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Search for Higgs "God Particle" Gets Interesing

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the putting-the-standard-model-to-bed dept.

Science 392

holy_calamity writes "The Large Hadron Collider is in trouble again. It will start work sometime in spring 2008, not November this year as planned. The delay has been blamed on an 'accumulation of minor setbacks,' and comes on top of a 'design fault' that saw breakdown of magnets supplied by the competing Fermilab. Yesterday Slate nicely rounded up increasingly loud rumors among physicists that Fermilab may already have seen the Higgs particle, the 'holy grail of particle physics' the LHC was build to find."

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god? (3, Insightful)

dmitrygr (736758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400685)

"God"? What has god got to do with this?

Re:god? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400755)

I thought God would be an explanation for a lack of particle.

Re:god? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401629)

What has "interesing" got to do with it?

Re:god? (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400795)

They are undoubtedly talking about the still-only-theoretical Higgs boson [wikipedia.org] , that's supposed to explain the difference between massless particles like the photon and other particles that have mass. Basically, if the Higgs boson is found, it goes along way to proving various Grand Unified Theories (GUTs) of cosmological physics.

Re:god? (3, Informative)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401195)

Actually the Higgs won't prove anything about GUTs. It's part of the Standard Model.

Re:god? (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401863)

The problem with most GUTs is that they make assumptions that certain things, like the Standard Model of particle physics, are true. The problem is that the Standard Model is unproven, as the Higgs boson has never directly been observed.. If the Higgs boson can be observed, it goes a long way towards proving the Standard Model, which in turn, helps to support various GUTs that depend on the Standard Model.

Re:god? (3, Interesting)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402173)

You're giving the Standard Model a bit of a hard rap there, aren't you? While it's technically true to state that it's "unproven" (as are all physical theories, pretty much by definition), it is among the most thoroughly tested scientific theories in history, and has been validated to extremely high degrees of precision. This gives most people some degree of confidence in the theory, even if it may not be fully fleshed out yet.

The Higgs boson is basically the last untested facet of the theory - if it shows up in the expected region without any additional fuss, the model is pretty much entirely successful within present experimental limits and particle physicists are back to digging through the last few orders of decimal places to discover new effects.

Re:god? (2, Informative)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400841)

Perhaps it has to do with the assumption of this particle having some god-like properties.
The Wikipedia article says it was mentioned in the movie "Solaris". Anyone remember what this particle did in the movie?

Solaris (2, Informative)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401093)

The Wikipedia article says it was mentioned in the movie "Solaris". Anyone remember what this particle did in the movie?

I saw the original Russian version made in the '70s (yeah, queue the "In Soviet Russia, movies make you!", jokes) . It was a very original movie.

Basically, these cosmonauts go to a space station orbiting Jupiter, I think, or one of the outer solar planets. Anyway, on the station, anything their thinking of, will manifest. For instance, the protagonist really misses his wife who died a number years before. She appears. But, she's not completely human: she rips through a metal door with her bare hands. Also, she doesn't remember much. The other station members just kind of live with it for the exception of one who committed suicide.

Anyway, I won't give out too much of the movie, but if you want something along the lines of "2001", this is a movie to see. I haven't seen the American remake with George Clooney.

It's also a good break from most of what passes for SciFi these days, you know: monster in space kills everyone on space station, space ship, or colony except for the hero who just barely escapes with his/her life only to discover that the monster isn't dead - cue sequel. Basically, rip offs of the "Alien" movies.

Re:Solaris (1)

raw-sewage (679226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401307)

Or read the book, by Stanislaw Lem. When my roommate in college lent me this book, I got so wrapped up in it, I read it in one night! (It's fairly short.) I haven't seen the original movie, but the newer movie was "meh" at best (didn't have half the cool stuff that the book did).

To make this post quasi-on topic, though, I don't recall any mention of the particle. (Doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I just don't recall.)

Re:god? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401181)

The Wikipedia article says it was mentioned in the movie "Solaris". Anyone remember what this particle did in the movie?

It replaced SunOS?

Re:god? (3, Interesting)

HexRei (515117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401311)

I can't remember if it was specifically mentioned in the Russian "Solyaris" (subtitled movies don't seem to stick as well in my memory) but in the American remake it was suggested by one character that the "visitors" were a result of a "Higgs field". Later a device is constructed based on that assumption that is able to destroy at least one visitor.

Re:god? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401353)

better yet.. can someone tell what happened in that movie.. i remember watching it.. but i can't remember what it was about - nor do i think i knew when i watched it

Re:god? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401765)

can someone tell what happened in that movie

A space station at a planet with an apparently intelligent ocean gets strange visitors. Those are apparently real persons the people on the space station know, but not really. The story is told from the view of someone sent from earth to find out what's going on on the station.

