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Tags cern , higgs boson , physics

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Old 4th July 2012, 08:57 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
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Old 4th July 2012, 10:29 PM   #162
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I joke I stole from Slashdot:


The Superconducting Super Collider in Texas probably would have found the Higgs Boson first, if only it was funded as the "God Particle Gun", instead.
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Old 5th July 2012, 02:16 AM   #163
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Old 5th July 2012, 02:17 AM   #164
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The Higgs Boson lives - All hail the Higgs Boson
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Old 5th July 2012, 02:46 AM   #165
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Ok, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the thing that makes the Higgs so important simply that it's the only particle predicted by the SM that hadn't yet been found? And this discovery basically elevates SM to the same status as GR--a theory that's withstood every test we could throw at it?

I mean, it's nice to know that it has something to do with some form of mass, but that's not really why this is such a big discovery, is it? It's not the HB itself; it's the fact that it's the last piece of the puzzle. (At least within the domain the SM covers.)
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:35 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by xtifr View Post
Ok, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the thing that makes the Higgs so important simply that it's the only particle predicted by the SM that hadn't yet been found?
Sort of. Ultimately, it's not actually about a specific particle at all, but about symmetries. The standard model in it's basic form has certain symmetries which result in predictions that don't actually agree with observations. In order to get the theory to match things like the mass of certain particles, you need to add some way that the symmetry is broken. The Higgs mechanism adds an extra field (the theory is actually made up of fields, see here) into the SM which allows breaking of the symmetry in the correct way to get the masses for the W and Z gauge bosons that we actually observe.

So it's not just a question of there being a missing particle, this is essentially a test of the fundamental basis of the whole theory. Without the Higgs mechanism the entire standard model just makes no sense at all, so if we don't see the extra particle it also predicts the whole thing pretty much falls apart.

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And this discovery basically elevates SM to the same status as GR--a theory that's withstood every test we could throw at it?
Sadly not. Even with the Higgs, the standard model is known to be seriously flawed. The standard model doesn't even attempt to cover gravity, it can't explain dark matter, it fails badly at explaining dark energy, it fails at explaining the matter/antimatter imbalance, and so on. In fact, it's not even proven to be mathematically consistent. Relativity has some trouble at certain extreme scales, but the rest of the time it seems to be pretty much a perfect match to reality. The standard model just plain doesn't work. It's the best we can do so far, but we know it's not even close to complete.

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I mean, it's nice to know that it has something to do with some form of mass, but that's not really why this is such a big discovery, is it? It's not the HB itself; it's the fact that it's the last piece of the puzzle. (At least within the domain the SM covers.)
Discovering new fundamental particles is pretty big news that tends to result in Nobel prizes. The W and Z resulted in Nobel prizes, neutrinos resulted in Nobel prizes, the tao resulted in Nobel prizes, quarks resulted in Nobel prizes. In fact, the only ones that didn't are photons and electrons, since we already knew about them, and muons, where one of the discoverers had only just got a Nobel prize that year anyway. So yeah, discovering a new fundamental particle really is pretty important stuff just on its own.
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Old 5th July 2012, 09:11 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Robert Oz View Post
Many bosons died to bring us this information.
Star Wars jokes are always the best.
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Old 5th July 2012, 09:50 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
The W and Z resulted in Nobel prizes, neutrinos resulted in Nobel prizes, the tao resulted in Nobel prizes, quarks resulted in Nobel prizes. In fact, the only ones that didn't are photons and electrons, since we already knew about them, and muons, where one of the discoverers had only just got a Nobel prize that year anyway. So yeah, discovering a new fundamental particle really is pretty important stuff just on its own.
I don't think one was awarded for the discovery of the gluon.
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Old 5th July 2012, 11:56 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Sadly not. Even with the Higgs, the standard model is known to be seriously flawed. The standard model doesn't even attempt to cover gravity, it can't explain dark matter, it fails badly at explaining dark energy, it fails at explaining the matter/antimatter imbalance, and so on.
But GR doesn't explain any of those things either (with the possible exception of dark energy). It seems to me that all of those (with the possible exception of the matter/antimatter imbalance) are outside the domain of the standard model. And yes, we'll need a new model at some point to explain all that, but then we'll most likely need a quantum gravity model to supercede GR at some point as well, and GR may need some adjustments to deal with dark energy.

