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Why All the Higgs Hate? It's a 'Vanilla' Boson

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the not-a-special-snowflake dept.

Science 205

astroengine writes "Decades of searching and a 7.5 billion Euro particle accelerator later, why is everyone so down on one of the biggest discoveries of the century? Well, as the evidence strengthens for a bona fide signal of a 'Standard Model' Higgs boson with a mass of 125 GeV, many scientists are disappointed that the discovery of an 'ordinary' — or 'vanilla' according to Caltech cosmologist Sean Carroll — Higgs removes any doubt for more exotic physics beyond the Standard Model. It's a strange juxtaposition; a profound discovery that's also an anticlimax. But to confirm the identity of the Higgs candidate, LHC physicists still need to measure the particle's spin. 'Until we can confidently tie down the particle's spin,' said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci at this week's Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy, 'the particle will remain Higgs-like. Only when we know that is has spin-zero will we be able to call it a Higgs.'"

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Let me fix that for you... (5, Informative)

Visserau (2433592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129039)

TFA is mainstream butt-hurt-ness that the progress of science isn't appropriately entertaining, and unsurprisingly misses a few key points. Sure an announcement of 'we are making progress and confirming what we expected" isn't as exciting as the original announcement, but is just as important (if not more so) to the scientific process.

When/if this particle is confirmed as the higgs, that does not remotely "[tie] up the Standard Model of physics in a pretty, neat, red quantum bow" (TFA) let alone "[remove] any doubt for more exotic physics beyond the Standard Model" (TFS). Both are patently false. A major reason for looking for the higgs in the first place (beyond confirming that part of the SM) is to being to actively investigate the higgs field, which is moderated by the higgs boson itself. The higgs does not impart mass to particles as is usually claimed (although it's not an unreasonable simplification). The higgs particles are what moderates the higgs field, the presence of which is what brings about mass in particles. (The higgs - and presumably all/most particles - are actually just field fluctuations. What we think of as a discrete particle is really then just the instantaneous average of the fluctuation [wave]).

I can't find my exact sources for this, but at least some of them were from the Higgs section of this site, which I highly recommend. Meanwhile, this article is quite interesting anyway:

http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/the-known-apparently-elementary-particles/the-known-particles-if-the-higgs-field-were-zero/ [profmattstrassler.com]

Re:Let me fix that for you... (4, Interesting)

Biff Stu (654099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129241)

The disappointment in the high energy physics community is over what comes next. For many decades, high energy physicists have been building bigger and bigger colliders. Each collider has left some unanswered questions justifying the next giant collider. If the standard model seems to fit all the data and there's no clear question to be answered by the next collider, then what's next for high energy physics? All the "new physics," dark matter and dark energy, is coming from astrophysics these days, and they need telescopes, not colliders.

Re:Let me fix that for you... (3, Interesting)

Visserau (2433592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129315)

There are still a ton of unanswered questions in the standard model. Later I'll take another look for the article I'm thinking of, which is a particle physicist discussing why this is the case. He partially agrees with what has been said ("the discovery is not that interesting") for an entirely different reason - because all the mysteries REMAIN! We just move a step closer to being able to properly reveal them.

Re:Let me fix that for you... (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129573)

There are still a ton of unanswered questions in the standard model.

Sure? Higgs was supposed to be the end of the story (not that I ever believed that. fneh).

Re:Let me fix that for you... (2)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129399)

The disappointment in the high energy physics community is over what comes next. For many decades, high energy physicists have been building bigger and bigger colliders. Each collider has left some unanswered questions justifying the next giant collider. If the standard model seems to fit all the data and there's no clear question to be answered by the next collider, then what's next for high energy physics? All the "new physics," dark matter and dark energy, is coming from astrophysics these days, and they need telescopes, not colliders.

/p>

If the model used by physicists doesn't agree with what is objectively seen by the astrophysicists with their shiny new telescopes, then there is still work to be done by the physicists.>

Re:Let me fix that for you... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43130063)

Yeah, but now all that shiny grant money is going to those star gazers! And they won't even use it to build things that go boom!

Re:Let me fix that for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129733)

Think you've answered your own question: bigger telescopes.

The problem (3, Insightful)

qbitslayer (2567421) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129269)

The problem with the Higgs discovery is that it does not explain anything new. Why? Because only failed predictions lead to new and exciting science.

Re:The problem (2)

Visserau (2433592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129309)

Confirming the higg's presence in an experiment is step 1 to designing experiments that manipulate the higgs in an attempt to learn more about it and the higgs field, as in my OP. Sure its not paradigm shattering, but there's still plenty of new and arguably exciting work to be done.

