Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

LHC Prepares Marathon Higgs Hunt

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the billion-dollar-gamble dept.

Science 101

gbrumfiel writes "Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider are preparing to run the collider until the end of 2012 in the hopes of finding the Higgs particle, part of the mechanism that endows other particles with mass. The machine was originally supposed to stop in 2011 for a year long upgrade, but scientists now think they can find the Higgs if they run for longer. 'If we stop the machine with 3,000 people apiece in the experiments waiting for data, there is no way we could get home at night without having slashed tyres on our cars,' says Sergio Bertolucci, CERN's director for research and computing."

cancel ×

101 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

They say (1, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534912)

A higgs boson tastes like chicken, but you never know until you try it!

Re:They say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535150)

The electron tastes like grape-ade. By process of elimination of course!

Re:They say (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535372)

governments: no more secrets !

Color me duh. (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535214)

A higgs boson tastes like chicken, but you never know until you try it!

I thought the story title AND your response said "Haggis". Thank you preview!

Re:Color me duh. (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535662)

The Haggis Boson ? Sounds delectable, if not quite detectable.

z\OMG!1 (0)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535476)

They're out to kill me!

Re:They say (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535724)

Any bosun [wikipedia.org] , or just Higgs? [shipspotting.com]

All I can say is "eww, cannibals"!

lol wut (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534920)

first post?

They're just taunting the 2012ers (5, Funny)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534928)

That's so mean.

Re:They're just taunting the 2012ers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34534984)

sss

Re:They're just taunting the 2012ers (5, Funny)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535270)

If they announce that they are stopping the machine on December 21, 2012, I'm on the next flight off this rock.

relevant website for you: (2)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536020)

You look like you need some peace of mind [hasthelarg...rldyet.com] . Hope that helps.

Re:relevant website for you: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34536532)

I tried going to that site, but all I get is a 404: Not.. AHHHhhhhh !!! The Humani...

Re:relevant website for you: (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536610)

Well, we are talking about the Large Hadron Collider. Maybe the website I mentioned above is actually connected to a computer that is another universe but is entangled with our internet. We should definitely take this as a warning before next season starts that the Go'uld are about to invade.

Re:They're just taunting the 2012ers (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536498)

Relax, December 2012 is the date I'm eligible for retirement. The world as we know it won't change, but the world as I know it will.

"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534958)

"If we stop the machine with 3,000 people apiece in the experiments"

Woah woah woah, I think someone got confused about what they're meant to be colliding here. I don't think smashing grad students is the answer.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34534994)

I don't know. As a grad student myself, it doesn't sound much different than what I'm going through now, and a lot less painful.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (4, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536294)

"4, Insightful" instead of "Funny", eh? Must be a lot of grad students with mod points today.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535020)

I don't think smashing grad students is the answer.

No, you're the one who's confused. Smashing grad students is ALWAYS the answer.

Exception: When the question is "What are we gonna do tonight, Brain?"

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535050)

This is CERN, they have more grad students and grad-students applicants than they have hadrons. They are just trying to save money.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535162)

What a novel idea.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535964)

I thought you said "hard-on" ... which is also possibly true!

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0, Offtopic)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535060)

Obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/755/ [xkcd.com]

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535482)

A modded down xkcd on slashdot?

Marvelous.

Won't last for long, but I'll savor it for a little while.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535104)

I don't think smashing grad students is the answer.

Well, let's try the empirical method, and give those skulls a crash! Maybe a Higg's Boson will fall out?

In other news, applications for graduate positions have fallen dramatically . . .

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535246)

And some people might stop getting paychecks...........

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535312)

Well, they do say "apiece", not "in pieces", so that's something. :P

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535690)

Well in Ireland, LHC actually stands for Large Hallion Collider.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (1)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535830)

"If we stop the machine with 3,000 people apiece in the experiments"

Woah woah woah, I think someone got confused about what they're meant to be colliding here. I don't think smashing grad students is the answer.

I dunno. Maybe you're just asking the wrong question.

