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Dark Matter Particles May Have Been Detected

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-you-callin'-a-wimp dept.

Science 156

During two seminars at Stanford and Fermilab on Thursday, researchers described signals for two events detected deep in an old iron mine in Minnesota that might mark the first detection of dark matter — or not. The presenters said the chances that the signals they detected were caused by something other than "neutralino" dark matter particles was 23 percent. "One source indicates that we'd need less than 10 total detections within the CDMS' range in order to have a high degree of confidence in the results." The NY Times describes the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search methodology: "The cryogenic experiment is nearly half a mile underground in an old iron mine in Soudan, Minn., to shield it from cosmic rays. It consists of a stack of germanium and silicon detectors, cooled to one-hundredth of a degree Kelvin. When a particle hits one of the detectors, it produces an electrical charge and deposits a small bit of energy in the form of heat, each of which are independently measured. By comparing the amounts of charge and heat left behind, the collaboration’s physicists can tell so-called wimps from more mundane particles like neutrons, which are expected to flood the underground chamber from radioactivity in the rocks around it." Here are the research team's summary notes of the latest results (PDF).

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156 comments

It must be true! (-1, Troll)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486440)

Because scientist's interpretation of what they see is never wrong! When did science start to feel more like religion to me...

Re:It must be true! (2, Insightful)

wanerious (712877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486586)

You mean the cautious interpretation that it's only 77% or so likely to be a positive signal? What does it mean that such a forecast is never wrong? I think science feels more like religion when you decide that's how it works. Do you have an alternate suggestion for interpreting this dataset?

Re:It must be true! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488164)

Now you know why some of us aren't keen to demolish our economy in the name of combating anthropogenic climate change.

Re:It must be true! (2, Insightful)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488774)

They never said that "it's only 77% or so likely to be a positive signal", or that "the chances that the signals they detected were caused by something other than 'neutralino' dark matter particles was 23 percent". What they said is that there is a 23% chance that, in the total absence of DM particles, the background would generate those two events they found. Or: If they did the same experiment, with the same exposure and analysis (and if DM doesn't exist) hundreds of times, 23% of those experiments would show two or more events.

The chance that you flip a coin three times and get the same side up all three times is 25%, if the coin is honest. This doesn't mean that if you flip a coin three times and get the same side up three times, there is a 75% chance that the coin is not honest.

Going a bit deeper in the statistics, the probability that A happens with the hypothesis B is NOT the same as the probability that hypothesis B is true given that A happened. To "flip" those 23% probability that the background gives you 2 events to a probability that the two events events are caused by the background, you need to apply Bayes' theorem [wikipedia.org] . You can only do that if you use, as prior knowledge, the probability that a dark matter particle exists. This prior can't be defined precisely by anyone, each physicist would give you a different value; so you can't apply Bayes' theorem here without being heavily biased.

What you can infer is that there is a pretty good chance that this was just a background fluctuation, specially since their previous results had zero events (with a similar background expectation). The REAL point that physicists got from the talk was that CDMS reached its limit, and has to be upgraded to SuperCDMS to stay relevant.

Re:It must be true! (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489656)

Science only feels like a religion because in both people with full knowledge of the arcana speak to the rest of us as though we are children.

The difference is in the veracity of the arcana.

So Science sometimes feels like a religion, while religion proves to be religion.

Re:It must be true! (-1, Offtopic)

athowell (1459491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489798)

Dark matters has been over all the news lately, what do you mean you can't detect it... Tiger?

Re:It must be true! (5, Informative)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486650)

Because scientist's interpretation of what they see is never wrong! When did science start to feel more like religion to me...

So tell me where they went fairy tale on us here?

Here is just a gross simplification, so I may not be completely accurate, but I fail to see where this is fairy-tale science.

Characterization: Isn't that where we are finding that galaxies aren't behaving as we expect them to, and that behavior is in the form of gravitational interactions which shouldn't happen given the amount of mass which we can see.