I also aluded to the fact that excitment really isn't the point. It certainly is important in motivating people, but science would not be science if it was driven by what was exciting, as opposed to posing hypothesies and testing them.

Re:The problem (2)

qbitslayer (2567421) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129333)

I agree with you but if you don't get the public excited, you'll lose their support and their money. The public is looking to be surprised with discoveries that take their breath away. Even a new hypothesis that explains things in a different light would be more exciting then the Higgs boson. If the physics community cannot come up with something that blows everybody's socks off, they can look to further reductions in funding. Sorry. Telling it like it is.

Re:The problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129871)

Less funding means less progress in particle physics, but the money could go elsewhere. For example, astronomy, health car related sciences, social sciences, or computer science. When people or to be more precise funding organization do no longer understand what the researchers are doing, then it is necessary to cut funding for one discipline. So to clarify things. Scientists have to convince funding organizations not the public in general that what they do is worth it.

The total amount for research money is governed by politics and therefore somewhat by the public. And the public will only want a reduction of science money if there are more pressing needs. So, as long as all sciences together are able to convince the public in spending a certain amount of the GBP for science, everything is fine.

Re:The problem (2)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129935)

> I agree with you but if you don't get the public excited, you'll lose their support and their money.

hmmmnotreally. Scientific research is not your average "X-got talent"-show where you have to keep the public exited. Where you have to bombard the consumer with loud short bursts of dumbed down emptiness in order to keep them focused. Where the public walks away if things can not be explained in a single one-liner with words no longer than two syllables. And with walking away, taking the advertisers with them who fund the whole "talent"show.
Actually I think that >90% of the people never even heard of the higg's boson and aren't AT ALL interested in sub-atomic research, CBR research, the Gravity Probe B and so on.
Yet all these projects got funding out of the pockets of this general public (one way or the other).

Oh, and no, I didn't do any research to get to 90%. I estimated that based on what I know from people who don't visit /. regularly (and that is a surprisingly vast group I can say :-) ...I met quite a lot of people who didn't even knew that we put ROV's on Mars, and were genuinely surprised to hear that the internet is not 'all made up from satellites'. (QED)

Re:The problem (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129513)

The point is that if you design a test to learn more about higgs, then you execute that test, and verify the presence of higgs. If you generate it, then you confirmed the presence at the same time that you did something "useful."

Re:Let me fix that for you... (5, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129411)

I don't agree at all. The butt-hurt-ness is all about funding and relevance in modern physics.

Given that this is a monolithic (minimal competition) field with not much on the horizon in terms of applications or fundamental discoveries, it is shocking and a little embarrassing that there is so much money and so many students in particle physics. Particle physicists did this by positing that the cosmologists, observational astronomers and theoreticians could be wrong about what the higgs was and/or what LHC could show us. More bluntly, there never was a compelling reason to fund and build the LHC unless you believed the particle physicists knew something amazing that none of the rest of us did. The marketing of the "God Particle" was exquisite and effective.

Now that it looks like everyone else was right, the rest of us in physics are left scratching our heads wondering why we allowed particle physics to grab such a sizable chunk of the intellectual and financial "market share" of our field in the last 20 years. Would we have learned more focusing on cosmology, planetary science, power and energy issues, new materials, biophysics...? We trained A LOT of PhDs to build and operate LHC and there are a finite set of good students with a functionally infinite set of problems to work on.

Re:Let me fix that for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129561)

Just be happy the other branches of Physics are not infected by the disease that has ensnared HEP the last 30 years.

Re:Let me fix that for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129739)

To take your post seriously, please post it somewhere that would exist without particle physics.

SUSY Higgs like an SM Higgs (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129477)

I think you are getting a little confused which is not surprising given the site that you linked to! It's a very interesting site but it's talking about the special case where the minimum energy in the Higgs field corresponds to zero Higgs field which not at all the case in the Standard Model.

The Higgs field does indeed give mass to the fundamental particles. It has a strange property that the lowest energy density of the field is NOT when the field is zero but rather when it has a non-zero value (so very different from a magnetic or electric field). This field is then what couples to particles and the coupling energy is what we see as mass - indeed at a fundamental level this is why mass and energy are the same thing. The Higgs boson is simply a quantized vibration of this field in the same way that a photon is a quantized vibration of the EM field.

However, to get back to the original discussion point, I would argue that we are seeing exactly what we might expect to see were this a Supersymmetric Higgs rather than a Standard Model Higgs. If you scan the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model phase space with a Higgs mass of 125 GeV then you'll find that most of it has the lightest Higgs looking just like a SM Higgs with only a few percent difference in some of the branching ratios. It will take a few years more data before we can measure things this accurately by which time, with the higher energies after the shutdown, we may have already found something new.

