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Science Forum

  1. 04 Jul '12 08:08 / 2 edits
    "Higgs Boson excitement at fever pitch" - BBC News Headline

    Announcement:

    We have observed a new boson with a mass of 125.3 plus or minus 0.6 GeV at 4.9 sigma standard deviation

    Whatever happened to good old "Eureka"?

    Not a scientist, don't really understand what this means and the implications, but worth acknowledging nonetheless another pretty amazing achievement.
  2. 04 Jul '12 12:59 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    "Higgs Boson excitement at fever pitch" - BBC News Headline

    Announcement:

    We have observed a new boson with a mass of 125.3 plus or minus 0.6 GeV at 4.9 sigma standard deviation

    Whatever happened to good old "Eureka"?

    Not a scientist, don't really understand what this means and the implications, but worth acknowledging nonetheless another pretty amazing achievement.
    They quite rightly cautiously say they have found a “Higgs-like boson”:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/jul/04/cern-discovers-higgs-like-boson

    It is difficult to imagine what kind of particle this is if not a Higgs but we cannot yet totally rule out the possibility that the particle they have discovered is not a Higgs but a new kind of particle new to science hence they cautiously say “Higgs-LIKE boson”. Time will tell.
    But I think, surely, even if they haven't discovered the Higgs, they still must have discovered something significant.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Jul '12 14:33
    Originally posted by humy
    They quite rightly cautiously say they have found a “Higgs-like boson”:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/jul/04/cern-discovers-higgs-like-boson

    It is difficult to imagine what kind of particle this is if not a Higgs but we cannot yet totally rule out the possibility that the particle they have discovered is not a Higgs but a new kind of parti ...[text shortened]... en if they haven't discovered the Higgs, they still must have discovered something significant.
    The part that gets me is the concept of there being a 'higgs field' that permeates the universe. If the whole idea is true, particles get their mass by collecting a distinct number of higgs for each particle, an electron snags a few and a neutrino maybe only one and a proton thousands? Then EM doesn't interact with the higgs at all.

    It boggles my mind for sure.
  4. Standard member black beetle
    Black Beastie
    04 Jul '12 17:25
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The part that gets me is the concept of there being a 'higgs field' that permeates the universe. If the whole idea is true, particles get their mass by collecting a distinct number of higgs for each particle, an electron snags a few and a neutrino maybe only one and a proton thousands? Then EM doesn't interact with the higgs at all.

    It boggles my mind for sure.
    OK; you already know that, according to the theory, without the Higgs field nothing in the universe would have mass because the existence of this field gives all the other particles their mass. This field can be likened to a thick "sea" in which all the particles "swim". Depending on how the various particles "swim" in the field, they get the mass of a given species (some particles that do not react at all on the field, such as photons, are massless).
    However, the Higgs field is not considered to be an even power, since neither accelerates the particles nor it carries some kind of energy; the Higgs field specifies the mass that attain the remaining particles that "swim" in it.

    But the Higgs boson gets too its mass from the field whose is its carrier. That, can be likened to a denser point Higgs field, like when we spot a liquefied water droplet in an environment of vapor.
    So, like all other particles, the Higgs boson can be created in the collisions obtained during the LHC experiments that were performed at accelerators, and it can react with all the particles, but it prefers the "heavier" ones, such as for example last type of quark that was discovered in 1995 at Fermilab;
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Jul '12 17:44
    Originally posted by black beetle
    OK; you already know that, according to the theory, without the Higgs field nothing in the universe would have mass because the existence of this field gives all the other particles their mass. This field can be likened to a thick "sea" in which all the particles "swim". Depending on how the various particles "swim" in the field, they get the mass of a ...[text shortened]... ones, such as for example last type of quark that was discovered in 1995 at Fermilab;
    So why is it so hard to tease out the data?
  6. 04 Jul '12 18:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So why is it so hard to tease out the data?
    Very massive particle which means that it requires very high energies to produce.
    And even at those energies having the collision happen just right so a Higgs is produced
    is very rare.

    Add to that the fact that the Higgs is unstable and decays very very rapidly so what you
    actually see in the detectors are the particles it has decayed into... Or more likely the particles
    they decayed into.

    So you have to reverse engineer the shower of particles that land in the detector running the
    explosion in reverse to see how they come together (bearing in mind that you are likely to have
    had more than one collision creating more than one source point for the shower of particles.)

    Oh and btw, some of the particles created (like neutrinos) are basically undetectable and just
    disappear off without ever being detected. So you have to infer their existence by calculating the
    known masses and kinetic energies/momentums of the particles you do detect and applying the
    laws of conservation of energy/mass/momentum.