Hypothesis:
There is something there which for some reason has a lot of mass, but we can't see it. Literally: Dark Matter

Deduction: If Dark Matter is weakly interacting as is suggested by the fact that we can't currently see it. If we are able to detect an interaction which cannot be accounted for among known particles, you have either discovered dark matter, or some other particle altogether if that detected particle is not massive enough when combined with the rate of interaction and the mass of the detected particle.

Experimentation:

Stick a detector way down in a mine shaft which will help filter out a lot of things which could cause a false positive. Look for interactions which do not match any known possible interactions.

Again, that is grossly simplified, but I don't see the jump in logic you are looking for.

Re:It must be true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488086)

I agree with all of this.

The only comment I have to make in the other direction is that I am uncomfortable with the probabilities that scientists have suddenly started to give - "there's a 77% chance we are completely correct".

Take the climate was somesuch as "there's an 11 percent chance that there will be less than X degrees and a 23% chance that there will be more than Y degrees". Then someone finds that heat radiation works differently from what any of the 11 models (all obviously based on a single model with a few tweaks) predicted. How does that affect the probabilities? Does the probability include the percentage chance that any element in the entire model is wrong? Or is the assumption simply that model inaccuracies will even out on both sides, and chance of error is simply statistically calculated based on the availability of data?

I wish for some good old scientific conservatism, and the need to put percentages on the proportion of 100% correct you are feels a bit dubious.

Re:It must be true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488788)

Does the probability include the percentage chance that any element in the entire model is wrong?

Yes, of course. Why does everyone assume the scientists behind this are stupid?

Re:It must be true! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489208)

This is slashdot. Everyone else is stupid.

Re:It must be true! (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488890)

The only comment I have to make in the other direction is that I am uncomfortable with the probabilities that scientists have suddenly started to give - "there's a 77% chance we are completely correct".

Except it's not even that.

There saying there's a 77% probability that the result was not due to random noise, and that they actually did detect particles that are within the range predicted for neutralinos by Supersymetric Theory. Does that means it's a neutralino? Not necessarily, but it is a pretty strong argument of the "hypothesis -> experimentation -> verification" variety. Does it mean that everything they predict for neutralinos is true, or that Supersymetric Theory is "completely correct"? No.

I wish for some good old scientific conservatism, and the need to put percentages on the proportion of 100% correct you are feels a bit dubious.

Again, they're only putting a percentage on this not being a null result. Your characterization is wrong.

They're being conservative. But they're excited. And when you take a theory as ridiculously successful at making predictions as the Standard Model, make a logic extension to it and then that theory quite possibly has had its first verified prediction, that's not unreasonable.

I remember when scientific skepticism on slashdot involved people taking issue with specific aspects of the experimental procedure. Not people complaining that they don't like the result or how snooty the scientists are using statistics to measure their success.

Re:It must be true! (1)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488920)

If you read CDMS's paper or watch the talks, you'll see that they never said that "there's a 77% chance we are completely correct" or anything like that. All they said (and all they can say with their data) is that, assuming that DM doesn't exist, the probability for the background alone to generate two events is 23%. Or: their result is compatible with a "Dark Matter doesn't exist" hypothesis, within a bit more than one standard deviation; that means their result is absolutely compatible with the absence of dark matter. We could say they had seen a "hint" of DM if they'd seen three events; they would have detected DM if they had seen 5 or more events, because the chance of a background fluctuation to generate five events is below one in one thousand; then other experiments would try to detect it in other ways, to confirm the discovery.

Don't mistake "scientific" journalists for scientists. If you want the facts, go for them, and you'll see MUCH less hype than what you read in the interwebs.

No wonder people here hate psychology on Slashdot (1)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490114)

Wow, you'd never be able to study large and varied populations then. You do have to understand that probabilities can bring a lot of useful hints as to how you should react after that. If you know that young men have 80% (made up) chance of shutting their brain down when they listen to a beautiful woman, you'd be able to decide to use females in you TV ads to sell your beer to males. Statistics in science can be VERY useful. And it's still science. If you start to break down your groups until you always get 100%, you'll never make it. Even individuals never always act in the same way. You can discover how they react most of the time though...