Re:Let me fix that for you... (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129543)

TFA is mainstream butt-hurt-ness ...

That sums it up pretty well. I also think I'd rather be living on another planet if this is the sort of thing we should expect here.

Just sayin'.

Pauli Exclusion violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129047)

Can somebody tell me if particles with zero spin can or cannot violate the Pauli Exclusion Principle?

Re:Pauli Exclusion violation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129095)

Who cares?

I'll bet you do, but that's probably only because you like the taste of your own asshole.

Faggot.

Re:Pauli Exclusion violation (5, Informative)

mdenham (747985) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129217)

Since the Pauli exclusion principle only applies to particles with non-integer spin numbers, and zero is an integer, the answer is "yes, particles with zero spin are not subject to the Pauli exclusion principle".

Re:Pauli Exclusion violation (5, Informative)

fiziko (97143) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129229)

Someone else has already said that, no, the Pauli Exclusion Principle does not apply. To expand further, "boson" is a term that specifically means "particle that is not subject to the Pauli Exclusion Principle." The term "fermion" is used for particles that are. Protons, neutrons, quarks and electrons are fermions, while the Higgs and all force-mediating particles (gluons, photons, W, Z, gravitons) are bosons.

Re:Pauli Exclusion violation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129845)

Someone else has already said that, no, the Pauli Exclusion Principle does not apply.

Anna Ardin, the Swedish woman who is accusing Julian Assange for rape by broken condom, have bought new Penis Shoes. Yes, really. Anna Ardin shows off her Penis Shoes after accusing Julian Assange for rape [bayimg.com]

Poor Assange who got caught in the nets of a penis shoe wielding Swedish woman.

Re:Pauli Exclusion violation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129885)

Not pictured is her matching "testicle purse", "pussy gloves" and "ass hat"

What a waste of money (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129069)

Why don't they spend the money they are spending on this stuff on making Europe a better place?

There are entire countries where their economies are in shambles, and they are wasting money on shit like this. People are fucking DYING in the streets. Try walking through Italy and see if you can't find someone infested with yersinia pestis. It's destroying the EU, and the EU is wasting money on pointless shit like the Higgs.

That is why there is Higgs Hate.

Re:What a waste of money (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129085)

Shut up, you ridiculous luddite.

Re:What a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129181)

You don't even know what "Luddite" means, do you?

That's not Luddite... (2)

denzacar (181829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129205)

That's a troll.

He's basically claiming that the Black Death [wikipedia.org] is raging through Europe.

Re:That's not Luddite... (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129903)

Na, Alder, Cranial Rectumitis , durch Europa, tobt es.
Troll oder Prophezeiung, entscheiden Sie.

Re:What a waste of money (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129087)

If everyone in history took your point of view, those countries would still be shitholes, but they'd be shitholes without electricity and penicillin and refrigeration and computers.

Re:What a waste of money (0)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129911)

Hmm, no utility bills,lowered resistance to disease, fresh food or Microsoft. Oh I'm sorry, did you have a point, I was lost in a better world there for a second.

Re:What a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129167)

They are paying thousands of engineers, scientists, and contractors. Do you think the work those people should be fired to give money to people who can't take care of themselves? But yes let's stop all pure research till all problems are solved everywhere, because the only time such a situation is happen is when everyone on the freakin planet is dead.

Re:What a waste of money (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129183)

Why are you on Slashdot tonight instead of working to help the infected Italians?

Re:What a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129583)

Hm, could it be because he is busy building support for his case ? This could indeed be quite a bit more efficient than trying to do the whole thing by himself.

That however does not mean I agree with him. Or disagree with him for that matter.

Re:What a waste of money (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129741)

It's trolling, disease it mentions is black death / bubonic plague.

Re:What a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129917)

In Soviet Union we troll with goatse.cx / http://bayimg.com/dAkAKaAEH [bayimg.com]

Re:What a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129427)

I think you're about 700 years late if you want to stop yersinia pestis in Italy.

...and where do you think medicine came from? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129521)

Try walking through Italy and see if you can't find someone infested with yersinia pestis.

We can cure that with antibiotics and, if needed, life support while they recover. In the past if we'd spent all the money on caring for the immediate needs of people instead of pushing the boundaries of knowledge then you might be out there offering help but that help would be selecting a suitable burial spot and digging a hole. Science is like a pension plan - you may feel like all the money is disappearing without any return but forty years down the line you'll be very glad you had the foresight to invest in it.