Re:"3,000 people apiece in the experiments" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34537194)

"I don't think smashing grad students is the answer."

It sure seems to work for professors.

slashed tires? (0)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535008)

Not paining a very good picture of their community there, is he? Also, did anyone else read his name as "Silvio Berlusconi?" Seems like a misspelled version, or something...

Re:slashed tires? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535254)

Perhaps to distinguish themselves from the European car burning communities?

Re:slashed tires? (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535328)

Not paining a very good picture of their community there, is he?

Work on your humor detector. Ask Penny for help.

Also, did anyone else read his name as "Silvio Berlusconi?" Seems like a misspelled version, or something...

Not if you're Italian or speak Italian. But it's always like that, if you're not familiar with some class of objects, it's difficult to tell apart the sub-classes (as in "for Asians all Europeans look alike" and vice versa).

Re:slashed tires? (2, Informative)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535440)

Not paining a very good picture of their community there, is he?

Work on your humor detector. Ask Penny for help.

Right back at ya. That was a joke.

Also, did anyone else read his name as "Silvio Berlusconi?" Seems like a misspelled version, or something...

Not if you're Italian or speak Italian. But it's always like that, if you're not familiar with some class of objects, it's difficult to tell apart the sub-classes (as in "for Asians all Europeans look alike" and vice versa).

I happen to speak Italian, and I grew up watching Italian TV. So yeah, take your haughty tone and get off my lawn.

Re:slashed tires? (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536068)

lol well then my humor detector needs to be adjusted.. but if you're reading Sergio Bertolucci as Silvio Berlusconi, you're watching too much Italian TV ;)

Re:slashed tires? (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536188)

lol well then my humor detector needs to be adjusted.. but if you're reading Sergio Bertolucci as Silvio Berlusconi, you're watching too much Italian TV ;)

Heh, well, the guy has kind of monopolized Italy's image worldwide...

Re:slashed tires? (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535602)

You know those particle physicists. You break their toroidal apparatus, they will break yours.

Re:slashed tires? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536586)

Not paining a very good picture of their community there, is he?

Is it so bad that people want to work?

LHC will run until 2012... (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535054)

...until 12-12-12 to be exact, and then the LHC will create a black hole in which we will disappear and end up halfway across the universe in an undisclosed location.

Re:LHC will run until 2012... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535192)

Re:LHC will run until 2012... (1)

FeepingCreature (1132265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536164)

Actually, Outcast [wikipedia.org] .

Re:LHC will run until 2012... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536246)

Or maybe Lexx [wikipedia.org] .

After 2012 (5, Funny)

doublee3 (1276070) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535064)

"Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider are preparing to run the collider until the end of 2012" Thanks captain obvious. I'm not a moron, I know they won't be running it AFTER the world ends.

Re:After 2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34536798)

surely what you meant was:

"Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider are preparing to run the collider to end the world in 2012"

Re:After 2012 (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34537470)

"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine" -- REM

What if it doesn't exist? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535072)

Not saying it does or doesn't, but at what point would they would decide to quit searching it for it?

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535132)

Not saying it does or doesn't, but at what point would they would decide to quit searching it for it?

Probably at the point at which they traced, with sufficient statistics, the whole energy range where the Higgs may be found, and didn't find a trace of it.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535614)

The search for the Higgs is not very different than searching for lost keys.

First you rule out every pocket where they could likely be.
Then you try places where, if there, you could easily spot them.
Finally you end looking behind the furniture, dog dish, over the wardrobe...

When you already took a peek in the WC, twice, it is time to give up.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536946)

You left out the possibility of your keys not existing in the first place.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (5, Interesting)

Maritz (1829006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535748)

I'm sure some physicists will be actually quite disappointed by finding the Higgs. Although it seems to be required in order for the standard model to be a success, it would actually be quite exciting if it isn't found as it means a whole different paradigm for mass is at work in the real universe. I believe for example I've seen Brian Cox say that he would be more excited by a lack of a Higgs than by finding it, although the politicians who fund these things might not be too happy I suppose.

