Archive for American Physical Society

Coronavirus Reactions

Posted in Covid-19, Maynooth with tags , , on March 2, 2020 by telescoper

I was having lunch last week when a colleague from another department here stated that he thought that within two weeks that he thought that within a fortnight Maynooth University would be closed down owing to the threat from Covid-19 (the Coronavirus). I’m not sure whether he meant it seriously. At the time I thought that was extremely improbable but this morning we heard that a school in the Dublin area has been closed for two weeks because one of its students has the virus, and now I’m not so sure…

Incidentally, setting aside possible the rights or wrongs decision to close the Dublin school the attempt by the Health Service Executive to keep its name from the public strikes me as utterly daft. Do they seriously think that none of the hundreds of pupils or parents thereof is going to talk about it? I checked on social media this morning and easily found its name. It won’t give people much confidence in the HSE to see them losing sight of reality.

Another reaction to this worldwide health scare became apparent yesterday as the American Physical Society cancelled at very short notice its meeting in Denver due to take place this week. Thousands of delegates were due to attend, and many of them had already arrived when the cancellation announcement was made.

I’m bound to say that I find all this to be quite an overreaction to the threat from Covid-19, but I am not an epidemiologist and I suppose the medical people must know what they are doing. It seems the primary objective at present is to limit the spread of the disease, which makes sense particularly as there is as yet to vaccine. Whether measures like those mentioned above will actually achieve that I don’t know. One has to balance that consideration against the risk of causing panic by giving the impression that things are out of control.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, as part of my public service responsibility here is the official advert from the Irish Government:

Short but sweet – Higgs (1964)

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on August 31, 2012 by telescoper

In the light of all this Malarkey about the (claimed) discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider, I thought you might be interested to see the original paper by Higgs (1964) in its entirety. As you can see, it’s surprisingly small. The paper, I mean, not the boson…

p.s. The paper is freely available to download from the American Physical Society website; no breach of copyright is intended.

p.p.s. The manuscript was received by Physical Review Letters on 31st August 1964, i.e. 48 years ago today.