    EDIT:

    Oh and also despite your best efforts to bury the thing underground and remove any and all radioactive
    materials from the detectors and their surroundings you still get the odd particle interact with the materiel
    of the detector in undesirable ways, you get cosmic rays zipping through, and random particle decays.

    All of which confuse the picture you are trying to construct of what happened.
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    04 Jul '12 20:22
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Very massive particle which means that it requires very high energies to produce.
    And even at those energies having the collision happen just right so a Higgs is produced
    is very rare.

    Add to that the fact that the Higgs is unstable and decays very very rapidly so what you
    actually see in the detectors are the particles it has decayed into... Or ...[text shortened]... rticle decays.

    All of which confuse the picture you are trying to construct of what happened.
    And they said there is another year or so of slamming to generate more evidence to raise the sigma even further from chance.
  8. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    06 Jul '12 21:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    "Higgs Boson excitement at fever pitch" - BBC News Headline

    Announcement:

    We have observed a new boson with a mass of 125.3 plus or minus 0.6 GeV at 4.9 sigma standard deviation

    Whatever happened to good old "Eureka"?

    Not a scientist, don't really understand what this means and the implications, but worth acknowledging nonetheless another pretty amazing achievement.
    I'm reminded of the Ernest Rutherford quote:

    "If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment."

    It's unclear to me how "serious" Ernest was being when he said this, but I always find it amusing. I'm guessing he was serious, because his heyday was largely "pre-quantum". After all, he also once said:

    "Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of the atom is talking moonshine."
  9. 07 Jul '12 00:00
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    I'm reminded of the Ernest Rutherford quote:

    "If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment."

    It's unclear to me how "serious" Ernest was being when he said this, but I always find it amusing. I'm guessing he was serious, because his heyday was largely "pre-quantum". After all, he also once said:

    "Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of the atom is talking moonshine."
    Everything is probability and statistics...

    That's why it's so important to get them right.
  10. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    07 Jul '12 05:46 / 3 edits
    Pseudo-science mumbo jumbo. They've got a fly in the ointment is what I reckon.

    Sure they found a new particle. They built a mass accelerometer the size of a city and are set about smashing things up big time. You're gonna find new particles.

    The key difference is that Prof Higgs reckons he can predict what science will find. My money's on science being even weirder than we can imagine.

    The absence of things is as important as the things themselves.

    As above. So below.

    Thequ1ck.
  11. 07 Jul '12 08:17
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Pseudo-science mumbo jumbo. They've got a fly in the ointment is what I reckon.

    Sure they found a new particle. They built a mass accelerometer the size of a city and are set about smashing things up big time. You're gonna find new particles.

    The key difference is that Prof Higgs reckons he can predict what science will find. My money's on science be ...[text shortened]... ence of things is as important as the things themselves.

    As above. So below.

    Thequ1ck.
    The prediction of the existence of particles has happened many times before.
  12. 07 Jul '12 08:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Sure they found a new particle. They built a mass accelerometer the size of a city and are set about smashing things up big time. You're gonna find new particles.

    The key difference is that Prof Higgs reckons he can predict what science will find.
    So, you believe you are educated enough in the field and smart enough to predict that there are new particles to be discovered in the given energy range, but don't believe someone smarter than you and better educated can predict anything about those particles? You have a bit of an ego problem.
  13. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    07 Jul '12 13:33 / 14 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So, you believe you are educated enough in the field and smart enough to predict that there are new particles to be discovered in the given energy range, but don't believe someone smarter than you and better educated can predict anything about those particles? You have a bit of an ego problem.
    Yes I think you're right and I don't mean to be egotistical. I honestly believe there to be gaps in science. The absence of a thing creates a thing. Which is why we exist. Still unexplored. I think that has more to do with egotism than my previous post.

    All I'm saying is that scientifically speaking the media is part of the apparatus. There's a greater pressure on the part of results delivery than there is on the actual truth of the matter. ergo. Cow dung results.

    This is why we need to replace science for futurism. It's less.....apathetic.

    Here's a document which proposes an alternative theory.

    http://www.sendspace.com/file/u8vf8l

    I've posted it before but it has yet to be disproved.

    I'm choosing my words softly as I may have to eat them later
  14. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    07 Jul '12 14:26
    Consider a black hole. Is it a 'thing' or and absence of a 'thing'??

    Because science gives it a name it becomes the former right? but wrong...
  15. 07 Jul '12 14:54
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    Consider a black hole. Is it a 'thing' or and absence of a 'thing'??

    Because science gives it a name it becomes the former right? but wrong...
    Do you even have the slightest clue about what a black hole is?