Re:It must be true! (4, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489616)

That's because your logic is fundamentally flawed. If you were really questioning, and not just accepting everything at face value, you would say this:

Characterization: Isn't that where we are finding that galaxies aren't behaving as we expect them to, and that behavior is in the form of gravitational interactions which shouldn't happen given the amount of mass which we can see.

Hypothe- err, fuck that, I mean PROOF:
It's God. Literally God!! He's got his hand in that galaxy like it was a Jeff Dunham puppet.

Deduction: If God is weakly interacting with the galaxies, all you heathen sciency evolution types are fucked! Richard Dawkins won't be able to save you from getting cornholed by fire demons for the rest of eternity.

Experimentation:
Invoke the spirit of Charles Darwin. Ask him how hot Hell is. Fall on your knees, and hear the Angels sing. Never question God or me again. Now I will call you saved, please deposit $200 into the jar.

That's how you really fight the dogma of science.

Re:It must be true! (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490170)

Might have been better if they'd called it Dark Mass, as that seems to be the thing we're twigging to about it all.

Re:It must be true! (1)

shawnap (959909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486722)

Because scientist's interpretation of what they see is never wrong! When did science start to feel more like religion to me...

Did you forget a sarcasm tag, because there's nothing in TFA about global warming or evolution that I could see.
Does this fucking troll apply to all science articles now?...

Re:It must be true! (2, Insightful)

Mattskimo (1452429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486868)

No, only ones that disagree with my worldview.

Re:It must be true! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487648)

Joe Public: "Well, I don't understand it, so it can't possibly be right."

Re:It must be true! (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489586)

Exactly! I keep telling people; Einstein was wrong! An absolute speed limit makes no sense because there's no way I can understand how that would work!

Do you have the email of the president of physics?

Re:It must be true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487258)

Because scientist's interpretation of what they see is never wrong! When did science start to feel more like religion to me...

Because you are just ignorant and watch too much Faux News.

Re:It must be true! (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489146)

If it feels like religion, it's because YOU don't understand what's going on.

When did regular people decide that they were qualified to second guess the experts, WITHOUT having put in the decades of work and received a degree which might indicate they are capable of contributing to knowledge?

Fucking hell, people who can't figure out where an apostrophe, elipsis, or question mark should go are telling me they can out-think Stephen Hawking.

Re:It must be true! (2, Funny)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489626)

Well, who are you going to believe - a panel of experts with hundreds of years of combined knowledge of the specific subject, or your gut? This so called "intelligence" is just nothing but liberal elitism at it's best.

White male science (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486452)

As a 49 yo feminist grandmother, I reject these results, since they are done by an old boys network of grey haired caucasian scientists.

Re:White male science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486526)

As a 49 yo feminist grandmother, I reject these results, since they are done by an old boys network of grey haired caucasian scientists.

You left out "capitalist pig", "reactionary", "fascist", and "racist" from your description of the scientists.

Re:White male science (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486738)

As a 49 yo feminist grandmother, I reject these results, since they are done by an old boys network of grey haired caucasian scientists.

Marie Jo, I told you to dust of my PC, not to surf the web.

Re:White male science (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486996)

As a 49 yo feminist grandmother, I reject these results, since they are done by an old boys network of grey haired caucasian scientists.

http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/CDMS_Photos/cdms_2_collaboration.JPG

Yep, sure looks like an entire pack of grey haired Caucasian scientists to me -- if I squint really hard and cover up a few people in the photo.

Re:White male science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487074)

Ah, I see. You didn't get the memo. We'll let it slide THIS time.

Re:White male science (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487408)

Now that's fame: to become a Slashdot meme.

Re:White male science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488642)

As a 49 year old virgin slashdotter, I reject your assertion that this is a meme since the assertion is only based on a handful of copy-cat incidents made by ACs.

Re:White male science (4, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487432)

White male science has been looking in the wrong place for dark matter. They should try looking between the ears of politicians. Mod away... :p

Re:White male science (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488846)

They should try looking between the ears of politicians.

It's true that alot of politicians are corrupted, and not much gets done.

But have you worked in a large company yet, where in order to complete a project different seperated departments with different stakes are involved and all have an own opinion and different expertises?