The main reason that there is a broad consensus that the Higgs exists is simply that nobody seems able to think of a simpler mechanism through which mass might work.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (3, Interesting)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536096)

Actually, we'd love to see the Higgs, and something else. Other Higgs-like particles, supersymmetric particles, Kaluza-Klein modes, anything else. This would confirm that the standard model is a good approximation for the energy ranges where we're using it, and that there is something beyond that. Not finding the Higgs would be interesting too, because we'd have to rethink almost everything we know.

The worst-case scenario is finding the Higgs and nothing else. Then we'd be out of jobs.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34537908)

Not interested in neutrinos [umich.edu] , I take it?

-l

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (3, Interesting)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538652)

Actually, I work with neutrinos. The latest MiniBooNE/MINOS results are really, really weird; I'd hold any conclusions for now, because they have very little statistics for the antineutrino runs (and some lack of knowledge of the primary proton beans). Some say the next MINOS analysis is already on its way and will be very surprising, but we'll see.

The main problem is that those experiments suggest that CPT symmetry is broken (or, in non-technical terms, that a reaction with antimatter isn't the same as the same reaction with matter with the opposite charge, time reversed and seen in the mirror). CPT symmetry can be shown to be equivalent to Poincaré invariance [wikipedia.org] , which means that these results challenge not only the standard model, but special relativity itself [cdsweb.cern.ch] . Such an extraordinary claim needs really extraordinary evidence, so let's wait for more statistics for now.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541030)

How is it working with neutrinos? I heard they were moody and hard to communicate with, given to hiding in their offices and ignoring everything in their path especially when they travel. I suppose the key to successful management would be to figure out what they are good at, and assign those jobs to them.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

Steve Max (1235710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541416)

They're very moody [wikipedia.org] , but they surely add a lot of flavour [wikipedia.org] to our jobs. Nowadays they're very concerned about their weight [wikipedia.org] , even though they are so thin; and it looks like they get even moodier because the weight of each one of them is slightly different [wikipedia.org] . On the positive side, they're quite fast [wikipedia.org] in everything they do.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34542058)

Nicely done! :D

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

Dexy (1751176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34544492)

I much prefer working with his partner, Oxide [wikipedia.org] .

Need longer than 2012 (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538820)

it would actually be quite exciting if it isn't found as it means a whole different paradigm for mass is at work

That's correct but if it is not found by the end of 2012 that does not mean that the Higgs is ruled out. The 2012 run is to see the Higgs if it is at the low end of its allowed mass range which is where all the data so far suggest it is. However to rule it out we need to run the machine at its full energy and for longer to cover a Higgs with a mass of up to ~1TeV/c2 which is the maximum possible value. After this the Standard Model sans Higgs predicts probabilities of certain processes occurring in at over 100% (the unitarity bound is exceeded) which is obviously nonsense and so we have to see something (Higgs or otherwise) by then.

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535430)

DO NOT QUESTION THE STANDARD MODEL!

It's worse than taunting the happy fun ball [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What if it doesn't exist? (4, Interesting)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535582)

A few years, maybe 3-5, should be enough to rule out the Higgs over the entire range of masses it could have. From what I gather, since the percentages of some processes no longer add up to 100 at LHC energies, something has to be there. It's theoretically possible this something could be heavy enough and hard enough to see that the LHC wouldn't find it, but no actual models predict anything that would be invisible at the LHC.

Hell hath no fury... (2)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535092)

Seems to me like its a move made under pressure from the Tevatron competition. A good move? Hmmm guess we'll have to wait and see.

Coincedence? (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535094)

"Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider [CC] are preparing to run the collider until the end of 2012

More proof the Mayans are right!

Re:Coincedence? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535178)

Ah, I understand now. They didn't predict the end of the world, but the end of the search for the Higgs particle!

Re:Coincedence? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535228)

No no no no no.

You've got it all wrong. Higgs Boson is the harbinger of death! It is what gives mass to particles and thus, creates the black hole (mass singularity) of DOOM! DOOOOOM I say, DOOOOOOOOOM!

