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ATLAS Results: One Higgs Or Two?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the one-higgs-two-higgs-red-higgs-blue-higgs dept.

Science 73

TaeKwonDood writes with news from CERN about more results in the search for the Higgs Boson, this time from the ATLAS experiment. Researchers report peaks in the data in accordance with what they'd expect from the Higgs. The curiosity is that the peaks are a couple GeV away from each other. "The ATLAS analyses in these channels return the best fit Higgs masses that differ by more than 3 GeV: 123.5 GeV for ZZ and 126.6 GeV for gamma-gamma, which is much more than the estimated resolution of about 1 GeV. The tension between these 2 results is estimated to be 2.7sigma. Apparently, ATLAS used this last month to search for the systematic errors that might be responsible for the discrepancy but, having found nothing, they decided to go public." Scientific American has a more layman-friendly explanation available. As this work undergoes review, physicists hope more eyes and more data will shed some light on this incongruity. Tommaso Dorigo, a particle physicist working at the CMS experiment at CERN, writes, "Another idea is that the gamma-gamma signal contains some unexpected background which somehow shifts the best-fit mass to higher values, also contributing to the anomalously high signal rate. However, this also does not hold much water — if you look at the various mass histograms produced by ATLAS (there is a bunch here) you do not see anything striking as suspicious in the background distributions. Then there is the possibility of a statistical fluctuation. I think this is the most likely explanation." Matt Strassler provides a broader update to the work proceeding on nailing down the Higgs boson.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296035)

First

One Higgs, Two Properties (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296159)

One is the Happy Higgs, the other an Angry Higgs. Being angry adds 3GeV.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297419)

god particle and dog particle.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297641)

Being angry adds 3GeV.

One of them is lightheaded...

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (5, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298017)

Now, now, we don't have "angry" in physics. The offical term for that condition is "excited".

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300421)

Now, now, we don't have "angry" in physics. The offical term for that condition is "excited".

You have strange, charmed, up, down, top and bottom. I don't see a problem with angry, drugfucked, and facebookaddicted.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298307)

Dopey Higgs takes away 3 GeV, Sleepy Higgs is another 3. Meanwhile they can't seem to find Bashful Higgs.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298465)

Actually, if not a statistical fluctuation, it might be Susy Higgs.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299723)

Actually, the two particles are Susy Higgs Enterprise and OPENSusy.

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299067)

One is the Happy Higgs, the other an Angry Higgs. Being angry adds 3GeV.

Anger leads to the dark side...

Re:One Higgs, Two Properties (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299647)

One is the Happy Higgs, the other an Angry Higgs. Being angry adds 3GeV.

Anger leads to the dark side...

So, the god particle and the devil particle?

Had to Be Done (5, Funny)

organgtool (966989) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296257)

Apparently, ATLAS used this last month to search for the systematic errors that might be responsible for the discrepancy but, having found nothing, they decided to go public.

It looks like ATLAS...
puts on sunglasses
shrugged
YEEEEAAAAHHH!!!!!!

Re:Had to Be Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296447)

Turns out they had the cable screwed in too tight this time.

Bahh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296357)

Probably just systematic errors in the Data. Those things are tricky to eliminate entirely. Remember the faster than light neutrinos?

Re:Bahh (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299443)

"Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link into the great chain of order." Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Obesity (3, Funny)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296375)

After they started weighing the Higgs, it went on a diet.

"God's particle" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296439)

So the polytheists were right? :P

Gods' particles (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296883)

I fixed the title for you.

Re:Gods' particles (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42298071)

As in, the left particle is a bit larger and lower?

The most wonderful exclamation in science (5, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296493)

is not, "Eureka!"

It's "What the fuck?"

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296809)

I agree. I was actually annoyed that they found the Higgs where they predicted it to be. That meant that the Standard Model was all wrapped up, but without any sort of loose threads which we could pull to work out wtf was up with quantum gravity, or dark matter and dark energy. (Like the way the photoelectric effect and the ultraviolet paradox were the loose threads that lead to quantum mechanics.)

It would be really exciting if this result was real, and there's something funky about the Higgs which means the different experiements are detecting it at different masses. It might give us the kick in the pants we need to better understand the universe.

That said, it's probably going to be something banal like a miscalibrated detector shim, or an unaccounted-for term in one of the equations ... but a geek can hope.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297685)

It didn't mean the Standard Model was all wrapped up. It meant what we currently understand of the what we call the Standard Model was wrapped up. That never precluded solving any of the other 'wft' problems you mention with new physics down the road. Models can fit within new models.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (5, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297873)

The problem is that if there is no New Physics in the Higgs, the next stage where we predict New Physics is the strong force unification scale that would require an accelerator a trillion times more powerful than the LHC to explore. We're talking a particle accelerator the diameter of the asteroid belt.