There's a difference, in my mind at least, between being incomplete and being incorrect. GR and the standard model both seem incomplete to me (the degree isn't so much of an issue--incomplete is incomplete), but both seem to be basically confirmed now within their domains.

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In fact, it's not even proven to be mathematically consistent.
Ah, well, that's more of an issue, I suppose. Of course, GR's more classical model, which actually makes it more dubious as a theory, is easier to achieve mathematical consistency with. It doesn't have anywhere near as many fiddly little arbitrary numbers that are hard to measure precisely. But GR still has problems with dividing by zero (singularities) and with increasing acceleration (Dark Energy).

But that's still a good point.
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Old 5th July 2012, 02:36 PM   #170
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Stephen Wolfram has an interesting article at The Reference Frame giving his thoughts on the progression of particle physics and where he thinks it might be going.
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Old 5th July 2012, 03:25 PM   #171
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My personal favorite joke to come out of this....


http://boingboing.net/2012/07/05/its...Boing+Boing%29
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Old 5th July 2012, 04:02 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by BobK View Post
Stephen Wolfram has an interesting article at The Reference Frame giving his thoughts on the progression of particle physics and where he thinks it might be going.
Yikes. Here's my reading of that article:

Originally Posted by Shorter Wolfram
In my youth, I myself made modest contributions to the Standard Model, but I ultimately found the whole business somewhat beneath me. I'm glad that some people stuck with it, and I congratulate them on their old-fashioned and basically-non-visionary grunt work. In the meantime, my giant self-published manifesto, A New Kind Of Science, is clearly deeper and more important than any of this and may have already replaced all of science.
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Old 5th July 2012, 04:27 PM   #173
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Every time a journalist says "God Particle", Schrödinger maybe kills a kitten.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6...e6zto1_400.jpg
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:22 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
My personal favorite joke to come out of this....


http://boingboing.net/2012/07/05/its...Boing+Boing%29
Love it!
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:26 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by Tubbythin View Post
Can I bet on who will win this/next year's Nobel prize in physics?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18702455

Quote:
Prof Stephen Hawking joined in with an opinion on a topic often discussed in hushed tones.

"This is an important result and should earn Peter Higgs the Nobel Prize," he told BBC News.
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Old 5th July 2012, 08:35 PM   #176
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My apologies if it's already been posted...
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Old 5th July 2012, 08:47 PM   #177
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Awww.
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Old 6th July 2012, 02:55 AM   #178
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An 'explanation' of mass said that there are Higgs Bosons everywhere, creating the Higgs field that creates mass. However, the Higgs Boson has an incredibly short life span, before it 'transmutates' into other particles.

How does that work?
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Old 6th July 2012, 03:23 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
An 'explanation' of mass said that there are Higgs Bosons everywhere, creating the Higgs field that creates mass. However, the Higgs Boson has an incredibly short life span, before it 'transmutates' into other particles.

How does that work?
I am a layman, but it's my understanding that it is the interactions with the Higgs field that give particles mass. A free Higgs boson can only come about by exciting the Higgs field with enough energy to produce one.
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Old 6th July 2012, 05:17 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Turgor View Post
I am a layman, but it's my understanding that it is the interactions with the Higgs field that give particles mass. A free Higgs boson can only come about by exciting the Higgs field with enough energy to produce one.
Is it the field that creates the bosons? I thought that the particles, like the electron, created the field.

Is the Higgs field like some kind of aether?
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Old 6th July 2012, 05:29 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
An 'explanation' of mass said that there are Higgs Bosons everywhere, creating the Higgs field that creates mass. However, the Higgs Boson has an incredibly short life span, before it 'transmutates' into other particles.