Typo in summary (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535226)

"Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider [CC] are preparing to run the collider until the end, in 2012.

I Got A Bad Feeling About This... (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535250)

"No Higgs So Far..."

"Repeat the experiment!"

"Okay... there. Nothing.

"Repeat the experiment!"

"Okay... Still nothing.

"Do it for a year!"

"Okay..."

Re:I Got A Bad Feeling About This... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535498)

Yes, that's right, because looking for the Higgs is not like looking for your keys in the drawer, but like looking for a "shooting star". You can say "Oh, my keys are not in the drawer, I looked twice", but you can't say "Oh there are not shooting stars (well, meteorites to be precise), I looked at the sky twice". In particle colliders you get bazillions of events, you register a tiny fraction of them and by analyzing a fraction of the ones you registered you try to build the big picture, so the more experiments the better your chance of "seeing" exotic events.

Humour? (1)

Petersko (564140) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535918)

"Yes, that's right, because looking for the Higgs is not like looking for your keys in the drawer, but like looking for a "shooting star". You can say "Oh, my keys are not in the drawer, I looked twice", but you can't say "Oh there are not shooting stars (well, meteorites to be precise), I looked at the sky twice". In particle colliders you get bazillions of events, you register a tiny fraction of them and by analyzing a fraction of the ones you registered you try to build the big picture, so the more experiments the better your chance of "seeing" exotic events.

The trick to making humour appropriate on slashdot is to reduce the subtlety by 10% before submitting.

Or maybe I just failed to make it funny at all. Happens from time to time.

Re:I Got A Bad Feeling About This... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535500)

It's only crazy if you keep getting the same results. Oh ... wait.

Re:I Got A Bad Feeling About This... (2)

andyr86 (1942246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535620)

I didn't think they had high enough luminance for the resonance cascade yet? ....oh

Re:I Got A Bad Feeling About This... (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536408)

Unfortunately, that's kinda the way it works. They're trying to find something with a very low probability of happening. You can't pronounce the pond devoid of fish just by dropping your hook in a few times. Even the most optimistic predictions for the Higgs expect it to send a clear signal only one time in a gazillion.

They may well have already detected Higgs events, but the signal will be just barely louder than noise. The only way to tell is to listen longer.

They will run it until (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535346)

December 21.

The sudden shut-down will lead to the spontaneous formation of a stable strangelet and, well, you know the rest.

If they can keep it up. (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535516)

They don't have a good track record so far at predicting the LHC uptime. They may get that 2011 outage after all.

Taken from a Brewster Rockit comic (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535642)

Winky: Which subatomic particles do you hope to find with your particle accelerator? Leptons? Hadrons? Maybe the particle believed to cause mass: the Higgs Boson?

Dr. Mel: Nope. I'm after the particles that are believed to cause stupidity: MORONS.

Dr. Mel: Slamming reality-show contestants together at light-speed should produce a few of them.

Winky: The "Cold Particle".

Sure (0)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535800)

They're gonna run it until 12/21/2012

Re:Sure (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536000)

Middle-endian dates, a standard that only the USA could think was a good idea...

Re:Sure (1)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536098)

According to Wikipedia, the countries that use the MM/DD/YYYY system are the US, the Philippines, Palau, Canada, and Micronesia.
So what's your point?

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538306)

That the US, the Philippines, Palau, Canada, and Micronesia are backward countries?

Re:Sure (1)

TheTrueScotsman (1191887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538758)

That the Philippines, Palau, Canada and Micronesia are the USA's bitches? Of course, the only true date format is the blessed monotonic one: yyyyMMdd.

Don't mess with me man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34535876)

I'm a scientist.

Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34535994)

The article stated that a big driver for continuing the search at current energies is that Fermilab is right on their heels and might find the Higgs first if they take a break for a year.

As I see it, the Higgs could fit into one of two energy ranges:

1. A range that the limited LHC and Fermilab can both probe now, with the LHC having some advantage.
2. A range that only the full LHC can reach.

If it falls into the latter, then nobody is discovering the Higgs for a few years until they get the LHC in gear. If it falls into #1, does it REALLY matter that much who finds it first?