But there's still hope in the TeV-per-parton scale the upgraded LHC will be able to reach in terms of finding what keeps the Top mass in check. Plus, dark matter's got to be made of something goddamnit, and it's hopefully not just cold neutrinos.

And of course, there may be new shit that we haven't even considered yet!

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (2)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299115)

We're talking a particle accelerator the diameter of the asteroid belt.

Shouldn't be too hard; put the beam deflection electromagnets in orbit and just shoot the beam through the vacuum of space. Not quite a ringworld, but close enough for me.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#42305035)

The problem is that if there is no New Physics in the Higgs, the next stage where we predict New Physics is the strong force unification scale that would require an accelerator a trillion times more powerful than the LHC to explore. We're talking a particle accelerator the diameter of the asteroid belt.

But there's still hope in the TeV-per-parton scale the upgraded LHC will be able to reach in terms of finding what keeps the Top mass in check. Plus, dark matter's got to be made of something goddamnit, and it's hopefully not just cold neutrinos.

And of course, there may be new shit that we haven't even considered yet!

I never said the Higgs had anything to do with new physics. I simply said that the existence of the Higgs as predicted didn't preclude new physics. Said new stuff may not even be testable in our lifetimes, partially for reasons you point out. That doesn't mean it isn't out there.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298651)

...Like the way the photoelectric effect and the ultraviolet paradox were the loose threads that lead to quantum mechanics...

Apparently, some time after being generally accepted, quantum mechanics, was applied to solve the ultraviolet "catastrophe" as opposed to the other way round, while the photoelectric effect played a prime role as you say (Einstein got a Nobel prize for it).

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299743)

I think with "ultraviolet paradox" he meant the problem Max Planck solved, that with classical physics you'd calculate the intensity of thermal (black body) radiation to always grow with growing frequency, giving rise to infinite total thermal radiation. Planck solved that problem by introducing the quantum hypothesis, that radiation energy can only be emitted in fixed portions proportional to the frequency.

The problem I think you are referring to is a problem in quantum field theory where certain integrals diverge, and which is solved using renormalization.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (2)

mikael (484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300053)

Maybe there is a different gravitational field due to different terrain. CERN had a problem where their guide beams would go off target depending on the time of day. Turned out the moon was actually causing distortion to the surrounding land by a few metres, just like water tides. That was enough to change the shape of the collider ring.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300287)

Turned out the moon was actually causing distortion to the surrounding land by a few metres

Holy crap. We had to build the LHC to notice this?

Are you sure it wasn't more like millimetres?

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (4, Informative)

mikael (484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300593)

The collider beams go off by a few millimetres. Oceans go up and down by as much as several meters.

http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/06/08/222247/how-the-moon-affects-lhc-operations [slashdot.org]

http://www.quantumdiaries.org/2012/06/07/is-the-moon-full-just-ask-the-lhc-operators/ [quantumdiaries.org]

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/scenario/tides.htm [lhup.edu]
The "tidal trivia" summary below puts things into perspective. The so-called equatorial bulge due to the Earth's axial rotation lifts the equator about 23 kilometer. The moon's gravity gradient lifts water mid-ocean (where the ocean is deep) no more than 1 meter, that's 1.6 x 10-7% of the Earth radius. Why do we fuss about this? Because over an ocean of large area, that represents a very large volume of water. Also, it's the driving mechanism that controls the periods of the much larger tides at shorelines.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300995)

The moon's gravity gradient lifts water mid-ocean (where the ocean is deep) no more than 1 meter

This is my new thing I've learned for the day.

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42303601)

Turned out the moon was actually causing distortion to the surrounding land by a few metres

The collider beams go off by a few millimetres. Oceans go up and down by as much as several meters.

This still does not make the GGP correct, so GP's question is quite reasonable :P

Re:The most wonderful exclamation in science (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301513)

Don't worry, the standard model still has LOTS of loose threads:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_model#Challenges [wikipedia.org]

The Higgs itself exacerbates one.

Hey big boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296527)

...ever wonder what it'd be like with two Higgs Bosons?

Re:Hey big boy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297395)

Probably cost $1mil, because that's the only way two Higgs Bosons would double up with a man like me.

Is Heisenberg smiling? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296957)

Or was he a cat?