Enlarging that to "projects in a country" or even on a larger scale, it amases me anything gets done at all, disregarding the intelligence of many trying to push their agenda, stakes and represent their stakeholders (say, in the best case, their voters values.)

The older I get, the more these kindof powers become more clear; friction, weight, opposing views, personal context, agenda, conflicting personal or professional goals, ...

While the joke stands, strong, I do wonder if there are alternatives which aren't just utopian.

Re:White male science (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489412)

Fair enough, but where else to look for dark matter but in a dark mine? After all, everybody knows night is caused by accretions of black air... :-P

Re:White male science (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488248)

Maybe you should have went to college and got a degree in physics then?

Re:White male science (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490164)

My social studies professor would say that "black" matter is implicitly racist!

1:4? (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486508)

As I understand it, the chances of it being some other (extra-solar) particle detected is about 1 in 4. They need a 1:1000 to have a valid argument. Although interesting, I can't help but wonder when the next funding cycle starts.

Re:1:4? (2, Funny)

wanerious (712877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486620)

Their fiendishly clever plan to get more money hopefully flew under the radar of the other standing-room-only particle physicists and cosmologists in attendance at the seminar where the results were announced.

Re:1:4? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490204)

The real fun happens at the open bar Christmas party.

Physicists Gone Wild!

Re:1:4? (4, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486638)

No, 1:4 is enough for a good argument. They need 1:1000 or lower to end the argument.

Re:1:4? (1)

telomerewhythere (1493937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487000)

No, you came here for an agrument. "I want to complain."

Re:1:4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487080)

The answer to that, of course, is "Fuck you," followed by *plonk!*

Re:1:4? (1)

bmearns (1691628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487276)

Which is exactly what they specified in the article. They're not making any argument, they're reporting on their findings, and very specifically say:

...we can make no claim to have discovered WIMPs

Re:1:4? (1)

mrtommyb (1534795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487294)

They need a 1:1000 to have a valid argument.

Well, the IPCC report into climate change only reported a 9:1 chance of global warming being due to humans [wikipedia.org] . I think most people would agree that climate change being anthropogenic is a valid arguement, even those who sceptical of the science.

Re:1:4? (1)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489060)

The chance that "nothing" (as in, no dark matter around here) would generate a signal as "big" as they saw (2 events) is 23%. If they had so many events that the chance of "nothing" generating that number of events was under 0.1% (they'd need 5 or more events on this analysis), they would be able to say the "null hypothesis", or the absence of dark matter, was proven wrong. With their current equipment, they can't do that, and now I'm sure this will be the same result when they analyse the full data set. It takes a bigger detector to detect those particles; or, they never existed at all, but then we'd need a bigger detector to know that anyway.

It's the lack of energy, stupid! (-1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486514)

We exist in space-time. 4 dimensional beings. Everything we know corresponds to these 4 dimensions.

So what happens when you have a gravitational field? Space bends. Time bends. Since everything with mass exerts a gravitational force, everything bends space around itself to a degree.

But movement is another form of energy, and energy is crucial to completing the 4 dimensional universe. Something with no energy means it has no movement. No movement means it must radiate all of its energy as gravitation. In the end, it will lose all of its mass to this gravitational leaching.

So by reducing the temperature of the sensor to half a degree Kelvin, they have reduced the energy level of the sensor to almost nothing. Yes, it interacts with incoming particles, but it also radiates gravitational waves that could be misinterpreted as external particles. In essence, the detector is detecting itself.

Of course, there is a 23% chance I am completely wrong.

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (5, Funny)

garg0yle (208225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486570)

Something with no energy means it has no movement. No movement means it must radiate all of its energy as gravitation.

So, what you're saying is that something with no energy must lose all of its energy as gravitation. Anybody else see a problem with this explanation?

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487472)

It's poorly phrased.

"If it has no movement, it's energy must be expressed otherwise, thus likely as gravitation."

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489148)

"If it has no movement, it's energy must be expressed otherwise, thus likely as gravitation."

Which is still wrong and silly.

When you cool an object, you are extracting heat energy from it and moving it somewhere else. To cool water enough to freeze, something else is going to get hotter. So it's not a matter of "if there's no movement, how is its energy expressed?" -- there simply is less energy to express, and whatever kinetic energy remains in the material (these detectors are not cooled to absolute zero) is expressed as heat.