Re:...and where do you think medicine came from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129929)

Try walking through Italy and see if you can't find someone infested with Condylomata acuminata .
Of course we can cure it, but you'll wish you were dead.
http://www.dermnetnz.org/doctors/viral-infections/images/wart-g.jpg&w=480&h=360&ei=R3M8Ua-1I6Og2gX-8YG4Aw&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:29,s:0,i:246&iact=rc&dur=6747&page=2&tbnh=180&tbnw=251&start=15&ndsp=20&tx=143&ty=86 [dermnetnz.org]

Re:What a waste of money (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129735)

Try walking through Italy and see if you can't find someone infested with yersinia pestis. It's destroying the EU

Hi, bubonic plague - wrong century, EU + black death don't go together, try again.

Discovery and limitations (5, Interesting)

Myria (562655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129083)

Science of the 21st century will be less about discovering what we can do and more about what we can't. We'll find that that there aren't any radical exotic physics left to discover, cementing the fact that Star Trek will never exist no matter how far technology never advances, for there is no way around c. We'll also be doomed to never having a good energy solution.

That said, considerable advance in biomedicine and artificial intelligence will happen. Engineering and reverse engineering of the human body will continue to progress.

The saying that "any sufficiently-advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" is probably false: technology obeys thermodynamics. We as humans need to discuss what we want to do once science can no longer progress, something I fear will become true for our grandchildren.

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129155)

http://www.space.com/17628-warp-drive-possible-interstellar-spaceflight.html

Re:Discovery and limitations (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129159)

This is pretty much the same sentiment expressed at the end of the 19th century. Considering we don't even know what the majority of the mass in the universe consists of - just something 'dark' - I think it's premature.

Technology obeys thermodynamics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129165)

magic doesn't???

Re:Discovery and limitations (5, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129185)

I disagree with your conclusions; it's very much like the statement that has been (erroneously) attributed to Charles Holland Duell: ""Everything that can be invented has been invented."

The actual fact of the matter is that there are some string theorist who are deeply unhappy with the idea of a Higgs being discovered (the jury is technically still out, BTW, until the data analysis is more complete and more experiments run). The reason for this is that the mathematics involved in their theories make them falsifiable by the discovery of a Higgs.

No physicist likes the idea that something they've been spending their life working on for the last 40 years might turn out to be nothing more than some nice mathematics with no relationship to actual reality. This generally doesn't bother mathematicians, but physicists are all about trying to describe objective reality, and they are unlikely to quietly say "You sank my battleship" and walk away from the game board.

So there is some understandable pushback on the idea from people with a vested interest in there being no Higgs.

Re:Discovery and limitations (2, Informative)

John Allsup (987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129355)

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics, and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Re:Discovery and limitations (2)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129523)

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics, and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Science? Science is objective and unbiased. Scientists, on the other hand...

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129529)

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics

No one who is not a child or a simpleton believes this.

and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Science as an institution is the most trustworthy source of "real world insight" that we have. Indeed it is one of the only mechanisms by which beings who suffer from the aforementioned flaws can produce real insight. To believe otherwise is to regard the fundamental principles upon which our considerable corpus of technology rests, and in which we trust our lives and livelihoods, as unsound and/or mysterious, despite the fact that we observe devices and practices based on them to function daily a matter of course, devices and practices that otherwise can only be considered magical artifacts or rituals. To maintain that science offers no real world insight reflects either profound ignorance or intellectual dishonesty to the point of idiocy.

Re:Discovery and limitations (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129537)

Science isn't perfect, it's just a whole lot better than all the alternatives. Some push-back on a discovery is perfectly fine as long as things eventually settle down in a closer approximation to reality. Are you saying that won't happen here? That's not what the OP was implying.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

firewrought (36952) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129569)

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics, and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Sorry you bought the Hollywood version. In my mind, the magic of science is NOT that it transform us (naturally selfish and biased) people into paragons of impartial objectivity, but that it provides tools and rules for testing our ideas to effect (out of imperfect man) an institution that achieves (or nearly achieves) those ideals over the long term. It has a self-correcting aspect to it that, um, most other human institutions lack.

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129667)

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics, and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Behold the Fundamentalist Christian.

"If it isn't perfect then it's worthless, just make sure you ignore the flaws in my system."

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129455)

The actual fact of the matter is that there are some string theorist who are deeply unhappy with the idea of a Higgs being discovered (the jury is technically still out, BTW, until the data analysis is more complete and more experiments run). The reason for this is that the mathematics involved in their theories make them falsifiable by the discovery of a Higgs.