If what we care about is the accumulation of knowledge then we should cooperate and not compete here. Retask the LHC for higher energies, and have Fermilab continue to explore the lower-energy space. This way we find the Higgs more quickly as we have two non-redundant operations working on the problem, rather than having one be completely redundant.

Also, who knows what other interesting physics we'll find at the higher LHC design energies, that we're just pushing off for years sticking where we are at now?

Can't the lead authors on the competing 1000-author papers maybe agree to pool their efforts, and settle for first and last on a 2000-author paper instead? :) Then we poor taxpayers footing the bill can at least feel like we're all getting SOMETHING for our money...

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536042)

If what we care about is the accumulation of knowledge then we should cooperate and not compete here. Retask the LHC for higher energies, and have Fermilab continue to explore the lower-energy space. This way we find the Higgs more quickly as we have two non-redundant operations working on the problem, rather than having one be completely redundant.

Well, so much for the theory. In practice, scientists are humans as well.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (1)

instagib (879544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536144)

Insight. Logic. Sanity. Common sense. Your message is full of these things, and therefore not appropriate for the decision process of the management.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (4, Interesting)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536338)

As I see it, the Higgs could fit into one of two energy ranges:

1. A range that the limited LHC and Fermilab can both probe now, with the LHC having some advantage.
2. A range that only the full LHC can reach.

If it falls into the latter, then nobody is discovering the Higgs for a few years until they get the LHC in gear. If it falls into #1, does it REALLY matter that much who finds it first?

Currently excluded [wikimedia.org]

Tevatron sensitivity, slide 18 [indico.cern.ch]

Only the 180 - maybe 190 GeV range is allowed but outside the Tevatron's reach energy-wise. The LHC and Tevatron aren't redundant, though. Any signal seen by both can be combined for more certainty.

Upgrading the LHC from 7 to 14 TeV doesn't really help find the Higgs.

Also, who knows what other interesting physics we'll find at the higher LHC design energies, that we're just pushing off for years sticking where we are at now?

I don't know what the odds of not seeing SUSY at 7 TeV but seeing it at 14 are, but I don't think they're that great. If SUSY exists at the electroweak scale, at least some of the particles should be seen at 7 TeV. OTOH, colliding at 14 TeV should make it easier (faster) to see new particles, even if they are around 1 TeV. Dunno what the arguments for and against running a year more before the upgrade have really been.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34537128)

How do they know the Higgs isn't just in some very precise energy band that they've glossed over in those regions?

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34545430)

Because you would still see it, but with some momentum. If I do a scattering experiment with more than the rest mass of some particle pair that can be created, the pair is created still, but the left over energy is dumped into kinetic energy*.

* Yes I'm giving the massively simplified version.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34536368)

Science world "free market competition" is in the form of who discovers something first and publishes. That's it!

And just like in a capitalist world, scientists will cheat and steal from each other in order to gain that publication. I've heard stories about a Nobel laureate scientist reading research proposals (he's on the board that approves funding), then stealing good ideas and running them in his mega-lab as his own before the original proposal could ever receive any funding...

So yes, science is all nice and good and noble until you reach below the surface. Competition is not that bad, but there tends to be turds swimming under the surface too.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34536470)

Yeah right, says the Fermilab shill. You must be sweating buckets already.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536542)

does it REALLY matter that much who finds it first?

Ever spent $8 billion on a gamble?

Ever justified $8 billion in spending by saying that no existing equipment can hope to accomplish it?

If Fermi finds it first, CERN is fucked. They won't get funding for a profitable plan to discover God.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (1)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536808)

The article stated that a big driver for continuing the search at current energies is that Fermilab is right on their heels and might find the Higgs first if they take a break for a year.

Fermilab has been constantly at the mercies of federal funding games [wikipedia.org] . Without the 'isn't that pretty?' aspect that NASA can sometimes generate, they receive even less respect. And without a spread of suppliers like the military and NASA has, the support in Congress can be weak at the best of times. Add in the Flat-Earthers winning the House, and I think we'll see even less from Fermilab in the next few years.

