Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Experimental Progress --- Maybe

On the topic of station Q: Back in December I blogged about how we all want the station Q project to be a smashing success, so our field of science will prosper. I wrote in particular about two experimental efforts trying to observe “nonabelions” in nature. Last week, my collaborator, Woowan Kang (for entertainment, see this video of Woowan), gave a status report on his experiments at KITP. You can see it here if you like. I think this talk went over a bit better than the last time he tried to give it, back in December. At the very least there was a bit of statistical analysis and sanity checks on the data this time. I’m still can’t tell if he is seeing complete crap, or something very interesting. I’m both hopeful and fearful, but I’m trying to keep an open mind in the situation until the story is really solid one way or the other.

Simultaneously, there has been new data from Bob Willett back at the old Alcatel-Lucent ranch. You can see some of the data here. The data he showed in December is roughly v1 of this paper. There is additional data even more recent than v2 of the paper also which is not on the web. Again, the data is not completely solid one way or the other, although it is very suggestive. There has already been a theory paper here analyzing his data. However, there are some serious puzzles with the data too. Maybe that makes it even more interesting… or maybe that tells us that we are barking up the wrong tree. Stay tuned in the next few months/years for the stunning conclusion.


Ilya said...

And where's shameless self-promotion?
You made no reference to your own talk, which figures just as prominently on the KITP site.

It's a very nice talk, with an exceptional lead in on Peter Tate. I remember seeing a version of this talk given to the vestiges of the Bell community a couple of years ago, and it didn't feature the introduction.

Steve said...

I'm glad you enjoyed to the talks online! Some people complained that the snapshot photography was rather distracting and made it hard to follow. KITP is talking about upgrading their system from snapshots to real you-tube style full-motion bandwidth-hogging streaming video, but it hasn't happened yet. The current system was set up about eight years ago and is about due for upgrade.

As for shameless self-promotion --- it was in a previous blog entry