Re:Is Heisenberg smiling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297047)

Yes.

FTFA... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297139)

"if we had to get excited at every slight disagreement between our measurements and our expectations, we'd be sick with Priapism (sorry ladies for this gender-specific pun)."

OK, time to stop the Viagra at CERN?

Probably chance (5, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297165)

2.7 sigma isn't actually that much: assuming a Gaussian distribution of data, it's a one-in-a-hundred chance of being randomness rather than a real difference (or in other terms, about one experiment in a hundred will generate a false signal). For comparison, the standard for announcing a new particle is 5 sigma (1 in 1.7 million chance of it being a false positive).

Re:Probably chance (3, Insightful)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298129)

Yes. But 1:100 still means that it is probably more likely to be a systematic error. I think about it as asking the following question: "Is the probability that there is a systematic error of this magnitude in ATLAS or CMS greater or less than 1:100?" Considering the complexity of the systems, I would tend to think the probability of that kind of error being systematic is better than 1%.

In other words, in order for random error to be more likely, ATLAS and CMS both need to be accurate at measuring collision results in an energy range that we've never measured before, to an accuracy of better than 99%... and that accuracy range needs to include all of the numerical analyses and modeling assumptions that are used to build up from the experimental results to the final conclusion. That seems like a pretty high bar to me. (Neither experiment just dumps out a number that is the mass of the Higgs boson. Both require interpretation of experimental results to get to the mass. Errors in the interpretation process need to be part of that 99% number.)

Symmetry... :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297189)

Top and Bottom Higgs? Higgs and Anti-Higgs? ... :-)

Of course, if the Higgs is the "god" particle, does that make the other the "anti-god" (satan) particle? :rolleyes:

Re:Symmetry... :-) (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299711)

Higgs and Anti-Higgs have the same mass, even if they should turn out to be not identical.

But maybe the Higgs is not an elementary particle but two particles bound together, and the higher mass corresponds to an excited Higgs?

Re:Symmetry... :-) (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300517)

Seems to me that when some conserved property shows itself at two different quantities, that this suggests that the two quantities are the result of different fundamental/elementary configurations.

Re:Symmetry... :-) (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300765)

The conserved quantity here is energy, but there are plenty of energy differences which are not based on different elementary particles. Indeed, excitations are defined exactly by the same system being in a different energy state.

Made me think of my Prof. (5, Interesting)

noobermin (1950642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297393)

So, I'm working on a cutesy undergraduate project with a physicist who works at the LHC (he is involved in a group searching for supersymmetry, so his primary work isn't the Higgs, but yeah). The project is a prototype for a new photo-detector.

In any case, I finally got the data acquisition working just a few days ago, (it uses a maple, a sort of a faster arduino. I just use the usb serial thingy, and 'cat' and file redirection, lol) so I ran and took some data counting hits from cosmic rays and with some easy python scripting to parse the output, I had a nice rough estimate of cosmic ray flux over my detector. I did a quick wiki search, and found a rate that was within the order of my result, so I typed up a mini report and emailed him my quick and dirty results while noting they were just that, quick and dirty. I was actually kind of proud of myself.

But, then he sent back this email, if I may quote him:

Thanks for the update. The approach of checking whether the coincident rate makes sense is a good step, but you need more information. Imagine, for example, that no one had every measured this before. Then, instead of checking if your answer is compatible with Wikipedia, we would be preparing to publish the measurement, and staking our reputation on its validity. In that case, we'd want to do a variety of things to be convinced that it is correct. I can imagine a couple of things to do[...]

And he listed a number of things try so I can be really sure of my measurements.

Think about this, the ATLAS guys could have announced the possibility of two peaks in their data and blown our frickin heads off into outer space after having already blown them off our shoulders with the Higgs, but they didn't because it wasn't a sure bet, as TFAs say...it could be background, it could be statistical fluctuations... In any case, there is something very wise about physicists and scientists in general who are often very cautious and untrusting about their measurements and are more than willing for you to double check their measurements and prove them wrong. Well, it could just be for reputation's sake. Whatever the motivation, I think this is one of the strengths of the scientific method and thus, one of the reasons for its success: we aren't quick to publishing until it is just right, and therefore, perhaps our best approximation of the "truth" we can muster.