Huh? I thought string theory _required_ the Higgs to exist, and at approximately the energy level at which it has been found, because it requires supersymmetry, and supersymmetry predicts Higgs with an energy of 135 GeV.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129463)

Damned slashcode eating my characters. "energy of 135 GeV" should have read "energy of < 135 GeV".

(Captcha: "submit")

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129193)

Try not to make posts like this in the future.

"There aren't any radical exotic physics left to discover, cementing the fact that Star Trek will never exist no matter how far technology never advances, for there is no way around c."

Seriously?

You have no idea if this is true. And based on how wrong such pronouncements have been in the past I would bet money that the c "speed limit" will be found to be false beyond a shadow of a doubt in a few decades.

Furthermore the phenomenon of quantum entanglement indicates that velocities above c routinely occur at the subatomic level. That humans haven't figured out a way to utilize it to send information is a problem for humans to solve not some fundamental limitation in nature.

Furthermore,

100 years ago Nuclear Fission was unknown. .

200 years ago The structure of the atom and electromagnetic induction were unknown.

300 years ago Oxidation was unknown and The Phlogiston Theory dominated.

400 years ago The laws of motion put forward by Newton were unknown.

So be quite mindful of proclaiming certain things will forever be unknown lest you turn out to be quite wrong.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129769)

Theoretical physics graduate here. It's extremely unlikely - I'd say impossible actually - that there is no exotic physics behind the rather limited model of reality we have at the moment. Most fundamentally, the failure to reconcile QM and GR says these are incomplete models which emerge as the end scale limits of a much more powerful theory, and this contradiction has been staring us in the face since the 1930s. Oh yes, mark my words - we don't know half of it yet, and high energy physics and cosmology are the most obvious ways in. But as usual reality will probably surprise us and through a curveball in the weirdest and most unexpected place. It's also possible that we don't have the mathematical structures yet to get to a GUT that works.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129237)

Science of the 21st century will be less about discovering what we can do and more about what we can't. We'll find that that there aren't any radical exotic physics left to discover,...

Curiously, this is exactly what a couple of PhD physicists told me 28 years ago as an explanation of why they took jobs in the aerospace industry. I wonder if they would still agree that nothing significant has happened in physics in the last quarter century.

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129555)

>I wonder if they would still agree that nothing significant has happened in physics in the last quarter century.

In case you hadn't noticed, there hasn't.

Re:Discovery and limitations (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129603)

>I wonder if they would still agree that nothing significant has happened in physics in the last quarter century.

In case you hadn't noticed, there hasn't.

Now you're just trolling:

"In 1995 the first gaseous condensate was produced by Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman at the University of Colorado at Boulder NIST–JILA lab, using a gas of rubidium atoms cooled to 170 nanokelvin (nK) (1.7×107 K). For their achievements Cornell, Wieman, and Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT received the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics"

"In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Every system of quantum dynamical billiards will exhibit an effect called scarring, where the quantum probability density shows traces of the paths a classical billiard ball would take. For an elliptical arena, the scarring is particularly pronounced at the foci, as this is the region where many classical trajectories converge. The scars at the foci are colloquially referred to as the "quantum mirage". The quantum mirage was first experimentally observed by Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California in 2000. The effect is quite remarkable but in general agreement with prior work on the quantum mechanics of dynamical billiards in elliptical arenas."

Both of those happened in the last 20 years. Next?

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129783)

Not to mention: experimentalists have been able to actually *see* quantum superpositioning of vibration states in a macroscopic object. And a working CNOT gate has been built. Then there's quantum teleportation (which effectively proves Bell's Theorem). These things are huge steps forward in showing that QM is actually *real* and not just a mathematical statistical abstraction that happens to fit the data. All recent.

Re:Discovery and limitations (3, Insightful)

elysiuan (762931) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129349)

This is a strange statement to make when the Standard Model is known to be incomplete since it does not factor in gravity. It clearly is not the final theory if any such thing can exist. I guess it may not meet your criteria for 'exotic' but to say physics is done is comically short sighted.

Re:Discovery and limitations (2)

Myria (562655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129443)

This is a strange statement to make when the Standard Model is known to be incomplete since it does not factor in gravity. It clearly is not the final theory if any such thing can exist. I guess it may not meet your criteria for 'exotic' but to say physics is done is comically short sighted.

Physics is not done now, but that time seems to be approaching. It's very clear that diminishing returns has already taken its toll on physics - there are very few observable physical phenomena that we cannot currently explain.

Already Wrong and it's only 2013 (4, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129403)

Science of the 21st century will be less about discovering what we can do and more about what we can't. We'll find that that there aren't any radical exotic physics left to discover...

