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!

Higgs Range Narrowed; Hunt Enters Final Stage

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the next-is-the-challenging-stage dept.

Science 80

gbrumfiel writes "For forty years, the Higgs boson has remained a theoretical construct, but by Christmas, scientists may have a pretty good idea of whether it's real or not. Nature News reports that a new analysis has further narrowed the Higgs range, and data gathered this autumn at the LHC should be enough to show a faint signal from a Higgs, if it's there. (Already one signal has disappeared earlier in the year.) Physicists hope to finish their analysis of the autumn data by the year's end, but even if they come up empty-handed it won't be the end of the story. The Higgs is commonly referred to as the particle that endows others with mass, but its real appeal is the ability to unify the weak nuclear force with electromagnetism. If there is no Higgs, some other mechanism for creating a unified 'electroweak' force should be found inside the LHC."

cancel ×

80 comments

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

Higgs boson in stockings (4, Funny)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108572)

Merry Christmas! We will all get Higgs bosons in our stockings. But I guess they have always been there, we just couldn't see them.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108610)

Niggers, honkies, spics, kykes, dune coons and ching-chang-chongs are always there too. You can definitely see them.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1, Offtopic)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108618)

You have weird Christmas stockings.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1)

dotbot (2030980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108620)

I've been reliably informed that Santa Claus is delivering mine.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108652)

Inside a lump of coal!

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112524)

You serious Clark?

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (3, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108836)

No, I predict we will find nothing, and have to invent a new standard model. That would be more fun and more interesting.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (2)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109276)

Definitely, and as Occum's Razor suggests, probably. We have on the books now, apparently, neutrinos faster than light, a preponderance of theorized dark matter still MIA and many alternate dimensions/universes that cannot ever be proved/disproved.

Perhaps Wigner was wrong, are we creating maths to describe what we (want to)see, rather than explaining the fundamentals, after all?

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109292)

1st sentence of OP clarification:

Definitely more interesting...
...probably needing a new theory.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110346)

"Oh, honeybunch. If life were fair there wouldn't be rich people."
J James

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought 'Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. -JMS

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (2)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109718)

we already know that the observable universe is a very tiny fraction of the whole thing, on the order of 10^-26 or less. Any possibility of FTL travel by particles opens the possibility to expanding our observations beyond that realm, maybe to somewhere with different physics.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38112814)

Like the past!

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38129130)

we already know that the observable universe is a very tiny fraction of the whole thing, on the order of 10^-26 or less.

I'm not sure I understand your comment but it's super-intriguing to me. Do you mean that of the number of galaxies we can currently see with telescopes (on the order of hundreds of billions), those are only 10^-26 of the total # of galaxies? So there is somewhere around 10^9 * 10^26 = 10^35 galaxies??

If that's the case then WOW: a.) there are a ton more galaxies than I thought and b.) I missed something in my studies of cosmology.
If that's not what you mean, what do you mean ascribing such a small proportion to that part of the universe we can observe?

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1)

tunapez (1161697) | about 2 years ago | (#38139338)

The maths don't add up, what we observe is not enough matter to make our models work. Many posit 'Dark Matter' that remains unobserved by us, alternate dimensions we cannot observe with our limited senses and I'm sure there are plenty more less-mainstream hypotheses. That's why I asked the question, what is more probable, missing matter or we are...brace yourselves...mistaken? Even Einstein believed his GTR was flawed and subsequently believed it was his 'greatest failure'. I'm willing to give him a mulligan, but maybe we should listen to his advice, too.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109522)

But they make your stocking just a bit heavier.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110550)

Merry Christmas! We will all get Higgs bosons in our stockings. But I guess they have always been there, we just couldn't see them.

If you don't observe them, they're not really there.

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (1)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38124244)

If you do observe them, they're not really there.

FTFY

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110642)

Christmas 2012, Around the Dec 21?

Re:Higgs boson in stockings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110792)

It's gonna be just like Horton Hears a Who... but he will hear a Higgs instead.
 

cheap jerseys (0)

bige li (2512228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38113686)

Cheap Soccer Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

Bayern Munich Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

FC Schalke 04 Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

Angeles Galaxy Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

New York Red Bull Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

Inter Milan Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

AC Milan Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

Real Madrid Jerseys [onlinesoccerjerseys.com]

Eric Wood Jersey [onlinebillsjerseys.com]

Bills Authentic Jerseys [onlinebillsjerseys.com]

Narrow! What a disaster for the worst! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108576)

What a disaster more than an apocalypse you are! You can just turn to dust, die, and then get tickled easy!