How does that work?
It doesn't. The Higgs mechanism is said to do be responsible for mass, but take a look at A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC. It’s by Gian Francesco Giudice, a CERN physicist. 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.” He ends up saying “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 CERN press office don't correct the garbage you read because it suits them if you think this is something more important than it is. E=mc² is responsible for mass. If you heat a container of gas, you increase its mass. If you trap a massless photon in a box, you increase the mass of the system.
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Old 6th July 2012, 05:53 AM   #182
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It's hardly ad hoc if it's pretty well what they predicted it would be.
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Old 6th July 2012, 06:21 AM   #183
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Farsight:
It's sad. First you make a very reasonable statement, while quoting Francesco Giudice's reasoned comments. Then conclude with the absurd comment that "E = mc2 is responsible for mass." An equation is responsible for mass? Energy is responsible for mass? Does that comment have any meaning? Is sinθ1/sinθ2= n responsible for refraction?
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Old 6th July 2012, 06:49 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Is it the field that creates the bosons? I thought that the particles, like the electron, created the field.
There's a sense in which the background Higgs field is a collection of Higgs particles in a Bose condensate. But it's probably better to think of it as a sort of aether, except that it's an aether that has no rest frame (i.e. it looks the same to all observers, regardless of their state of motion).

The Higgs particles that LHC produced are like excitations (waves, or ripples) of that aether. They decay quickly to other particles.
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Old 6th July 2012, 08:39 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by xtifr View Post
But GR doesn't explain any of those things either (with the possible exception of dark energy). It seems to me that all of those (with the possible exception of the matter/antimatter imbalance) are outside the domain of the standard model. And yes, we'll need a new model at some point to explain all that, but then we'll most likely need a quantum gravity model to supercede GR at some point as well, and GR may need some adjustments to deal with dark energy.

There's a difference, in my mind at least, between being incomplete and being incorrect. GR and the standard model both seem incomplete to me (the degree isn't so much of an issue--incomplete is incomplete), but both seem to be basically confirmed now within their domains.
The difference is that GR doesn't try to explain any of those things. GR is basically a theory of gravity and motion. It says nothing whatsoever about what things might exist to obey its rules, it just says what those rules are. The standard model, on the other hand, is basically a theory that tells us what particles should exist. Dark matter is presumed to be made of particles, but the SM tells us there shouldn't be any more particles left. Gravity is often presumed (or at least hoped) to behave similarly to the other forces and therefore be described as a field with associated particles, but the SM just can't do it. Matter/anti-matter imbalance is a big one, because that's exactly the sort of thing all the symmetries and symmetry breaking should predict, but we just can't get a prediction that matches the amounts we actually see.

The standard model simply doesn't predict, or gets badly wrong, many of the things that it absolutely should predict. It's not a question of not quite being complete or not giving answers to things it's not designed to answer, it's just very much a broken theory that can't deal with many of the big questions in particle physics. It's good enough to be fairly useful up to a point, but it goes way past the "might need a bit of refining in extreme cases" of something like GR.

Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Is it the field that creates the bosons? I thought that the particles, like the electron, created the field.

Is the Higgs field like some kind of aether?
See here. The standard model is a field theory. The Higgs field is nothing special, it's just one of many fields that make up the theory. It's no more aether than electromagnetism or the strong force.
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Old 6th July 2012, 09:32 PM   #186
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The big guy puts things in context:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-particle.html

Quote:
First off, they’re all My particles, OK? I made every last one of them, from the hunky handsome proton to the waifish, Starbucks-named neutrino. So when you attach My name only to the Higgs boson you insult the decillions of quarks, leptons, gluons, and all the other “little particles” without whose hard work and collaborative spirit the universe would cease to exist, at least with the same brio.
Off topic, but funny.
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Old 6th July 2012, 09:43 PM   #187
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That makes me feel better.
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Old 6th July 2012, 10:32 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post

And Comic Sans
Since it was mentioned...
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/sh...s-at-cern.html
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Old 7th July 2012, 01:55 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
The difference is that GR doesn't try to explain any of those things. GR is basically a theory of gravity and motion. It says nothing whatsoever about what things might exist to obey its rules, it just says what those rules are. The standard model, on the other hand, is basically a theory that tells us what particles should exist. Dark matter is presumed to be made of particles, but the SM tells us there shouldn't be any more particles left. Gravity is often presumed (or at least hoped) to behave similarly to the other forces and therefore be described as a field with associated particles, but the SM just can't do it. Matter/anti-matter imbalance is a big one, because that's exactly the sort of thing all the symmetries and symmetry breaking should predict, but we just can't get a prediction that matches the amounts we actually see.

