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Rumor News June 18, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics.

A fairly decent article on the rumor appeared. It is written by Wired (but I could only find it on ABC news). I was alerted to this by T’s comments in my previous post. It actually tries to address what a statistical fluctuation means, and finishes up with the following paragraph:

Whatever the final outcome, the weeks of rumors and response say more about the sociology of science than about science itself. The hard physics will come only when (and if) data is released, and the business of testing, interpreting and re-analyzing begins.

Hear! Hear! Worth a read.


1. dorigo - June 19, 2007

Hey Gordon,

I am happy to hear the article did not cause outrage in D0. I tried to make it quite clear to John Borland that while physicists know what a statistical fluctuation is, the general public do not, and that he would do a good service to science and its perception if he tried to explain it to make it clear that claims of a “N-sigma signal” must be taken cum grano salis.


2. John - June 19, 2007

Gordon — Thank you for the kind words. As a reporter, I hope to convey without undue confusion the ideas of people who know what they’re talking about. Not cause controversy among them.

And as an interested outsider, I’m overwhelmingly eager to see what happens next, whether at Tevatron or LHC. ๐Ÿ™‚

Best regards,

John Borland (Wired News)

3. gordonwatts - June 19, 2007

John — I tried to send you an email to thank you for the article. At any rate, keep up the good work! And you aren’t the only one that can’t wait! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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