This is not to take away from the times when certain people forget to tighten their fiber optic cables...but actually, that works wonderfully for my point...I sometimes feel impatient when I hear, "we're not quite sure yet" or ,"it's only preliminary" from some of these reports and I imagine some of you might too. Nonetheless, science isn't really star trek where you make a discovery, get locked into a phaser fight with it, and make peace in an hour time frame. It is a slow, careful process that at the end, as we see, yields good results in technology and the advances we have today. Therefore, it's worth the wait. So, have some patience, my reputation is on the line.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42298337)

I'm working on a cutesy undergraduate project with a physicist

I work on cutesy undergraduate projects all the time, but I tend to like being alone with her while I do the work. To each his own I guess.

On a more serious note, there are serious consequences when those fiber optic cables aren't tight enough, especially when it turns out those anomalous results are due to some instrument miscalibration.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298353)

Whatever the motivation, I think this is one of the strengths of the scientific method and thus, one of the reasons for its success: we aren't quick to publishing until it is just right, and therefore, perhaps our best approximation of the "truth" we can muster.

On the other hand: What if you did publish your work early and often, not as concerned with slowly and deliberately ensuring everything is just right before spreading the information -- Not keeping quiet just so that you can be the one with the badge of "1st"? Why, then worldwide cooperation could kick in. Perhaps other interested parties would help you prove or disprove the results much more quickly. Thus, accelerating the speed of scientific progress. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's wrong to not publish things that you aren't absolutely sure about, just that what you're doing seems really strange to me. Have you questioned your information dissemination methods? A good scientist would... Why, there could have been times that you were wrong about being wrong, i.e. made a discovery but never known it too... Perhaps it's time to re-think the system of publishing altogether?

To me, the pressure to publish and have a reputation as the first discoverer should be secondary to doing science. It's sad to fund only those who produce results -- a few minds among billions, all in the same global culture, all presented with the same essential problems, it's a lottery, just chance that you'll have an idea before someone else does. Some are sure to fail, but the more trying the more gets discovered sooner. Why there are times when multiple separate teams compete to find the same answers, a few will "win" by reaching the goal first, but this is slower than cooperating and reaching the results together sooner.

I see this common trend among Humans, the drive to be "first" for no real good reason. I mean, if you drive like a bat out of hell in rush hour traffic you get to the destination a few seconds, or maybe a minute or two earlier, yet humans risk their lives just for that. It's the same as the risk you take in not publishing failures -- There are no doubt others who may needlessly follow the same flawed hypotheses who's time you could save.

It's all Completely Illogical, and resistant to change in the face of better methods -- Yet you call yourselves scientists. I'll never understand your race.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (3, Insightful)

scheme (19778) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298431)

Whatever the motivation, I think this is one of the strengths of the scientific method and thus, one of the reasons for its success: we aren't quick to publishing until it is just right, and therefore, perhaps our best approximation of the "truth" we can muster.

On the other hand: What if you did publish your work early and often, not as concerned with slowly and deliberately ensuring everything is just right before spreading the information -- Not keeping quiet just so that you can be the one with the badge of "1st"? Why, then worldwide cooperation could kick in. Perhaps other interested parties would help you prove or disprove the results much more quickly. Thus, accelerating the speed of scientific progress. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's wrong to not publish things that you aren't absolutely sure about, just that what you're doing seems really strange to me. Have you questioned your information dissemination methods? A good scientist would... Why, there could have been times that you were wrong about being wrong, i.e. made a discovery but never known it too... Perhaps it's time to re-think the system of publishing altogether?

The problem is that most early results are incorrect and after doing some checking, it turns out they were systematic errors or mistakes or something similar. If everyone published early and often, you'd get so many results (with most of the results being incorrect) that no one could track it to figure out which results were interesting and worth investing the time and effort to work on. Duplicating someone else's work takes a lot of time and effort and may involve building a lot of stuff or flying to another lab to learn new techniques. Unless you're really sure that the results are likely to pan out, why would anyone spend tens of thousands of dollars or a few months at another lab learning a technique?

The costs and startup efforts are much higher for most sciences unlike code so open source techniques won't work as effectively. It's effectively like having to reimplement a good portion of a piece of software before you can start contributing.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300037)

There just needs to be a separate venue that's less serious than a preprint. It would definitely benefit science if people were open about what they were up to, without making any claims about their preliminary results being good. The problem is the personalities and funding system in science. Almost all postdocs need to change their career because there are very few permanent positions and out of those very few are actually research positions and out of those very few give you the resources you need as a physicist to actually do expensive experiments. That means that if you are wrong about something, anything, you might have just ended your career right there - most people have to be discarded for trivial reasons because there are many more qualified candidates than jobs. On top of that most scientists are know-it-all types who hate, hate, hate being wrong about anything and who love to call other people out for being wrong about the slightest thing. The inevitable end results is that you get people who are very cautious about sharing preliminary work - they want to be absolutely sure before showing anyone anything. That has nothing to do with benefiting science - it's about culture and personalities.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (3, Insightful)

LourensV (856614) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300357)

Whatever the motivation, I think this is one of the strengths of the scientific method and thus, one of the reasons for its success: we aren't quick to publishing until it is just right, and therefore, perhaps our best approximation of the "truth" we can muster.