Dark Matter: makes up ~23% of the mass of the universe and we have no clue what it's fundamental nature is. Then there is Dark energy which makes up ~73% and is accelerating the expansion of the universe. So given that practically all science to date has been regarding 4% of the universe and there is 96% of if out there (that we know of so far) with a nature we simply do not yet understand I can tell you that we know for 100% certainty that there is some "radical, exotic physics" left to discover. What I cannot tell you is its nature nor whether we'll discover it in the 21st century but we know it's there. Even if you don't yet believe in Dark Matter the largely discredited alternative theories to explain the observations involve corrections to Newtonian dynamics and/or gravity which is even more "radical and exotic".

Re:Already Wrong and it's only 2013 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129533)

"Dark Matter: makes up ~23% of the mass of the universe and we have no clue what it's fundamental nature is."

It's made of the extra apostrophes that seemingly intelligent people put into possessive pronouns. So you understand radical and exotic physics, but can't tell its from it's?

Time traveler from 2931 here and in short: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129553)

No , NO , Yes no and Ha ha ha ha on the rest :)

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129575)

I seriously doubt the idea of Star trek will never exist, it was just our vision of it a long time ago in fact. We'll have to figure out what the exception to the rule is. To say there are and never will be any exceptions to the way things work a gorse over-statement of our relative understanding of the infinite nature that is our universe. For example if you could go faster than light how would you ever know accurately what you would crash into, your not seeing whats in front of you in real time. Even calculating a route would be useless as your just seeing things as they where progressively farther back in time.

We're still just learning about what we can't do yes, that's not to say we'll understand what we can. And never finding a good energy solution? That's just naive. Problems aren't problems because they're impossible to overcome, they're problems because you haven't discovered how to overcome the limitations they impose yet.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

equex (747231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129661)

The Universe has clearly shown the possibility of breaking c. Inflation and spooky action comes to mind. We just need to harness it. Don't be such a party pooper. And need I remind you that the Universe came into existence from fucking nothing (as far as we know) ? We have barely scratched the surface of C.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

Jamu (852752) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129763)

The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.

I'm not saying you're wrong. Just that people who have said similar things in the past have all been wrong.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

jim_deane (63059) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129841)

I don't know what evidence you are using to draw your conclusions. How do you know that there is no exotic physics yet to be discovered? How do you know there is no way around (travel from point to point in our universe being limited to less-than) /c/?

Re:Discovery and limitations (0)

flyneye (84093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129961)

It's less about feeding the asshat medical industry and more about finding cures for political corruption, media infestation, identity theft, rampant police powers, intangible property and California. The REAL diseases of the 21st century.
We've already discovered that MOST of mankinds irritating maladies can be cured or controlled with marijuana. This leaves medicine perfectly free to concentrate on more important things than erection pills, pimple medicine and how to farm insurance for Mercedes payments.

Re:Discovery and limitations (1)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129983)

Weren't all the dark poo poo theories accepted only in the last couple of decades? I don't see how anyone can think we're close to having a even temporarily stable theory, let alone the final answers.

Dangerously bad science reporting! (0)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129115)

Higgs removes any doubt for more exotic physics beyond the Standard Model.

Don't go in to physics, Max Planck, it's almost done. There just aren't any big discoveries left; just a few minor details to fill-in.

From the article:

Although I’d argue that the Higgs boson discovery is a triumph of modern science and only the beginning of a golden era for quantum physics, many will be subdued at seeing the Standard Model being completely proven — of which the Higgs boson is the last component to be discovered — thereby disproving more exciting possibilities of exotic physics beyond known physics.

Ian O'Neill, you fail basic epistemology forever.

Re:Dangerously bad science reporting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129809)

I'm pretty sure he's talking about the current "Higgs-like" particle, as opposed to anything else beyond what we know.

CUZ WE HATE THAT WHICH WE DO NOT KNOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129123)

Like, dude !! What's a Higgs boson anyway !! It's stupid talk !!

Clocks !! Check your clocks !! Or the Higgs boson will get you !!

Re: CUZ WE HATE THAT WHICH WE DO NOT KNOW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129139)

Zero spin higgs, the new low fat.

Higgs "hate" because the discovery is meaningless. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129129)

The discovery of the particle is largely meaningless and is at best just stamp collecting in physics. Which they wasted $7.5 billion dollars for.

Furthermore,

Will this discovery lead to our understanding gravity? Likely not.

Will this discovery lead to our understanding the quantum vacuum and the ramifications it has for understanding the 4 known fundamental forces of nature? Likely not.