(Disclaimer: I used to live a mile from the lab and had lots of neighbors who worked there.)

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539144)

The biggest irritant I find in the Tea Twits is that they have no idea about what it takes to produce research at the federal level and somehow think, along with Business School Product, that new science is magically produced by elves just so they can take advantage of it and pad their retirement accounts. The whole idea of even doing science for the sake of new knowledge appears foreign to them.

But then there is a certain segment of engineers who never believe something has any worth unless they can build something with it. Their attitudes are just as hideous.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538320)

does it REALLY matter that much who finds it first?

To whom?

Humans are fundamentally driven by mate competition. It's the only thing that really gets us out of bed in the morning. Science and art are great examples of how to turn that basic drive to something creative and useful, as opposed to the destructive and stupid uses it is often put to, like politics and war.

To the humans actually involved in the search, it matters a great deal who's first, and expecting them to dedicate their lives to the discovery without that added impetus is asking for humans to be other than they actually are. Good luck with that. We demonstrably have a choice as to how we choose to compete. We do not have a choice as to whether or not we compete.

Furthermore, there are obvious practical advantages to having multiple experiments. You may have noticed that humans sometimes make mistakes, and are sometimes not honest. Monocultures and monopolies give no protections against those all too common characteristics, and if you think some protection isn't needed you are, unfortunately, naive.

Scientific fraud, and major errors in analysis-- even in large collaborations--are more common than you might think. Not putting all our experimental eggs in one basket really helps reduce these things, or at least catch them after the fact.

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538812)

So, the first half of your discussion is a great explanation of why the guys running those projects don't want to cooperate. It has nothing to do with why those of us paying the bill shouldn't force them to do so anyway.

The second half of your post was about the benefits of redundancy, and I'll agree with those. However, any discovery made by Fermilab certainly would be confirmed or refuted by the LHC once it is running again. I'm sure they'll get around to it before they give out the Nobel prizes, unless they decide to pull an Obama again. :)

Re:Gee, why cooperate when you can be redundant? (3, Informative)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541102)

So, the first half of your discussion is a great explanation of why the guys running those projects don't want to cooperate. It has nothing to do with why those of us paying the bill shouldn't force them to do so anyway.

If the past century of the so called communist countries has taught us anything, it's that real people don't work that way. Results of forced co-operation can't match results of real competition, even if co-operation theoretically has twice the resources. There are things you just can't force.

Not to mention, work is shared, by sharing the results. Established results of others may be verified, but they're not done "from the scratch". Instead new research is done based on previous shared results of everybody.

Fermilab not big Threat (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538942)

If you look at the latest data from Fermilab then, unless they can radically improve their analysis technique and barring an LHC disaster, they are unlikely to get enough data to see the Higgs before the LHC. Their current data agrees well with background with well over half their dataset analyzed. Typically if you start to see signs of a signal this first appears as an excess of background events because you are seeing some signal but not enough to say that it is different from the background. Of course a better analysis technique could change all that so it is not ruled out but, given the data already analyzed, the odds are against them.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536466)

lol well then my humor detector needs to be adjusted.. but if you're reading Sergio Bertolucci as Silvio Berlusconi, you're watching too much Italian TV ;)

The real reason: pride (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536688)

Bertolucci says that there are also political reasons to extend the run. The world's second most powerful accelerator, the Tevatron at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, is nipping at the LHC's heels, and if it continues to run, might beat the larger accelerator to the Higgs.

That says all you need to know. And FNAL data seem to point to a lighter higgs, not the heavier which is easier for LHC to find quickly. They need time to accumulate data and the orginal timeline might not have been good enough for a light higgs.

Marathon Higgs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538424)

Any relation to Indiana Jones?

Yo way yo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34540014)

Yo Way Yo
Home Va Ray.
Yo Way Rah.
Jerhume Brunnen-G!

Apocalypse 2012 (1)

atmelinside (1026054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540874)

So, running the LHC will not end the world. Shutting it down will.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>