Important stuff (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108586)

Why isn't Obama insisting that all bosones be madein America by American corporations? He pretends to be about job creation but it's plain to see he's just an agent of the Italians who are wrecking our nation's economy and blaspheming against our nation's god! I will only buy American bosones and you can too. To be more patriortic slashdort should only use American internets and American bosones in its internet web sites.

Re:Important stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108646)

What the hell is a bosone?

Re:Important stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108756)

"What the hell is a bosone?" - I'm guessing from his comment about Italian agents that its some form of Italian pastry.

I *thought* the conversation was about bosons, but tasty pastries are always good too.

Re:Important stuff (4, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109108)

What the hell is a bosone?

It unifies the pasta weak with the marinara field.

Re:Important stuff (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109144)

In the '80s we were freaked out about losing the bozone layer, don't you remember anything about that time period?

Re:Important stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109678)

It's a contraction of "Boss One", aka 'The Big Boss', sort of like the Capo Di Tutti Capo.

Re:Important stuff (1)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109714)

A subatomic particle, like its companion, the fermione

Re:Important stuff (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110360)

A subatomic particle, like its companion, the fermione

Somehow related to the hermione I'm guessing? Ouch! That really hurt. I'm giving myself a time out for that one!

Fucking science, is there anything it can't do? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108648)

I'm still in awe every time I see any pictures of the LHC.

higgs as real as santa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108690)

Not having found it makes it more probable that it will be found until found > 1
Continue multibillion $ search while found 1
Loop until taxpayer funded Xmas for everyone.

Re:higgs as real as santa (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108926)

Yeah , fuck scientists! Those entitled pricks draped in lab coats haven't done shit* for us!

.

.

.

* Except for essentially wiping out polio, smallpox, and a host of other major diseases. And generally improving the quality of life not just for all Americans but people the world around. And discovering nuclear power. And providing insights into how our universe works so that we may better understand it. And making the end of hunger a political problem rather than a practical problem. And...

Re:higgs as real as santa (2)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109792)

Yeah , fuck scientists! Those entitled pricks draped in lab coats haven't done shit* for us!

* Except for essentially wiping out polio, smallpox, and a host of other major diseases. And generally improving the quality of life not just for all Americans but people the world around. And discovering nuclear power. And providing insights into how our universe works so that we may better understand it. And making the end of hunger a political problem rather than a practical problem. And...

Excellent rant, it reminded me of this from Monty Python's "Life of Brian"

Reg: But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

PFJ Member: Brought peace?

Reg: Oh, peace? SHUT UP!

Life of Brian [wikiquote.org]

I salute you.

Re:higgs as real as santa (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109414)

The world wide web was born at CERN. Complaining about CERN on the web is ignorantly funny.

Re:higgs as real as santa (-1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109738)

The guy is probably a Ron Paul supporter. They tend to spout nonsense like that.

and theennn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108696)

Get to damn work on the elctro-gravitic, please. I need a kick ass spaceship.

Particle physics blog (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108774)

For those of you interested in LHC physics I would highly recommend this blog:

http://profmattstrassler.com/ [profmattstrassler.com]

As far as I can tell the author is an extremely well-respected physicist (disclaimer: I am a theoretical physicist but do not work on LHC physics) and I also find his blog very clear and I like the extra level of detail.

(The author also does not try to sell you his own favorite theory of everything, a thing I've seen happening a few times too many in the blogs out there.)

Re:Particle physics blog (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38108802)

Thanks AC! Even if it's your own blog. It's a refreshing change from the usual /. response to scientific posts these days.

Re:Particle physics blog (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108862)

I thought about linking to another particle physics blog I follow for LHC news, but I realized I don't want the comments to be even more full of crackpot spam.

Strassler's blog is good stuff, with few enough comments that he has time to answer questions.

Re:Particle physics blog (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109748)

Thanks for that! It looks to be an awesome blog.

higgs vs santa, virtual reality test (1)

qua_tzar (2511962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108810)

Santa would be found if only we searched the pole more thoroughly! Continue billion $ search until Santa > 1

Irony? (1, Funny)

binaryhat (2494814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108822)

Higgs boson + Christmas = God Particle?