Will this discovery lead to our discovering superluminal particles which would fundamentally revolutionize particle physics? No and when CERN thought they had discovered superluminal neutrinos the physics community raged against them as if they vandalized Einstein's grave. So we see then that particle physicists aren't interested in fundamentally advancing their field, they just wish to make slight modifications to what they already know.

And that's why there's Higgs "hate."

Re:Higgs "hate" because the discovery is meaningle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129187)

Not to mention all the Euros that are being wasted on CERN which could be used to prop up countries like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Norway.

They're failing because those ASSCLOWNS would rather find the Higgs than keep their comrades afloat. They are selfish and greedy and they probably falsify their results, just like all the other scientists.

Science is a fraud. If you want to know the truth, try reading the Bible, you fucktards. This is why God is on the side of the United States of America, and not Europe. We know what is real, and what isn't.

For example, evolution is false. The Bible says so.

Homosexuality is evil. The Bible says so.

The Jews are no longer the Chosen People. The Bible says so. Jeremiah 11:10-17. They also killed Jesus of Nazareth (AKA Jesus Christ).

Re:Higgs "hate" because the discovery is meaningle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129235)

God is not on the side of the US, and never was. (Nor has God ever been on Europe's side, or anywhere in the Middle East since... well, maybe 930 AD or so, before that particular light got snuffed out by people who speak the same "my holy book says so, therefore everyone who disagrees is a charlatan and must die" cant as your ilk.)

But thanks for trying anyway. It's amusing to watch your continued attempts to bring forth a new Dark Age.

Re:Higgs "hate" because the discovery is meaningle (-1, Flamebait)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129203)

Quite the opposite, it's the most exciting discovery because it confirms the standard model's idea that all the particles that make this material world are point particles -- particles with zero volume. Not just infinitely small but zero. The entire world is made of nothing, of moving twists in space. 100% empty.

Re:Higgs "hate" because the discovery is meaningle (3, Insightful)

Visserau (2433592) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129291)

Not sure if you're serious or trolling (like the religious AC that responded to you definitely is) - see my post above (first post) for some of the reasons why you're ludicrously wrong. The discovery of the higgs/the process of it's confirmation is a key milestone that will allow us to begin to make inroads on the investigation of gravity. Certainly there is a long way to go, but this is a necessary step before we can even fully understand what the standard model might be saying about gravity.

There are far more wasteful things to be spending money than fundamental science. (War being the most obvious example, although I'm not aware of the Euros being involved in much military activity recently.) Following your train of thought, we'd still be living in caves without the wheel or the ability to make fire ourselves. We can't say right now exactly what benefits the higgs boson specifically, and the extended thread of research in general will bring us - but history clearly demonstrates that theoretical research brings major quality of life improvements in the long run.

I would argue that dollar for dollar, research brings more long term benefit to society than welfare. Welfare can only address short term problems, and is LITERALLY just throwing money at the problem/down the drain. At least with infastructure, once it's built, the upkeep costs aren't quite as high. There needs to be a healthy balance of both, to address issues on both short and long timescales. Cutting one for the other is short sigted.

Finally, the LHC was built long before the financial chrisis came about. All the money was already spent. At best, only upgrade money could be diverted to help the troubled countries even if they wanted to (and I've discussed why that's a bad idea.) Note that the EU has thrown plenty of bailout money at them anyway, whilst still funding CERN.

"The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, and "one of the great engineering milestones of mankind".[1] It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) from 1998 to 2008, with the aim of allowing physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics and high-energy physics, ..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider [wikipedia.org]

Good work on Higgs. Cheers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129145)

But, has anyone discovered the "Jeeves Bosun" yet?

Well then. Keep my posted.

Re:Good work on Higgs. Cheers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129373)

I'm searching for the "big bosom", I've had glimpses of it at times even for several years, but I am thinking more long-term research is required.

Re:Good work on Higgs. Cheers (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129535)

Interestingly, like entangled particles, those nearly always occur in pairs. However they seem to have the ability to generate entanglements that involve the attraction of other masses characterized by a different pole-arity.

good analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129163)

It's like when you're flirting with a cute girl at the bar and after she sucks your dick, you stick your hand in her panties and find a penis.

Re:good analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129219)

you sound like a government contractor!

posted by zenlessyank as an AC

Re:good analogy (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129693)

It's like when you're flirting with a cute girl at the bar and after she sucks your dick, you stick your hand in her panties and find a penis.

no. a better analogy would be that after she sucks your dick you stick your hand in her panties and find a pussy and are butthurt because you're not going to get to brag about having exotic taste.

I guess there was a lot of (stupid) people who had been hopeful the boson discovery would bring antigravity and all that shit.

