ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags cern , higgs boson , physics

Reply
Old 2nd July 2012, 03:56 PM   #1
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Question Higgs Boson Discovered?!

Despite the fact that I hate the headline ("God particle" ) I am very, very interested to see what this is all about. Looks like a big announcement coming on Wednesday...

Scientists find evidence of 'God particle'
Quote:
Scientists believe the "God particle" that might explain the underpinnings of the universe is real, and they are about to present their evidence to the world.

Physicists at the world's biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could shape the scientific understanding of all matter.

The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton's discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what it is and can put that knowledge to further use.

The focus of the excitement is the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle that, if confirmed, could help explain why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.

Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say that they have compiled vast amounts of data that show the footprint and shadow of the particle - all but proving it exists, even though it has never actually been glimpsed. ...
Anyone here got an inside scoop on this?
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness

Last edited by MattusMaximus; 2nd July 2012 at 03:58 PM.
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 03:59 PM   #2
PixyMisa
Persnickety Insect
 
PixyMisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sunny Munuvia
Posts: 16,183
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Despite the fact that I hate the headline ("God particle" ) I am very, very interested to see what this is all about. Looks like a big announcement coming on Wednesday...

Scientists find evidence of 'God particle'


Anyone here got an inside scoop on this?
Currently they're in a superposition where they both have and have not found evidence. Publication collapses the wave function, you see...
__________________
Free blogs for skeptics... And everyone else. mee.nu
What, in the Holy Name of Gzortch, are you people doing?!?!!? - TGHO
PixyMisa is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Currently they're in a superposition where they both have and have not found evidence. Publication collapses the wave function, you see...
First physics joke of the thread goes to PixyMisa!

Smart ass
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:13 PM   #4
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 18,423
Don't take this the wrong way, but how many times has CERN reported that they're close to discovering the Higgs already? Are they trying to prove the Higgs boson or Zeno's paradox?
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002

Last edited by Checkmite; 2nd July 2012 at 04:15 PM.
Checkmite is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:21 PM   #5
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but how many times has CERN reported that they're close to discovering the Higgs already? Are they trying to prove the Higgs boson or Zeno's paradox?
Yeah, that's why I'm hoping that some Forumite who works in particle physics may or may not have some kind of inside info on this. I've known for a long time that physicists have been narrowing the potential energy range for the Higgs, so what I'm really wondering is whether or not this "big announcement" is positive evidence of the Higgs or stating that "if it exists, it has to be within this super tiny energy range".
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:25 PM   #6
sol invictus
Philosopher
 
sol invictus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,613
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but how many times has CERN reported that they're close to discovering the Higgs already? Are they trying to prove the Higgs boson or Zeno's paradox?
Data has been gradually accumulating, but the bar for an official "discovery" is set very high in particle physics. So while the existing evidence points quite strongly towards a Higgs with mass of 125GeV, as of the previous announcement it wasn't strong enough to be considered a discovery.

As of now, much more data has been collected. So if the evidence so far was a statistical fluke, that should be apparent. If on the other hand it was real, there should be enough evidence to constitute a discovery even by the very conservative standards of particle physics.

We'll find out which it is on Wednesday.
sol invictus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:28 PM   #7
ben m
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,847
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but how many times has CERN reported that they're close to discovering the Higgs already? Are they trying to prove the Higgs boson or Zeno's paradox?
Well, that's basically what you expect to happen if the Higgs is really there. When you've run your accelerator for a year and have 2 Higgs events, you say "we've seen a hint"; run for another year, see 4 events, and call it a "strong hint", and upgrade and run again and see a "discovery".

If you're a lower-cost, lower-impact experiment---say, you're looking for some rare meson decay---you'll see the same thing in your internal data, but you wouldn't bother publishing/announcing until the final "discovery" business. The LHC experiments are important enough that they want to keep people up to date (and people want to know) on year-to-year progress, even if that progress is only the step from "hint" to "stronger hint".