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109178)

Don't you mean

Higgs boson + Winter Solstice/Pagan Festival appropriated by early Christian Church = Nothing-Special-At-All Particle?

Re:Irony? (1)

binaryhat (2494814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109338)

Could not have recalculated it better!

Re:Irony? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109488)

Not really. Christmas is 9 months after Easter, which is when Jesus died. In the olden days, important people were believed to have died on the same day they were born or conceived, so Jesus would have been conceived at Easter and born in December. Pagan rituals did intermix with Christmas, but it was not chosen because of pagan convenience.

Re:Irony? (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110334)

It is unlikely that Jesus, if he existed, were born in the winter. See e.g. http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/jesus.asp [snopes.com] .

Re:Irony? (1)

siride (974284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110496)

Of course not. The point, though, is that Jesus' birthday is not meant to coincide with pagan holiday.

Re:Irony? (2)

j-beda (85386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111132)

Of course not. The point, though, is that Jesus' birthday is not meant to coincide with pagan holiday.

The linked Snopes article seems to claim otherwise when it says "The idea of celebrating the Nativity on December 25 was first suggested early in the fourth century CE, a clever move on the part of Church fathers who wished to eclipse the December 25 festivities of a rival pagan religion..."

http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/jesus.asp [snopes.com]

When did Snopes start obfuscating so that it was difficult to copy text from their pages or is something screwy with my system?

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38116608)

They started that a long time ago. Disabling JavaScript or viewing the source renders it copy-able.

Re:Irony? (3)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111164)

Christmas is when Christ's birth is celebrated, not when it happened.

Re:Irony? (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38114168)

If it was _that_ important don't you think he would of at least mentioned it, instead of explicitly saying to celebrate his death?

Electroweak is old news (5, Informative)

Kz (4332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38108872)

Electromagnetism and weak nuclear force have a solid unification theory and supporting experiments since the 70's (and a few nobel prizes as back as '79 at least). Higgs boson is involved in electroweak symmetry breaking, and possibly unification of electroweak with the strong force.

Re:Electroweak is old news (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112304)

Electromagnetism and weak nuclear force have a solid unification theory and supporting experiments since the 70's (and a few nobel prizes as back as '79 at least). Higgs boson is involved in electroweak symmetry breaking, and possibly unification of electroweak with the strong force.

Umm, without a mechanism for symmetry breaking, the current model for electroweak unification doesn't work (the Higgs is ultimately supposed to be responsible for the difference in mass between the photon (massless) and the W and Z particles (massive). The unification of the strong force with the electroweak force is the subject of grand unified theories (GUTs), and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Higgs boson. Proton decay, for instance, would be a signature for a GUT.

What is "real" ? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109056)

Serious question here: What does it mean to say that Higgs bosons are "real" ?

Physicists often go out of their way to point out that theory is under-determined by data. If you have two theories that account for all our data, but one theory contains a Higgs bosons and the other theory does not, do we still say that Higgs bosons are "real"?

Or, does saying they're "real" assume some standard model of physics as the context for the statement?

Re:What is "real" ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109130)

Real in this case means independently measurable and not just a construct to compensate for the difference between the mathematical model and the data.
If it is real the model works, if it isn't real the model only works in certain circumstances.
The end goal is to find a model that can explain the universe without dark matter made out of handwaveium and explains why neutrinos shows up too early and stuff like that.
When the model works without footnotes that says "Only applies to macroscopic numbers" and stuff like that then whatever it descirbes can be called "real enough"

Re:What is "real" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109828)

So, basically they couldn't account for all of the variables in their equation and decided to make up a new constant so that the formula works? And then they said that the new constant has to be a real physical thing because it's right there in the formula making everything work?

Re:What is "real" ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38109968)

No. They said "hmmmm this could be explained by real thing with the following properties...". Followed by "let's see if we can find such a thing".

The point of these experiments is precisely to find out whether it's real because so far nobody knows for sure. it's looking more and more likely that the answer is "no".

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110430)

What, then, are the consequences of the Higgs being real? If a single particle amid a group of particles holds all of the mass of that group of other particles, what happens to the other particles when the Higgs is pulled out? Would the other particles just start flying off at the speed of light?

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112588)

There's no particular reason to think you can do that though.