Job Security (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129197)

It is always best to find unexpected results, that increases job security.
Finding what you are looking for reduces job security.

Re:Job Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129821)

Not really - it just provides oppertunities for new phd students, because they'll be the ones filling the opening.

Clearly, CERN should have... (3, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129225)

...worked on finding the hugs boson first.

Re:Clearly, CERN should have... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129457)

...worked on finding the hugs bosom first.

FTFY.

Dollars and Euros (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129227)

Although seemingly pricy the 7.5 billion Euro price tag and the projected prices of the upgrade pale in comparison the cost of the Barak Hussein Obama and Family in only one year.

The money lost on Obama and Family will never be regained; a black hole of debt that exceeds many countries GDP.

The money invested in the LHC will be recovered with compound interest in the form of theory, technical and economic knowledge in years to come.

Which do YOU prefer ?

non-zero neutrino rest energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129231)

Doesn't non-zero neutrino rest energy already lie outside the Standard Model?

When can I get a Higgs cartridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129255)

for my 3D printer?

Too complicated (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129257)

Nobody gets excited because the theory is too complicated. Even a physics major has trouble understanding what the Higgs is (and just repeating "the thing that gives stuff mass" is not an explanation).

Re:Too complicated (1)

John Allsup (987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129347)

Nobody gets excited because the theory is too complicated. Even a physics major has trouble understanding what the Higgs is (and just repeating "the thing that gives stuff mass" is not an explanation).

Given the fundamental assumptions a physicist takes on, there is no single, simple, beautiful explanation of our reality. Physics is the best science has to offer, and loses itself in a sea of complexity when faced with certain fundamental questions. Those fundamental assumptions need, I think, a re-examination.

Satisfaction and its absence (1)

John Allsup (987) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129339)

The world's physicists want to discover the universe's deepest secrets, and have up until now believed that more and more intricate experiments would gradually force the desired information out. What they are finding is that their efforts have yielded only a reasonably self consistent theory which fits observed facts when they are experimentally observed, yet is massively complex, incompatible with other fundamental theories, and ultimately unsatisfying to the scientist who hopes via his science to understand reality. This one's a win for the universe.

reason for optimism (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129343)

I think there are still big unexplored frontiers, people just don't know where to look for them because they don't lend themselves to the mathematical tools that were so successful in the 19th and 20th centuries.

For example, raja and jnana yoga are half nonsense, but not all nonsense. There's some remarkable stuff there that does not have pat psychological or physiological explanations, if you work at it a bit and can cut though some of the crap.

I don't think scientists have finished figuring out all the implications of quantum mechanics either. Apparently a lot of people, including many physicists, think that Schrodinger's cat is a metaphor for something that only happens at a microscopic level, or for coherent wave-functions. I'm pretty sure its not. Sometimes it seems to me that scientists get so caught up with being an expert at something, after the incredibly hard work they've put in, and stop recognizing anything as real unless it is already described by their models.

Things that can't be controlled well in a laboratory setting, or modeled with functions and well defined probabilities, are really hard to study. But that doesn't mean that no such things are real, or that they won't ever be understood better. Hyperbolic geometry led to Einstein's theories of relativity. Quantum mechanics would not have been possible with the statistical ideas of a few hundred years earlier. People keep hammering away with the same types of ideas, applied in ever more complex ways, because they worked so well before. But I think we'll get through this period of consolidation, exploiting what we've discovered, for better or for worse. There is still potential for more revolutions eventually.

Only for those with a short attention span (1)

SimplexBang (2685909) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129701)

This article reeks of Heisenberg Uncertainty ...

Maximal effect , minimal impact

Yes , we are on the right track , Blarny.

What about : the meaning of the trip is in the travelling and not in the destination ?

There's a simple reason the Higgs is 'boring'... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129711)

... it wasn't discovered in America.

If this had been an American discovery it would have been heralded as the best thing since sliced bread, and confirmation that the US is still world-class in particle physics.

But now it underlines the fact that leadership is slowly slipping away, as other countries catch up with the economic advantage that the US got out of WW2. Now that Germany is reunited, for instance, we can expect great things from her.

Higgs is not 'boring' in the rest of the world. This is sour grapes from the US, who didn't get their SSC going...

A Higgs Boson walks into a church. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43129793)

A Higgs Boson walks into a church. The pastor says "we don't allow your kind in here." The which he is replied, "but without me, how can you have Mass?"

Still interesting things to find (1)

Mr.Rob (123229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43129993)

I believe if they can determine if mini black holes are being created in the LHC this may be evidence of additional dimensions proposed by string theory.

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