ANYWAY: if you want to find out, tune into the webcast:

Wednesday, 4 July at 9:00 CEST
http://cern.ch/webcast

Yes, that's 9:00 Central European Summer Time, UTC+2:00.
ben m is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:28 PM   #8
sol invictus
Philosopher
 
sol invictus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,613
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
I've known for a long time that physicists have been narrowing the potential energy range for the Higgs, so what I'm really wondering is whether or not this "big announcement" is positive evidence of the Higgs or stating that "if it exists, it has to be within this super tiny energy range".
The latter has already been done, and there is already some positive evidence (something like 3 sigma for each of the two experiments). So it's either a discovery or the Higgs isn't visible at all and the minimal standard model is wrong.
sol invictus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:44 PM   #9
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
The latter has already been done, and there is already some positive evidence (something like 3 sigma for each of the two experiments). So it's either a discovery or the Higgs isn't visible at all and the minimal standard model is wrong.
Thanks Sol. I didn't know whether or not the energy range had been narrowed any further (or even if it could be narrowed further). I recall the 3 sigma signals awhile back, but if I'm remembering correctly the standard for a "discovery" is more like 5 sigma, right?

Wednesday should be interesting
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:45 PM   #10
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 15,942
Originally Posted by ben m View Post
Well, that's basically what you expect to happen if the Higgs is really there. When you've run your accelerator for a year and have 2 Higgs events, you say "we've seen a hint"; run for another year, see 4 events, and call it a "strong hint", and upgrade and run again and see a "discovery".

If you're a lower-cost, lower-impact experiment---say, you're looking for some rare meson decay---you'll see the same thing in your internal data, but you wouldn't bother publishing/announcing until the final "discovery" business. The LHC experiments are important enough that they want to keep people up to date (and people want to know) on year-to-year progress, even if that progress is only the step from "hint" to "stronger hint".

ANYWAY: if you want to find out, tune into the webcast:

Wednesday, 4 July at 9:00 CEST
http://cern.ch/webcast

Yes, that's 9:00 Central European Summer Time, UTC+2:00.
Thanks Ben
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
"We ****** up the air, the water, we ****** up each other. Why don't we just finish the job by flushing our brains down the toilet?" -- John Trent, In the Mouth of Madness
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:50 PM   #11
Tubbythin
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,206
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Despite the fact that I hate the headline ("God particle" ) I am very, very interested to see what this is all about. Looks like a big announcement coming on Wednesday...
Nature news article sans talk of God and atom smashers.
Tubbythin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 04:53 PM   #12
sol invictus
Philosopher
 
sol invictus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,613
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
I recall the 3 sigma signals awhile back, but if I'm remembering correctly the standard for a "discovery" is more like 5 sigma, right?
Correct.

I'd bet on a discovery, particularly if you combine the two experiments (which you should). It was pretty close to that already with the last announcement. But it will be interesting to see if the properties are as expected - there was weak preliminary evidence that the amplitude to decay to photons was much higher than expected, which would mean it can't the standard model. We'll see!
sol invictus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 05:12 PM   #13
CapelDodger
Penultimate Amazing
 
CapelDodger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Cardiff, South Wales
Posts: 17,769
CERN Spokesperson : "We have looked upon the god particle."

Journalist : "What did you see?"

CERN Spokeperson : "You won't like it."

Journalist : "Why not?"

CERN Spokesperson : "Well, She's Black, to start with."
__________________
It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward - Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

God can make a cow out of a tree, but has He ever done so? Therefore show some reason why a thing is so, or cease to hold that it is so - William of Conches, c1150
CapelDodger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 05:23 PM   #14
Bikewer
Penultimate Amazing
 
Bikewer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Posts: 10,640
CNN is reporting that they are inviting Peter Higgs to the announcement...
Bikewer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd July 2012, 07:41 PM   #15
not_so_new
Graduate Poster
 
not_so_new's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,551
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
CNN is reporting that they are inviting Peter Higgs to the announcement...
That is interesting.... doesn't mean they have conclusive evidence but it does sound like they have something reasonably important to announce.

I am really interested to see what shakes out.
not_so_new is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 12:16 AM   #16
Dragoonster
Graduate Poster
 
Dragoonster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,723
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Don't take this the wrong way, but how many times has CERN reported that they're close to discovering the Higgs already? Are they trying to prove the Higgs boson or Zeno's paradox?
Hah! Exactly my thoughts. Could well be that the media is blowing very early results way out of proportion though.