The standard model simply doesn't predict, or gets badly wrong, many of the things that it absolutely should predict. It's not a question of not quite being complete or not giving answers to things it's not designed to answer, it's just very much a broken theory that can't deal with many of the big questions in particle physics. It's good enough to be fairly useful up to a point, but it goes way past the "might need a bit of refining in extreme cases" of something like GR.



See here. The standard model is a field theory. The Higgs field is nothing special, it's just one of many fields that make up the theory. It's no more aether than electromagnetism or the strong force.
If we don't know what dark matter is, maybe it is one of the existing particles? Could gravity be explained with the existing set of particles, but we just don't know it yet? Do we call Newtonian physics a failure because it doesn't include relativity, or was it just an iteration in our progress of advancing knowledge?
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Old 7th July 2012, 02:15 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Could gravity be explained with the existing set of particles, but we just don't know it yet?
Isn't that the postulated graviton? I would like to know the progress in discovering this particle.
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Old 7th July 2012, 02:18 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I don't think I'm sticking my neck out with that prediction.
Incidentally, I wonder what would have happened if a CMS/ATLAS scientist had put on such a bet just before the announcement?
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Old 7th July 2012, 09:50 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Isn't that the postulated graviton? I would like to know the progress in discovering this particle.
We can invent the name "graviton", we can say "to explain gravity it has to be massless, spin-2 and couple to mass", and ... well, things sort of peter out there. There's no single coherent theory of the graviton, not like there is for Higgs or photon or gluon interactions.

Insofar as we can guess what the graviton's properties are, no one is searching for it. It's utterly inaccessible to experiments as far as I know.

Interestingly, there *are* sensible hypotheses which combine supersymmetry---an extension of the Standard Model---with gravity, generally in a string-theory context. In these theories, the graviton has a stable, heavy superpartner, called the gravitino, which might be amenable to searches at the LHC, and could be a component of the dark matter.
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Old 7th July 2012, 12:54 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
That's hilarious.
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Old 7th July 2012, 12:57 PM   #194
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Can anyone answer another lay person's question in lay language: I'm reading now that the "measurements seem to diverge slightly from what would be expected". Having only the vaguest clue why drag matters, I can't make sense of the Net explanations on just what differs and why it matters.
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Old 8th July 2012, 02:26 AM   #195
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I'm sure that everyone here has been waiting with bated breath for Deepak Chopra to weigh in on the significance of the Higgs boson. So without further ado:

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Old 8th July 2012, 05:13 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Can anyone answer another lay person's question in lay language: I'm reading now that the "measurements seem to diverge slightly from what would be expected". Having only the vaguest clue why drag matters, I can't make sense of the Net explanations on just what differs and why it matters.
"drag"?
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Old 8th July 2012, 06:42 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by bpesta22 View Post
The father, the boson, and the holy spirit.

The boson of god has a nice ring to it.

If the boson got married the significant other would be a boson's mate.

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Old 8th July 2012, 06:49 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by anduin View Post
Every time a journalist says "God Particle", Schrödinger maybe kills a kitten.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6...e6zto1_400.jpg

Actually he refuses to open the box thereby condemning the cat to an eternal half-life.
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Old 8th July 2012, 02:17 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by sol invictus View Post
"drag"?
That's how the action of the boson is being described. Feel free to correct me.
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Old 8th July 2012, 03:07 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
If the boson got married the significant other would be a boson's mate.

When they go for a ride, he should be careful not to take his mate for less than a whole spin.
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