The notion is that the Higgs field is pervasive throughout the universe, and that all other matter in moving through the field interacts with some amount of it and thus acquire mass (neatly explaining why things acquire mass when they move).

The Higgs particle is the "real" quantization of the field - most of the time it merely interacts with matter in the form of virtual Higgs-bosons, much like how the electric field interacts with virtual photons (i.e. two charges sitting next to each other exchange virtual photons, and that's why they repel or attract).

Re:What is "real" ? (0)

mhelander (1307061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38110884)

I have submitted this as a question to "ask Slashdot" but my question is the following: Is the superluminal neutrino considered to be compatible with information theory? And if it is, why exactly would it be incompatible with Einstein? I have uploaded the draft of my analysis on the topic to http://relevancetheory.blogspot.com/2011/11/general-theory-of-relevance.html [blogspot.com] and http://www.scribd.com/doc/73219743/The-General-Theory-of-Relevance-and-Reliability [scribd.com] and would love all help verifying the argument. In essence, it seems that if we create an information theoretically consistent model where we assign a minimal rest mass of 1 to the photon and to empty space and (in consequence) the maximum speed two solid objects could move towards each other were 2 * c then superluminal neutrinos would become compatible with Einstein (although his formula would have to be extended into E = mcc * 2 ). My analysis includes an experiment that could (if my model is right) demonstrate the accelerating redshift effects currently associated with Dark Energy in earthly laboratories, so if nothing else that experiment (described in the section about Dark Energy towards the end) is perhaps the fastest way for you to see if there is a mistake in my argument?

Any help I can get with understanding if the analysis in my draft is faulty or correct would be greatly appreciated!

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 2 years ago | (#38116670)

This. [amazonaws.com]

This is what happens when people forget that computer science isn't real science and try to mix the two (and I say this as someone who is a computer scientist). Either that, or you're trolling, in which case, I suggest you put the clearly enormous effort you've spent trolling to better use.

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

mhelander (1307061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38117828)

Thank you for your answer! I think you have a very valid point and I want to make that clear right away.

I do not intend to troll, but I realize it comes off like that every time I fail to clearly point out exactly the disclaimer you do now - this is in the end only supposed to be a computer science model - and of course I might be failing at that too which is what I would like to ask a real computer scientist such as yourself about!

Any connection between a strict information theoretical model and real physics would be something for a physicist to consider and they may well conclude that the model even if internally consistent bears no interesting resemblance to reality, but that is a later stage (which unfortunately is not clear enough in my current draft).

I am at this point only interested if the model is internally consistent from an information theoretical perspective. The paper indeed jumps ahead of itself and talks as if we could draw conclusions about real physics, which makes it come off as "trollish". But I would ask a reader such as yourself and with patience to spare to try to see past that and help me examine if the model is consistent. Should it be seen as consistent, I think you are probably right to suspect that such a thing might well prompt me to go on and examine the possibility that a computer program _could_ tell us something about reality, but I promise that I will never say that you or any other serious computer scientist gave me the go-ahead to derive such wild conclusions and in the end I would have to agree that it could at least never be _certain_ that we could draw such conclusions.

I hope this is enough to assure you that while I am potentially confused, I am not trying to troll you and I am asking your advice to help me see if I am confused or not. Thank you again for what I found your most useful reply, I am seriously thankful for all help I can get in coming off less as a troll and understand if my proposed computer program (that's all it is really) contains a bug or not!

Re:What is "real" ? (5, Informative)

Mr_Huber (160160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109882)

As real as the neutrino. The neutrino was a prediction based on a model of physics at the time and remained theoretical for thirty years until an experiment confirmed their existence. Like the Higgs, it was thought to be nearly impossible to experimentally verify for a very long time. And when it was observed, it was not observed directly, but through the behavior of particles it interacted with. The interacting particles, in order to behave as they did, must have interacted with something that had the precise qualities ascribed to the neutrino. Therefore, a neutrino must have interacted with them. Therefore, neutrinos exist.

Now we have hot and cold running neutrinos and can use them to probe all sorts of interesting things. But we have still not directly observed them in a detector, because, by their nature, they don't show up. But we know that when we see particles behaving as if they interacted with a near massless, half spin object interacting weakly, we call it a neutrino and move on.