And another exactly-my-thoughts to Mattus. That idiot physicist who named it "The God Particle" has made me very reluctant to follow this at all. I may (suppose) I know his point behind that description, but the description itself is asinine. Why would any competent scientist compare a fundamental force of physics to a religious entity? Does he realize how loaded that analogy is?

Again--the media just vomits "God Particle" "God Particle" "God Particle", inviting millions of religious zealots to either a) dispute that science can ever find anything "godly", or b) believe that science is trying to search for an effect-without-cause explanation, thus science is proving God! But they're trying at the same time to dispute God! Fire up the torches!

Who was that idiot physicist who coined the term? If he ever won a Nobel he should now be stripped of it.
Dragoonster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 12:27 AM   #17
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 34,116
I'm delighted that the announcement, if it's made, will be made in my fair city. I wish I could say that everyone here was in an excited state (sorry), but it would be a lie.

Oh, whoever organized a conference in Melbourne in July has never had a look at our Weather Bureau website.
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 12:27 AM   #18
mike3
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,311
Originally Posted by Dragoonster View Post
Who was that idiot physicist who coined the term? If he ever won a Nobel he should now be stripped of it.
Apparently, this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Lederman

And yes, he won a Nobel.
__________________
“Ego is subversive and devolutionary, truly destructive and terrible; ego is the generator of privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Ego is the fire that burns within the pit of hell, devouring and consuming everything that enters and leaving utterly nothing behind. Ego is horrible, cruel, and restraining, the darkness of the world, and the doom and bane of man.” – my reaction to that famous Bertrand Russell quote.
mike3 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 12:51 AM   #19
geni
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
geni's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28,233
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Anyone here got an inside scoop on this?
If they did do you think there is the faintest possibility that they would say anything? Media management generaly isn't a strong point in science but the LHC mob have shown a degree of competence in that area and are well aware that any rumours anywhere online will find their way to the the media fairly quickly.
geni is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 02:08 AM   #20
Farsight
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,640
I think it's important to keep a sense of persepective about this, and understand the distinction between the media hype, which CERN don't correct, and the physics. Take a look at A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC on Amazon. It’s by Gian Francesco Giudice, a physicist at CERN with a hundred-plus papers to his name. There's a search-inside on Amazon. If you search on Higgs sector you can read pages 173 through 175. He starts by saying: “The most inappropriate name ever given to the Higgs boson is 'The God particle'. The name gives the impression that the Higgs boson is the central particle of the Standard Model, governing its structure. But this is very far from the truth.” He also says the Higgs mechanism is “the toilet” of the standard model, and is “frightfully ad-hoc”. On page 174 he says: “It is sometimes said that the discovery of the Higgs boson will explain the mystery of the origin of mass. This statement requires a good deal of qualification.” To cut to the chase he says “In summary, the Higgs mechanism accounts for about 1 per cent of the mass of ordinary matter, and for only 0.2 per cent of the mass of the universe. This is not nearly enough to justify the claim of explaining the origin of mass.” The thing to appreciate is that the 'mystery of mass' publicity doesn’t square with E=mc². In his 1905 paper Einstein described how a radiating body loses mass. Every physicist under the sun knows that this works both ways. You can trap a massless photon in a mirrored box, whereupon it adds mass to that system. When you open the box, it’s a radiating body that loses mass. There’s absolutely no Higgs mechanism involved in that at all. So my advice is to maintain a degree of scepticism about what you read in the papers.
Farsight is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 02:12 AM   #21
a_unique_person
Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning
 
a_unique_person's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 35,508
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Despite the fact that I hate the headline ("God particle" ) I am very, very interested to see what this is all about. Looks like a big announcement coming on Wednesday...

Scientists find evidence of 'God particle'


Anyone here got an inside scoop on this?
From what I have read, it was originally called the 'goddam' particle, but it wasn't seen to be a polite way to refer to it. Hence the slight change.
__________________
Continually pushing the boundaries of mediocrity.
Everything is possible, but not everything is probable.
For if a man pretend to me that God hath spoken to him supernaturally, and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce to oblige me to believe it. Hobbes
a_unique_person is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 04:07 AM   #22
Dragoonster
Graduate Poster
 
Dragoonster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,723
Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
Apparently, this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Lederman

And yes, he won a Nobel.
Thanks. Sorry for my bombast. Sorry to Lederman if he was just being him at the time. But at least in America, or at least in Yahoo news articles and other non-science sites I've seen, the "Higg's Boson" is only mentioned (if at all) deeply within an article of the headline "God Particle..."

