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Heavy-metal Higgs, meet the Publons, Stephen Hawking’s galactic tour and more

By Tushna Commissariat and Hamish Johnston

I’m sure that most of you have wondered what the Higgs boson would sound like if it were a heavy-metal song. Now you can turn it up to 11 (TeV that is) courtesy of CERN physicist and guitarist Piotr Traczyk, who has “sonified” data from two plots from the CMS experiment that were presented at the Higgs discovery seminar on 4 July 2012. His heavy-metal ditty is based on gamma–gamma and 4-lepton data from CMS and after you listen to his excellent song in the above video, you can find out more about how it was created by reading this entry by Traczyk on the Cylindrical Onion blog.

Staying on the video theme, this week’s Red Folder includes the first footage from inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. It was filmed by a robot that gathered temperature and radiation data as well as still and video images before it became trapped and the link was lost. You can watch the eerie footage from Japan on the Guardian website.

Meanwhile in Canada, the Perimeter Institute has put together a list of “10 things you might not know about black holes“. While we are proud to say we did actually know a few of the black-hole facts, we were surprised to find out that Charles Darwin is (tenuously) linked to black holes. It was also a revelation that if you were squeezed down to the size of an atom, you too would form a black hole. Take a look at the list and let us know which facts you did and did not know.

Sabine Hossenfelder knows her way around the Perimeter Institute and black holes, but that’s not why the theoretical physicist is gracing the Red Folder. Over on her blog Backreaction she has a review of Publons, which is a website that aims “to turn peer review into a measurable research output”. The idea seems simple enough: when you review a paper, the publisher will send you a letter of thanks. You then forward that letter to the folks at Publons, who note your contribution on your profile page. If you look at Hossenfelder’s profile, for example, you can see that in March she reviewed papers for Physics Letters A and Physical Review Letters. She is also assigned a figure of merit based on factors such as how many reviews she has done and whether she is willing to publish her reviews. The latter could well spark controversy in the academic community.

Here is an example of when a review has been published and the reviewer has revealed their identity. If you peer-review papers, would you be happy to make all this information public? Please let us know.

Finally, how could we resist a music video that combines the quirky humour of Stephen Hawking with that of Monty Python?

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One comment to Heavy-metal Higgs, meet the Publons, Stephen Hawking’s galactic tour and more

  1. M. Asghar

    Ah, these Geiger counters so simple
    Yet, sharp to see the unseeables,
    Cracked and enlightened their presence
    And even dared the cosmic black hole.


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