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38121754)

What do you mean by "directly detect"? Most detectors aren't direct, they work by cleverly assuring that whatever we want to detect produces charged particles, some light or some heat. But we can go further: The light is not directly detected, it produces a charge which is detected. Charges aren't detected directly, either, they produce a current which is detected. AFAICT, the only meaningful way to draw the line is by our nervous system: Something is directly detected if it effects a response in our CNS. The only place in modern science that I am aware that happens is in olfactometry [wikipedia.org] , and it definitely doesn't happen anywhere in the science of particle physics.

Re:What is "real" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38118284)

"What is "real"?"

You are confusing yourself.
As you said (or meant to say): "theory is under-pinned by data".

The Higgs boson is real when it does show up in the data.

Re:What is "real" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38120584)

"Real" is a really poorly choosen word when talking about physics.
IHMO, you hear it far more too often because a lot of people including some physicists seem to be able totally unable to understand the point of empirical science.
So, let's say it : physics have nothing to do with reallity. Physics don't care about reallity. And if there is something physics care about even less, it's "truth".

"Reality" and "truth" are inherently phylosphical concept. You can't define them without resorting to metaphysic.
The whole point of physics is modelisation, prediction and experimentation. It's the way empirical sciences work.
You take results of an experiment and try to construct a model which predicts them. If you succed, great, you are no able to predict stuff.
But it's only the beginning. As you are a curious person, normaly, you will become interested into the limits of your new and shiny model.
What happens at the limits or in some perticular case might be interesting. From that point, you can start to design experience and try to see if your model still work in these circunstances.

Usually, a moment arrives when your model fails to explain something or give a wrong prediction. It's the right moment to start tinkering it.
The only limits to physics is our ability to make observation. Until the moment we will be unable to experiment anymore, physic is a never ending process.

Some people tend to believe that the models physicists use are in some way a reflect of the reality. You can believe that if you want. This comportement even has a name. It's called faith.

Re:What is "real" ? (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38122948)

Serious question here: What does it mean to say that Higgs bosons are "real" ?

Physicists often go out of their way to point out that theory is under-determined by data. If you have two theories that account for all our data, but one theory contains a Higgs bosons and the other theory does not, do we still say that Higgs bosons are "real"?

Or, does saying they're "real" assume some standard model of physics as the context for the statement?

Reality, in science, is not a useful label to use. A more useful term would be "observable," or "measurable." Science provides explanations about phenomena we observe; the theories we construct about observable/measurable phenomena are the explanations. And because we use the purely abstract tools of mathematics to articulate them, theories can have no connection with the phenomena they describe. The debate over the ontological status of any of the theoretical constructs deployed in science belongs in lecture halls, not laboratories, i.e, you aren't doing science when you are discussing the reality of gravity, or the Higgs boson, or neutrinos. You are doing philosophy. The most "reality" we can demand from a theoretical construct like the Higgs is that the mathematical model of the Higgs boson is empirically adequate -- we observe phenomena that conform to the mathematical model of the object.

They'll Smash An Atom (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109118)

And on film will appear, faintly, 'import weak-electromagnetic-force'.

This is it! (2, Interesting)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109822)

I think the search is narrowing. A recent post by a young grad student (Z. Cochran "Crystaline dual-lithium isotopes and Higgs interchange-related spacetime warping" Phys. Arc. Let. XI 77182-8172 ) has the community buzzing about special crystal configuration of lithium isotopes than can create a resonating mesh were vacuum-energy generates Higgs particles that can create a stable warping effect on the spacetime fabric. That effect, uncontrolled, can account for the slightly faster than light neutrino stream detected in Grand Sasso with origin in the LHC. Let's see what happens.

Re:This is it! (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 2 years ago | (#38113152)

      ^
      |
      |

It's a joke, people! Laugh!
Ever heard of Zefram Cochrane?

Re:This is it! (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38115072)

Damn people, hand in your geek cards. Does no one recognize a dilithium crystal when they see one?

Re:This is it! (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38122542)

Never mind that, any mention of "spacetime fabric" screams "Star Trek" - to physicists, there's just "spacetime"

A lot of theories will be going down soon (5, Interesting)

gmfeier (1474997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38109974)

I suspect that we have fallen into a trap similar to the Ptolemaic system. Just because it works mathematically doesn't mean the universe is obligated to actually match the predictions. I wonder if there is an underlying false assumption that is causing all the current uncertainties. Simply put - has the speed of light been absolutely constant since the big bang? If not, a lot of things look entirely different.