And this really irks me. Waaaaaay to much fractionousness just from the term itself. Scientists should not, for example, call Evolution "The Jesus Genetics" or somesuch.

Quote:
a_unique_person]From what I have read, it was originally called the 'goddam' particle, but it wasn't seen to be a polite way to refer to it. Hence the slight change.
Didn't know that! Thanks.

Still though, don't see why if Goddamn Particle was impolite it should've been renamed God Particle. Kind of a 180-degree change, rather than slight. Or maybe you're joshing me (?)

eta: Or joshing someone, sorry, I mistakenly thought you'd replied to me instead of Mattus

Last edited by Dragoonster; 3rd July 2012 at 04:08 AM.
Dragoonster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 05:44 AM   #23
Brown
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 12,984
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Anyone here got an inside scoop on this?
Perhaps the greatest psychics in the universe saw it coming (as demonstrated by the Post Your 2012 Predictions Here thread):
Originally Posted by Brown View Post
2. Discovery of the Higgs boson will be confirmed, but there will be a discovery of a new problem with the Standard Model.
2a. Nearly all media outlets will insist on calling the Higgs particle "The God Particle," and a group of scientists will politely ask that this naming convention be discontinued. The scientists will be personally insulted by various religious groups because of this.
The headlines over the past few days have largely used "The God Particle" in the headlines or the opening paragraphs; but some reports have mentioned (as others have observed) that the terminology was intended as a playful blasphemy rather than a term of reverence.
__________________
Klaatu: I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it.
Mr. Harley: I'm afraid my people haven't. I am very sorry. I wish it were otherwise.
-- The Day The Earth Stood Still, screenplay by Edmund H. North

"Don't you get me wrong. I only want to know." -- Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, lyrics by Tim Rice
Brown is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 05:53 AM   #24
BenBurch
Gatekeeper of The Left
 
BenBurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Universe 35.2 ms ahead of this one.
Posts: 35,300
Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
Apparently, this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Lederman

And yes, he won a Nobel.
My ex-boss, too.
__________________
For what doth it profit a man, to fix one bug, but crash the system?
BenBurch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:02 AM   #25
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 67,670
It is hardly surprising that the scientists haven't found the Higgs boson, isn't it meant to be something to do with gravity? Yet they try to detect it in a vacuum!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:13 AM   #26
BenBurch
Gatekeeper of The Left
 
BenBurch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: The Universe 35.2 ms ahead of this one.
Posts: 35,300
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It is hardly surprising that the scientists haven't found the Higgs boson, isn't it meant to be something to do with gravity? Yet they try to detect it in a vacuum!
Vacuums and Gravity both suck, though, so perhaps it is supposed to work by sympathetic magic?
__________________
For what doth it profit a man, to fix one bug, but crash the system?
BenBurch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:23 AM   #27
Cuddles
Decoy
Moderator
 
Cuddles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,415
Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
The latter has already been done, and there is already some positive evidence (something like 3 sigma for each of the two experiments).
What I've heard is that this is going to be combined results that take it to 4 sigma. So probably not enough to say they've definitely found it but getting a lot closer and, importantly, more consistent across the different experiments.
__________________
If I let myself get hung up on only doing things that had any actual chance of success, I'd never do anything!
Cuddles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:29 AM   #28
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 44,969
Originally Posted by PixyMisa View Post
Currently they're in a superposition where they both have and have not found evidence. Publication collapses the wave function, you see...
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:35 AM   #29
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 44,969
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I'm delighted that the announcement, if it's made, will be made in my fair city. I wish I could say that everyone here was in an excited state (sorry), but it would be a lie.

Oh, whoever organized a conference in Melbourne in July has never had a look at our Weather Bureau website.
I think I'd prefer July over December. It's easy enough to put a coat on. Heat waves, OTOH, not so easy to take.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:54 AM   #30
edd
Master Poster
 
edd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,119
So when they discover the Higgs boson and it has a mass of 125GeV or thereabouts, do they have to start looking for the boson that gives the Higgs boson a mass?

