of the page (e.g., the page number!). I then have to do a combination of paging and scrolling to look through the complete text. This is painful, and there needs to be a better solution to that.
Of course, if I have a huge desktop screen with high resolution, I can have my pdf file completely visible in the vertical direction and can page through it without a problem. This is great, except often I do not have that luxury — and in fact most people spend more time on their smaller-screen laptops than big desktop screens.
A much better way would be to format the pdf file such that it is convenient for laptops, and maintains convenience for big-screen desktops. This can be done by matching the aspect ratio and horizontal orientation of the laptop screen. This cries out for producing documents in landscape mode, where the longer side of the page spans left to right, and the shorter side of the page spans up and down.
The trouble with landscape mode is that if you have normal 11pt or 12pt text scrolling all the way from one side to the other of the long-end of the document, you have impossibly long lines to read. Finding the next line is an adventure. This is one reason why the portrait mode won out over landscape mode in printed materials. The other reason was because binding, turning pages and reading of books is better in portrait mode. This latter reason is quickly becoming irrelevant since increasingly fewer people read bound articles anymore. However, the issue of reading lines that are too long is serious.
How long is too long when reading a line of text? One quantitative measure of this is the ratio of the line length to the height of a capital letter, like T. We can call this the “Ratio of Line to T”. Most published material in books and on the web, where there is in principle no constraint on it, limit this ratio to well below 50, and usually it is between 25 and 40. Full landscape mode in 12pt type with 1inch (2.5cm) margins on each side has a value of about 80 for this ratio — much too high.
One way to solve this problem in landscape mode is to make the text width artificially narrow. However, that solution generates too much white space in the document. This is bad for efficient printing, of course, but it is also bad for taking up window space on the computer screen.
A better solution is to format the document into two columns in landscape mode. Then, the Ratio of Line to T is about 40 for each line, which is readable. Furthermore, there are no large white spaces in the document, and it can be efficiently printed (if need be), or efficiently displayed on a screen. A document with this two-column landscape formatting is ideal for reading and paging through on a laptop, since the document can be sized to fill as much of the laptop screen as desired.
For some people, especially in mathematical sciences in portrait mode, is thought to be awful. This is because equations and figures often can be hard to display in this format. The equations, for example, are sometimes too long and one has to awkwardly place them on continuing lines. However, this stems from viewing two-column formats in portrait mode. The two-column landscape format has much wider columns (about 30 percent more) than the two-column portrait format, and to me that is acceptable.
In fact, the aspect ratio of each column in two-column landscape mode is nearly the same as the aspect ratio of each page of single-column portrait mode (identical for Europeans dealing with A4 size). Thus, the two-column landscape format poses fewer formatting challenges. And when there are issues of putting side-by-side figures in two-column landscape format, there are easy ways to deal with that in most software packages, including LaTeX, by having the figures span the two columns. Same goes for tables.
Finally, the proof is in demonstration. If you are on a laptop, take a look at one of my recent papers in single-column portrait format, and now look at it in two-column landscape format, which is how my collaborators and I posted it on the arXiv. Reading the two-column landscape version is much easier on the laptop screen.
The two-column landscape format is better than any other format for online reading in my view, and should be adopted as the standard choice.
Posted today at arXiv:1305.6397:
Rick S. Gupta, Heidi Rzehak, James D. Wells, “How well do we need to measure the Higgs boson mass and self-coupling?”
Abstract: Much of the discussion regarding future measurements of the Higgs boson mass and self-coupling is focussed on how well various collider options can do. In this article we ask a physics-based question of how well do we need colliders to measure these quantities to have an impact on discovery of new physics or an impact in how we understand the role of the Higgs boson in nature. We address the question within the framework of the Standard Model and various beyond the Standard Model scenarios, including supersymmetry and theories of composite Higgs bosons. We conclude that the LHC’s stated ability to measure the Higgs boson to better than 150 MeV will be as good as we will ever need to know the Higgs boson mass in the foreseeable future. On the other hand, we estimate that the self-coupling will likely need to be measured to better than 20 percent to see a deviation from the Standard Model expectation. This is a challenging target for future collider and upgrade scenarios.
Posted today on the arXiv:
J.D. Wells, “The Utility of Naturalness, and how its Application to Quantum Electrodynamics envisages the Standard Model and Higgs Boson,” arXiv:1305.3434.
With the Higgs boson discovery and no new physics found at the LHC, confidence in Naturalness as a guiding principle for particle physics is under increased pressure. We wait to see if it proves its mettle in the LHC upgrades ahead, and beyond. In the meantime, in a series of “realistic intellectual leaps” I present a justification a posteriori of the Naturalness criterion by suggesting that uncompromising application of the principle to quantum electrodynamics leads toward the Standard Model and Higgs boson without additional experimental input. Potential lessons for today and future theory building are commented upon.
I have written an essay on how to choose English spelling for documents in an international environment. This is a draft, and comments are welcomed.
Suggestions for how to spell English in international reports
Globalization has created situations where collaborators across many countries write articles together. In this essay I suggest how to decide on spelling convention, and then review some fundamentals for the American and British conventions. The most challenging suggestion proposed to adherents of the British conventions is that, when given a choice, one should always use acceptable British variants that most closely match the American convention. For example, use ‘-ize’ rather than ‘-ise’ to end words such as ‘organize’. The most challenging suggestion proposed to adherents of the American spelling convention is that they should be much more willing to learn and use the British convention in global contexts.
Here is my interview with Swiss Info television regarding the Arts@CERN programme. I was fortunate to be the “science inspiration partner” to Julius von Bismarck, who was selected to be the first artist in residence at CERN.
I have compiled a German vocabulary useful when giving talks in German about particle physics. The link is here. Please let me know if you have any corrections or additions to make to this vocabulary.
Springer Verlag has announced the publication of my book, Effective Theories in Physics: From Planetary Motion to Elementary Particle Masses. It is now available for purchase, or direct download to institutions that have access to Springer Online.
Here is the blurb from the publisher: ”There is significant interest in the Philosophy of Science community to understand the role that “effective theories” have in the work of forefront science. The ideas of effective theories have been implicit in science for a long time, but have only been articulated well in the last few decades. Since Wilson’s renormalization group revolution in the early 1970′s, the science community has come to more fully understand its power, and by the mid-1990′s it had gained its apotheosis. It is still one of the most powerful concepts in science, which has direct impact in how one thinks about and formulates theories of nature. It is this power that this Brief sets out to emphasize through historical analysis and current examples.”
Lecture delivered at the physics and philosophy conference “The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider”, Wuppertal University, January 2012
James D. Wells, “Effective Field Theories and the Role of Consistency in Theory Choice,” http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1211.0634
Abstract: Promoting a theory with a finite number of terms into an effective field theory with an infinite number of terms worsens simplicity, predictability, falsifiability, and other attributes often favored in theory choice. However, the importance of these attributes pales in comparison with consistency, both observational and mathematical consistency, which propels the effective theory to be superior to its simpler truncated version of finite terms, whether that theory be renormalizable (e.g., Standard Model of particle physics) or nonrenormalizable (e.g., gravity). Some implications for the Large Hadron Collider and beyond are discussed, including comments on how directly acknowledging the preeminence of consistency can affect future theory work.