On the other hand: What if you did publish your work early and often, not as concerned with slowly and deliberately ensuring everything is just right before spreading the information -- Not keeping quiet just so that you can be the one with the badge of "1st"? Why, then worldwide cooperation could kick in. Perhaps other interested parties would help you prove or disprove the results much more quickly. Thus, accelerating the speed of scientific progress.

You are assuming that scientists only ever communicate by publishing papers in journals. That's incorrect, there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of informal communication and collaboration, by email and phone and through presentations and posters at conferences. Our knowledge is now so vast and much research being done so multidisciplinary that it's nearly impossible for any single person to know enough to really cover all the aspects of a particular investigation. In my field, you'd need to be a good programmer, an expert statistician, an experienced and knowledgeable (field- and theoretical) biologist, and a good systems analyst/modeller. Such people don't exist, so work is done in teams with each member contributing their specific expertise. When you get a weird result, you go and talk to your colleague about it, and try to figure it out together, and you keep going together until you feel that you really understand what's going on. And then you write the paper, it gets published, and then hopefully it won't turn out to have been a fluke or a mistake or not representative of the wider area of research. If the whole team can't figure it out, you might publish a "Hey, that's weird?" paper, as was done here.

If people published everything they did immediately, we'd get so many publications that it would be impossible to keep up with all of it. The whole situation would be similar to the "Linus doesn't scale" problem in Linux kernel development a few years ago, where Linus Torvalds was inundated with patches and couldn't keep up. They solved that by appointing lieutenants, who filter and aggregate contributions. Publishing papers works the same way, you solve the smaller problems locally, and publish bigger and better-vetted results, so that everyone else doesn't waste their precious time on solving other people's small problems and consequently invalid results. Also, people wouldn't waste their precious time on writing up all those small problems, and peer-reviewing them, and so on. Writing a paper is not like writing a post on the Internet (something that some climate change deniers often conveniently forget), it takes serious time and effort by a group of people to make sure that the results are really of good enough quality. You don't want to waste that effort on trivial things.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (0)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298799)

In that case, we'd want to do a variety of things to be convinced that it is correct. I can imagine a couple of things to do

Meanwhile for the bible readers:

* Am I alive? Check.
* Is there a day and night? Yes.
* Do I have no freaking clue how all this happened? No.

Seem legit!

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299669)

Meanwhile for the bible readers

You know that not everyone who reads the bible must be religious?

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300451)

I just wrote it like that to not write christians since there's different kinds. Whatever. Biblical like text, speech, songs or imagination based on little true evidence believers then.

Re:Made me think of my Prof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299311)

At the very least, that advice helps restrain a common bias where you will "fix" something until it agrees with other measurements, and then stop checking. It might turn out there are two problems that cancel out in the test case but could lead to inaccuracies down the line.

We need yet another Einstein (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297903)

Looks like physics is in a dead end. Each time an experiment derives from the theory, scientists create a new particule that fills the gap. And then they try hard, very hard to observe this particle. Neutrino, Higgs boson, Higgs boson II strikesback...

Using bigger and bigger colliders, we can virtually create any particule with any property that fix the equations. It's the wrong way. We will alaways find the missing particle, and then another one will appear, forever.

Face it, now we've got 2 Higgs bosons? WTF?

Not mentioning quantic physics that still doesn't fit in standard theory.

No... We need anther revolution in physics.

Re:We need yet another Einstein (2)

Sulik (1849922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298165)

Dude, I understand the impatience/frustration due to the slow progress of physics in past 40 or so years, but if I understand you correctly, you're seriously suggesting to sit on our asses and do nothing just waiting/praying for the next Einstein to turn up ? I'm also on the opinion that the Standard Model is a bit like curve-fitting experimental results, and it does (obviously) work with observation around the range it was designed for (and we already know it fails outside of that, but still definitely useful in practice), but the best thing we can do IMO is to push experiments further and further to try to find discrepancies which will make it easier to come up with new theories, which is exactly what is going on at the LHC and many other places around the world. The next revolution might very well come out of a totally different field ~ personally I'm hoping that exascale computing will make it easier to test new theories (being able to accurate simulate entire organs at the molecular level could revolutionise medicine, advances in quantum chemistry could also [in]validate some theories and have plenty of practical implications).