It's Higgs bosons all the way down!
__________________
When I look up at the night sky and think about the billions of stars out there, I think to myself: I'm amazing. - Peter Serafinowicz
edd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 06:56 AM   #31
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,135
I suppose there will be a Satan particle as well?
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 07:00 AM   #32
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details...
Posts: 39,285
You called ?
__________________
"'Ought' statements are merely 'is' statements that beg the question." - PixyMisa

"When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived." - Starship Troopers
Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 07:01 AM   #33
Roboramma
Philosopher
 
Roboramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,790
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
I suppose there will be a Satan particle as well?
Quarks are already quite well understood.
__________________
"... when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."
Isaac Asimov
Roboramma is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 07:27 AM   #34
Dragoonster
Graduate Poster
 
Dragoonster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,723
Originally Posted by edd View Post
So when they discover the Higgs boson and it has a mass of 125GeV or thereabouts, do they have to start looking for the boson that gives the Higgs boson a mass?

It's Higgs bosons all the way down!
Don't you know what "God Particle" means? The Higg's boson is the end-all, be-all.

"GOD" particle. At least, that's how the media will continue to portray it, in order to garner views/clicks.


Heh, "they". I guess you're referring to scientists? They've already found the God Particle. What else is there?

[sorry, I'm using your post to be very sarcastic; and bitter]
Dragoonster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 08:24 AM   #35
sol invictus
Philosopher
 
sol invictus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,613
Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
I think it's important to keep a sense of persepective about this, and understand the distinction between the media hype, which CERN don't correct, and the physics. Take a look at A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC on Amazon. It’s by Gian Francesco Giudice, a physicist at CERN with a hundred-plus papers to his name. There's a search-inside on Amazon. If you search on Higgs sector you can read pages 173 through 175. He starts by saying: “The most inappropriate name ever given to the Higgs boson is 'The God particle'. The name gives the impression that the Higgs boson is the central particle of the Standard Model, governing its structure. But this is very far from the truth.” He also says the Higgs mechanism is “the toilet” of the standard model, and is “frightfully ad-hoc”. On page 174 he says: “It is sometimes said that the discovery of the Higgs boson will explain the mystery of the origin of mass. This statement requires a good deal of qualification.” To cut to the chase he says “In summary, the Higgs mechanism accounts for about 1 per cent of the mass of ordinary matter, and for only 0.2 per cent of the mass of the universe. This is not nearly enough to justify the claim of explaining the origin of mass.”
That latter claim is true - the Higgs is not the origin of most mass. But it does play an absolutely essential role, one that's quite distinct from that of any other particle in the standard model - it mediates the breaking of electroweak symmetry. The trouble is, explaining that is much more difficult than just saying "it's the origin of mass", and most people don't bother to try.

As for the Higgs mechanism being "the toilet" of the SM, I totally disagree. I think it's quite elegant and beautiful, actually. But those are of course just qualitative feelings. The facts are that the Higgs particle is an essential part of the SM, without which it is logically and mathematically inconsistent.
sol invictus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 10:29 AM   #36
Beerina
Sarcastic Conqueror of Notions
 
Beerina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 24,544
Originally Posted by mike3 View Post
Apparently, this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Lederman

And yes, he won a Nobel.
In his defense, in honor of how hard to find it it is, he wanted to rename it The Goddamn Particle.
__________________
"Great innovations should not be forced [by way of] slender majorities." - Thomas Jefferson

The government should nationalize it! Socialized, single-payer video game development and sales now! More, cheaper, better games, right? Right?
Beerina is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 11:01 AM   #37
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12,506
Other than distaste for dumbing down abstruse concepts for a general audience, and the usual atheist squeamishness about any reference to "god" anywhere even as a figure of speech or colloqualism, what's the objection to calling it the "god particle"?

As sol points out (and with respect), "the Higgs particle is an essential part of the SM, without which it is logically and mathematically inconsistent."
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 11:05 AM   #38
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,135
So,

The 'dog particle'?
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 11:30 AM   #39
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,044
Quote:
...what's the objection to calling it the "god particle"?
Why not the اللهparticle?

May as well let Allah in on sharing the discovery as well. I can just imagine theists all a twitter thinking "god" has been proven.




__________________
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven. --Shakespeare
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. --G. B. Shaw
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd July 2012, 11:54 AM   #40
quarky
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20,135
Hence, dog.
quarky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:25 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.