It's not a mystery. "Cold things emit gravity waves and eventually evaporate" is unnecessary.

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486634)

That must explain why I get the weird feeling that days are somehow getting shorter.

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488680)

Oh good, I thought the sun was burning out. If the days get longer I'm going to have a big party. I may have to set up some stones in the field out back to keep track of this...

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489646)

Technically, days on Earth get longer as the planet's rotation slows over time. A day was around 21 hours long when T. rex roamed the earth.

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

wanerious (712877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486658)

I think the chances of the above being at all *right* is the 3-sigma event they're looking for. :)

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486884)

So by reducing the temperature of the sensor to half a degree Kelvin, they have reduced the energy level of the sensor to almost nothing. Yes, it interacts with incoming particles, but it also radiates gravitational waves that could be misinterpreted as external particles. In essence, the detector is detecting itself.

Of course, there is a 23% chance I am completely wrong.

There's a 100% chance you're wrong. Gravitational waves can't be absorbed by these detectors in any meaningful way. To notice the effects of even massive gravitational waves you need a huge detector (like LIGO [wikipedia.org] ). Also, gravitational waves happen when a gravitational field changes. They propagate this change through the universe. Objects at rest aren't emitting gravitational waves.

If you isolated these sensors from the universe and let them sit for a long time, they wouldn't lose their mass to gravitational radiation - they'd probably sit around until death by baryon decay in 10^33 years.

And no, they're not detecting baryon decay either.

Re:It's the lack of energy, stupid! (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487268)

Something with no energy means it has no movement.

Or no mass.

Teh problem wif dark mattr (-1, Offtopic)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486546)

Dark mattr iz invisable!

Only ceilin cat can c it.

--
Today's lame post brought to you by Teh Lolcat Transzlator [speaklolcat.com] .

Dark matter @ Home.org (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486670)

Bring it on!

Re:Dark matter @ Home.org (1)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489078)

Wouldn't this be something like Yeti@Home?

Re:Dark matter @ Home.org (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489496)

I guess that might depend on whether your yetis are house-trained...

Meanwhile, Rome burns (-1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486684)

So the country is 1.8 trillion (US) in the hole this year, yet someone, somewhere, is funding research half a mile underground, with superconductors, to find particles that might not exist, and if they do, don't mean anything?
How do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (3, Insightful)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486756)

The country that falls behind in basic research is the country that falls behind in history.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487532)

My gut agrees with you, but I can't say why... Maybe it's the language that falls behind in basic research falls behind in history... If that's the case then funding translation into your language of basic research should be cheaper and have the same effect.

Or else maybe it has to do with having the people doing basic research in your country... I dunno... Maybe the proposition is false or not..

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486762)

There haven't been any reports of success, but fire is rumored to work pretty well.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486774)

You're absolutely right. If only we took an extremely short-sighted view of everything, things would be better today. Who cares about tomorrow? The advancement of knowledge is for fictional spacemen in the future, it's not up to us; all we need to do is worry about today. And maybe yesterday. I wish you were running things.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486778)

It appears from a quick Google search that the University of Minnesota [uppermidwestherc.org] is funding it. I guess you're against NASA, too, but in favor of pouring trillions down the Iraqui quagmire?

WTF are you doing on slashdot? Trolling?

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486814)

Angsting (look at the user name).

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486902)

Yeah, fuck basic science. I mean, what has scientific research ever done for us? It's just a bunch of eggheads playing with calculators, greedily and selfishly grasping for grant money handouts on the backs of taxpayers. The tiny sliver of the national budget that we invest in science would be much better spent on building another couple of jet-fighters that were designed for Cold War conflicts. Or better yet, it should be be returned to the taxpayers--after all, anything worth doing is also highly profitable. I'm sure the invisible hand of the free market will ensure that we learn exactly as much as we need about the universe, since people are perfectly willing to invest in fundamental scientific research with no guarantee of payoff.
 
If people like you always had your way, we'd still be living in caves suspiciously regarding copper as a useless metal suitable only for decoration.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487182)

How do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?