Re:A lot of theories will be going down soon (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38111052)

Or perhaps reality is mathematics and each time our measurement precision increases we notice things that we couldn't previously see. If the Universe were a huge digital image comprised of plank length pixels; currently our best technology can at best get a few pixels for every thousand... That's akin to the difference between a 16x16 thumbnail icon compared to the mega-pixel digital image it represents.

Theories on top of unproven theories.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38111986)

Exactly so, gmfeier, exactly so! As Physics Prof. Andreas Albrecht says, there are simply too many theories piles upon theories, with little having been fulling proven as of yet. I would predict that they do not find Higgs-Boson, and that there exists a possibility of a catastrophic event occurring due to that specific search. (But then, isn't the WTO hq located nearby in Geneva? No great loss, me thinks!)

If the particle they search for is a dimension altering or creation particle, instead of a matter additive particle, look for bad things......

sgt_doom

Re:A lot of theories will be going down soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38112592)

I think it's important to realize that our scientific models are really models. Is the universe *really* like our models? Personally (and I am not a physicist) I think it's unlikely. I think it is much more likely that there are many possibilities that can map on to our observations. We use the models that are most useful to us. Some people may choose to believe that the models themselves are reality, but that's just another religion IMHO.

As far as our mathematical models make predictions and those predictions match observation, the models are useful. If we begin to make observations that don't match our predictions, then we need to make new models. But it is kind of useless to worry about whether or not our underlying assumptions are false. Whether they are false or not, the models are still useful. If you are concerned about the absolute truth of the universe (assuming there is one), then science is not likely to give you that answer. You are better off imagining some religion and convincing yourself that it is true.

I think, therefor I am. It's pretty much all we can say for certainty. Every other observation is colored by our own existence and hence we can't determine its veracity. It's fun to imagine what reality *really* is, but it's somewhat useless to argue about it since we will never be able to know for sure.

Re:A lot of theories will be going down soon (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#38112660)

Except there was nothing wrong with the Ptolemaic system - up until it did not match observations.

If the best resolution of your instrumentation is observing just the apparent passage of the sun from a fixed point on Earth, then it would be reasonable to conclude the sun in fact is travelling around the Earth. With only 2 reference points, you can't conclude anything else.

You could propose that the sun in fact is travelling around the Earth, but without additional measurement there's no way to establish this.

The system of epicycles is eventually rejected on the grounds of Occam's razor - far too many logical, but unobserved constructs have to be invented to support epicycles, compared to the (approximately correct) conclusion that Earth goes around the Sun, and the many other bodies we observe are similarly orbiting.

But you might note that that "theory" was also proven incorrect several times. Planets don't follow perfectly circular orbits, they also don't properly follow Newtonian orbits - it wasn't until General Relativity (and the discovery of a great many other planets) that we had an accurate model. And on top of all that, it turns out, the planets don't actually orbit "the sun" - they orbit a chaotically shifting point somewhere near, but not centered on the, the center of the sun.

The only reason you think it seems ridiculous to have dark matter, dark energy and Higgs bosons and "oh hey let's throw them out" is because you have little understanding of the size and scope of the theoretical framework of observations explained. There are numerous competing theories, but all have the problem that they require a multitude of other observations to differentiate. The first and foremost place to search is the simplest - the one with the least number of additional logical constructs. No result is still a result if you thoroughly establish it doesn't work.

Another blog worth following (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38110028)

US LHC Blog [quantumdiaries.org]
I like this very much. Lots of physics explained for us mere mortals (who still have some scientific background).

Bet they find ... (1)

Dabido (802599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38122274)

... the Universe is held together by stupidity. It's a theory, based on the fact there is so much of it about.

Gravity is a quantum phenomenon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38163414)

Gravity and mass are caused by the same thing that creates interference patterns, namely, spatial divergence. Every point in space has an associated rate of divergence. It's that simple. It's not rocket science. I don't know why physicist seem to stuck on the nonsense idea of Higgs. There's no evidence for the Higgs. They're both NONSENSE. Gravity behaves differently because it's not caused by a force particle. It's caused by the divergence of space-time itself. When we look at an interference pattern we are looking at gravity.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>