Kiwi Particle Physicist

September 19, 2007


This little animation has been doing the rounds since last year. I finally got around to tracking it down on YouTube and posting it. Very moving.

September 07, 2007

Rugby World Cup Odds

The first game of the 2007 Rugby World Cup - France versus Argentina - kicks off in a few hours, and I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the odds on some of the teams before the tournament starts. All odds are taken from the best odds listed on odds aggregator BestBetting.

As of this morning (Japan time) the odds and winning percentages for the traditional top five and Japan are as follows:

New Zealand (1.63, 61.3%)
France (7.60, 13.2%)
South Africa (8.80, 11.4%)
Australia (13.00, 7.7%)
England (36.00, 2.8%)
Japan (5001, 0.02%)

The site also allows you to make graphs showing the change over the last few hours, days, or weeks. See some of the graphs below.

1) Graph showing the change since 2007/07/04 of the decimal odds for various teams to win the Rugby World Cup. Colours represent New Zealand (Black); France (Blue); South Africa (Green); Australia (Canary Yellow); and England (Red) respectively. Japan is not shown.

2) Graph showing the movement of the implied winning percentages of six teams since 2007/07/04. Colours represent New Zealand (Black); France (Blue); South Africa (Green); Australia (Canary Yellow); England (Red); and Japan (Magenta.)

3) Identical to graph 2) above, except with the frontrunners NZ removed and vertical axis scaled so it's easier to see the movement amongst the minnows. Note France, whose winning chances have risen from about 7% two months ago to over 13% this morning.

So there you have it. According to everybody who is willing to put their money where their mouth is, New Zealand have a 61.3% chance of hoisting the trophy, the remainder of the top five are given 35.1% combined, and the other 15 teams a miserly total of about 5% combined (note that the total sums to greater than 100%.) The ABs have dropped a few percent from the start of the tri-nations, but not too much of a shift. The big surprise is the winning chances for the French which have shot up over the last couple of months. Is this based on their performance in the Six Nations, or perhaps everyone is overestimating home ground advantage?

On a personal note, this is my third World Cup in Japan, and as far as I can remember the ABs were overwhelming favourites going into the last two as well. Neither of those ended very nicely. 60% sounds like pretty certain odds - I just hope they don't choke it for the third time in a row.

Typhoon 9

I'm back up at the lab in Tsukuba again, for the first time in a couple of months. We have the annual summer shutdown at the moment, so the accelerator and detector aren't moving. Instead everybody is busy organizing and participating in a variety of summer schools.

Firstly we had Belle Plus, a four day summer school for high school students. This was the second time we held this event, the first being around this time last year. Overall I think it went pretty well. All the students seemed to have a fairly good time and I think we managed to fix a few of the minor problems we had last year. Belle Plus was from Thursday to Sunday last week (8/30 ~ 9/2).

Secondly we have "Belle Sofware Festa" from Wednesday to Friday this week (9/5 ~ 9/7). This is basically an interactive tutorial aimed at students trying to learn how to use the Belle Software, although there are a handful of senior staff who are sitting in as well. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that the people in charge of running the experiment are sitting here asking questions about how to log onto the computers, but at least they're trying. Up until now we haven't really had a common complete set of documentation for the analysis procedure, which has made it hard for new students to get involved with analysis. This event is long overdue, and I'm sure the slides will come in handy for future students as well.

So, that's what I've been up to for the last week or so. There was a bit of excitement last night though as the first major typhoon for the year came through Tsukuba. The animation below, which I took from the IMOC Weather Page site shows the hourly rainfall in central Japan from 10AM yesterday (9/6) until 10AM today (you have to click to view on some browsers.) The peak rainfall were I am was about 30~40mm per hour at just before midnight last night, but it's still pouring down now. Hopefully it will have passed by the time I go home tomorrow.