You can always kill yourself. That'll solve both our problems.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487318)

So the country is 1.8 trillion (US) in the hole this year, yet someone, somewhere, is funding research half a mile underground, with superconductors, to find particles that might not exist, and if they do, don't mean anything? How do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?

Just pack up and move elsewhere.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488880)

OMG. You Teabaggers are so effing mellow-dramatic. Republicans are such sore losers. I don't care if the Democrats are incompetent. I'm never voting for a whiny do-worse-than-nothing Republican again. Maybe if you and your kind stay out of power long enough you'll learn to become more sensible. God I hate the damn democrats but at least they don't sound like you bastards when they lose and act even worse when they win.

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489184)

So the country is 1.8 trillion (US) in the hole this year, yet someone, somewhere, is sitting on slashdot bitching about inane things.
How do I best communicate to you that not eating or using energy for a year, or two, or ever, would actually do infinitely more for humanity than your comment here?

Re:Meanwhile, Rome burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489228)

How do I get out of this chicken-shit outfit?

Move? Die? It doesn't seem that hard to figure out.

Solar activity (3, Funny)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486724)

All detected particles are due to abnormal solar activity.

The detected particles will melt the crust within the next three years. Buy tickets for the arch from me now! Just 1.000.000 Euro each... No checks

CU, Martin

P.S. Guess which movie i watched yesterday :-)

Re:Solar activity (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486822)

P.S. Guess which movie i watched yesterday :-)

Snakes on a plane?

Casablanca?

Dersu Uzala!

Re:Solar activity (5, Funny)

Mattskimo (1452429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486900)

Flirt & Squirt 3?

Re:Solar activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489860)

Flirt & Squirt 3?

I'm both intrigued and scared to know what that is.

must .. not .. google .. porn .. titles .. from .. work

Re:Solar activity (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30486966)

"How to become a billionaire by 2013"?
Or maybe you try to become rich-for-cheap and downloaded the spanish cam version: "Cómo hacerse rico en el 2013"?

Re:Solar activity (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487324)

Screw that, I'll just move to Africa.

Re:Solar activity (1)

bmearns (1691628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487358)

Buy tickets for the arch from me now!

Ark.

Re:Solar activity (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488448)

I new there was something wrong with my plan. Now i've got 10.000 arches and no buyer....

Re:Solar activity (1)

asylumx (881307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487416)

"Third Man In" ?

Re:Solar activity (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488072)

repeat after me

That movie doesnt exist

Re:Solar activity (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488480)

Yep, it's all a goverment conspiracy

Paper pre-print to appear on arxiv (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30486898)

The paper pre-print will appear on the arxiv as 0912.3592, but is already available as on the CDMS homepage [berkeley.edu] . Two events or 23% seems a bit low for all the hysteria... Pentaquarks went away after 50 events were discovered at more than 10 different labs...

Re:Paper pre-print to appear on arxiv (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489618)

Pentaquarks went away after 50 events were discovered at more than 10 different labs...

The difference between pentaquarks and this experiment is that CDMS did their analysis blind. That is, they agreed on what a positive signal would look like before they looked at the data. There's much less chance of making a stupid systematic error when you do a blinded analysis. The pentaquark folk went wrong when they did hundreds of cuts on previously gathered data trying to find anomalies. When you look at a bunch of data and pick out blips, the chance that they're random fluctuations instead of real signal is high.

Tours available. (3, Informative)

mpaulsen (240157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487596)

If you're ever in the neighborhood, a tour of the mine and the lab are well worth the visit.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Soudan,+mn [google.com]
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/soudan_underground_mine/index.html [state.mn.us]
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/soudan/physics_tour.html [state.mn.us]

(Generally open June-September -- check before you come.)

How to tell? (2, Funny)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487844)

I watched maybe too many star trek episodes, but I thought this dark matter stuff was in outer space and that any item touching it would implode (sort of). I am not a science expert, but would not finding dark matter inside earth's core insinuate that it was partially made of the stuff and that what we know about dark matter makes no sense??? I am sure there are no real dark matter exerts per se, as it is something we never really had contact with, however, what science knows about it to me seems very limited, and for what I do know ....dark matter should not be something we can just mine and tap into, it should be something that has a lot more involvement environmentally then I see here.