If wishes were particles (4, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298593)

Using bigger and bigger colliders, we can virtually create any particule with any property that fix the equations.

I think you are ascribing far too much power to us particle physicists! We don't get to create whatever particle we want we can only create ones that can exist. What is remarkable is that the ones we think exist to solve inconsistencies actually turn out to be there. This means that our extrapolations from existing physics are extremely good at predicting new physics. In fact there are already theoretical models, such as supersymmetry (SUSY) which predict 5 Higgs bosons, two of which are charged...

Re:We need yet another Einstein (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299329)

Chemistry is died a long time ago apparently. Every time the came up with a gap in the periodic properties of elements, they predicted there was another missing element there. Some they had to look for pretty hard to find. They will always find new elements. It's the wrong way to go about things, hence the periodic table is of little use and we need some new great chemist to redefine chemistry in terms of something other than atomic structure.

Re:We need yet another Einstein (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300159)

Do you even have a frigging clue how the periodic table works? Doesn't sound like it. Go back and re-read high school chemistry. Pick up a physics book while you're there.

Re:We need yet another Einstein (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300299)

Do you even have a frigging clue how the periodic table works?

Do you even have a frigging clue what sarcasm looks like?

Re:We need yet another Einstein (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301589)

To be fair, if you spend any time on the Youtube hot-button topics like Creationism, you'll find that people can believe some seriously outré things.

Funky modulation of particles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42298385)

Maybe there's some funky particle (rather than signal) modulation going on. Quick. Demodulate it and listen for voices.

One higgs particle with two ears (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298471)

Turns out, the Higgs was never the God particle, it was the Rabbit particle.

True. If you didn't need to know that, why ask?

It's a Heisenberg Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299293)

As we observe the data, the experiment is affected retroactively. The more the analyze the photons, the wider the hole becomes. And then evenutally we're forced to combat our evil parallel universe doppelgängers. But that won't matter because the two universes will ultimately become too unstable in the rift and collide.

Fuck you, CERN. You [will] did this to us!

PFFT (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299307)

You'd expect to see differences in GeV over multiple experiments, varying muscle tension in sphincter muscles often exceeds 2.7sigma. When doing the Child or Folded Leaf pose the sigmoid is under compression. Here is a helpful video [youtube.com] that might dispel the mystery.

CERN does deserve kudos for full disclosure. They could have blamed it on the dog.

Noise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300127)

They are seeing expensive noise.

Accuracy (-1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300195)

I'm pretty sure their huge device is just not accurate enough. Two separate measurements can give different results based on how they configured the device. And if one of them gives photons and the other some Z's, then it's clear the difference is based on different devices measuring it. I'm surpriced their measurement result fits to same page in the graph... few GeV/c difference is so small we can confidently say higgs exists...

Re:Accuracy (4, Interesting)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300315)

I'm pretty sure their huge device is just not accurate enough.

Of course! This would surely not have occurred to the particle physicists who built and operate the machine and published these results. It's a good job there are people like you who read about things on the internet and therefore know more than they do.

Two separate measurements can give different results based on how they configured the device.

I think they did a few more than two measurements, and I doubt they're dumb enough to go fiddling with the detector in the middle of a run.

Damn floccinaucinihilipilificationists...

Re:Accuracy (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300359)

> Of course! This would surely not have occurred to the particle physicists who built and operate
> the machine and published these results.

Well, it always sounds like if they make the same mistake twice, then it's already better to publish it...

2 Higgs (1)

deimtee (762122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300209)

It's pretty obvious that the heavier one is the evil Higgs. From this we can deduce that the mass of a subatomic goatee travelling almost at lightspeed is at least 3GeV.

So Evolution was Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300275)

Because the link between 123.5 GeV and 126.6 GeV is missing.

Slow news day. (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300415)

2.7 sigma is nothing to base any conclusions upon, not in science. C'mon. News at 11.

Re:Slow news day. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301565)

I hate to tell you, but most scientific fields put the threshold at 1.96 sigma. Actually, it's often lower because people are frequently sloppy about calculating their degrees of freedom.

The standard is usually higher in particle physics partly because they do statistically naughty things like analyzing their data while they're collecting it, and partly because particle physicists can fairly easily just keep collecting data longer.

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