Oh come on now. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487896)

Dark matter != anti-matter. Turn in your geek credentials.

Re:How to tell? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488182)

> I watched maybe too many star trek episodes...

You did.

Re:How to tell? (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488856)

dark matter is for pussies

real romulan men use only red matter

Re:How to tell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488588)

You're mistaking anti-matter for dark matter.

There has been no accounts of a source of anti-matter in deep space as well. As far as we know, the visible universe is all made of normal matter.
But there is a way to produce it. Ask the LHC, they have some in stock.

Re:How to tell? (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490240)

You're confusing dark matter with antimatter. It's ok; it doesn't really matter.

One in two (2, Funny)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488490)

I don't understand where they got 23% from. There are two possibilities: either it is dark matter or it isn't. Therefore the probability is 50%.

Re:One in two (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489016)

See, suppose there were a million doors...

Re:One in two (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489458)

So either the door you open is the right door, or it's not. Therefore, the odds of opening the right door are 1:2 or 50%. You're just not getting this new math.

Re:One in two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489020)

RTFA you fucking asshole. 23% of EVENTS DETECTED may be this dark matter shit. Fuck you're dumb.

Re:One in two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30489888)

You did the maths wrong. Either (1) it is dark matter, (2) it isn't, (3) a wizard did it, (4) it was all a dream. This gives a 25% probability that it's dark matter. The extra 2% is due to statistical error.

1 Hundredth of a Degree Kevin (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488630)

That's dangerously low!

My home town nearly went to zero Kevins back in 1978.

It was a particularly cold winter, and we were already down to 3 Kevins (due to their low popularity at the time).

Kevin Thomas had flown out to be with his son's family for a wedding and got stuck in Boston for a whole week due to the weather. 2 Kevins left.

Kevin Lemmer was rushed to the hospital during my shift. I still remember the call from the EMTs as the ambulance was rushing toward us. "It's Lemmer. He's in bad shape. Drove right into the fucking ditch." We called the time of death at 6:15 PM.

At 6:16, all eyes turned to room 2217. Kevin Spencer was 82 and on his death bed with leukemia. His family being Catholic, he had already been given his last rights. If he couldn't hold out until Kevin Thomas returned, we would be at zero Kevins. Sure, we had 4 perfectly healthy Calvins, but they're just not the same.

It was 7:15 when Carla Brooks and her husband James burst through the main entrance. "She's not due for 2 weeks!", James exclaimed. As the staff bustled around getting the Brookses settled, they exchanged darting glances with each other. This was their first child, and they wanted to keep the baby's sex a secret. Of course, in a small town, secrets don't get kept. Nearly all of the hospital staff new that the child about to rip open Mrs. Brooks was indeed a boy.

The delivery was routine, and Kevin Brooks was born healthy, if a tad underweight, at 10:52 PM. Kevin Spencer was pronounced dead at 10:54.

It was, as they say, a close one. Kevin Thomas arrived two days later, the weather having finally cleared up. To this day, we still rib him about it.

Cedar Falls is currently at 5 Kevins.

Supersymmetry lives? (2, Interesting)

SloWave (52801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30489506)

If they have really found neutralinos [wikipedia.org] then wouldn't that would mean supersymmetry is confirmed? It that case it is a whole new ballgame in particle physics. There are blogs out there that are saying that CERN is about to announce something big too.

Re:Supersymmetry lives? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30490226)

If they have really found neutralinos then wouldn't that would mean supersymmetry is confirmed? It that case it is a whole new ballgame in particle physics.

Pretty much. It would really only be a confirmation of one prediction of supersymetry, but it's a pretty damn impressive prediction to see born out, and smart money would be on the other particles predicted to eventually be discovered.

The only sad thing is that to really nail down the evidence for the neutralino will probably take years at CDMS. Oh well, such is cutting edge physics and detecting things that by their nature are extremely hard to detect.

Something is coming out of CERN? That could be exciting.

It's an awesome time to be alive.

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