Re:god? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401951)

Unfortunately I can't, as I fell asleep within the first 10 minutes of that movie.

Re:god? (2, Insightful)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400869)

God has as much to do with this as Zeus.

This whole 'God Particle' term is an embarrassment to science, it sounds catchy but just gets the religious believers excited. Maybe we should've called stem cells 'god' cells, and maybe Bush wouldn't have cut its research funding.

Re:god? (2, Informative)

dougman (908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401751)

I like your jab at Bush, but here's a couple of facts:

An appropriations rider was passed by Congress in 1996 (the Dickey Amendment) forbidding federal funding for any research that creates, injures or destroys human embryos. Clinton signed it into law. Bush sought to relax that law.

"The President's answer was that there ought to be no restrictions on the private sector but that federal subsidies should be limited to lines that had already been harvested and should not be used to encourage the destruction of embryos. In short, it was a reasonable middle ground. It's worth noting that other countries, such as Germany, Ireland and Austria, ban even the private sector from creating embryos for stem cell research." (WSJ 7/12/2004)

If you care to check with the Office of Management and budget, you'll also find out that bush was the first (and only) president to fund Human Embryonic research. During his first four years in office (I didn't see newer numbers) the NIH budget for Embryonic research increased every year.

Regardless of the "moral" issue - why should the government be researching stem cells anyways? I thought their job was to secure the country and make sure we can freely go about our business. The gov't is supposed to give us health care, social security, welfare, and now stem cells? Just what we need.

Re:god? (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402039)

I agree that the other crap can go, but given the choice between publicly funded medical research which anyone could use the results of, and privately funded that will find a 'cure' and sell it for a mere $10 million a pop, I'd take the former. Also, I don't think we need more pills to help rich old white men get it up... but that's what we're getting when greed decides what research is 'worthy.'

Re:god? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402111)

"I thought their job was to secure the country and make sure we can freely go about our business."

You thought wrong because you are an idiot.

Re:god? (2, Funny)

mashade (912744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400899)

Search for Higgs "God Particle" Gets Interesing
I don't know what God has to do with it, but what's this Interesing stuff, and where can I get it?
tags: interesting ;)

Re:god? (3, Informative)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400957)

That he doesn't exist.

*please mod informative, please mod informative*

Parent is -1 Flamebait material (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401129)

From the Guardian [guardian.co.uk] :

Finding the Higgs boson will confirm scientists' most complete theory of the universe and the matter from which it is created. "It's probably the closest to God that we'll get," said Jos Engelen, Cern's chief scientist.

Re:Parent is -1 Flamebait material (3, Funny)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401413)

From Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] :

Main Entry: Joke
Pronunciation: 'jOk
Function: noun
1 a : something said or done to provoke laughter; especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist b (1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something (2) : an instance of jesting : KIDDING c : PRACTICAL JOKE d : LAUGHINGSTOCK 2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter -- often used in negative constructions

Re:Parent is -1 Flamebait material (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401529)

I don't think he was kidding. But hey, feel free to interpret it that way if you wish. :-)

Re:Parent is -1 Flamebait material (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401597)

I guess most religious types know full well what a joke is, they just want the joker to burn in their particular Hell for not being sufficiently awstruck with their Supreme Being.

Re:Parent is -1 Flamebait material (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401667)

Yeah, he's kind of slow like that. You should see him try to explain why it's ABSOLUTELY VITAL to refer to a price as a "price point".

Re:god? (5, Informative)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401031)

"God"? What has god got to do with this?

It's often referred to as the God particle because of its significance in physics, it would explain why matter has mass.
It probably also has a lot to do with the fact that the existance of the Mass-Free Higgins Boson particle was theoretically predicted, but has never been observed (until now?). This elusiveness to be observed and hence proven it existed is probably the reason why it got this nickname...

blame Mr. Lederman (2, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401407)

I think it was Mr. Lederman [wikipedia.org] that originally coined this phrase in his pop-sci book, The God Particle...

I think he's also attributed to the wiki-quote...

My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt.

Error (2, Informative)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401587)

I thought the Higgs-Boson was mass free because of it's nature as the particule responsible for mass...

Upon reading wikipedia, I was wrong: link [wikipedia.org]

The Standard Model does not predict the value of the Higgs boson mass. If the mass of the Higgs boson is between 115 and 180 GeV, then the Standard Model can be valid at energy scales all the way up to the Planck scale (1016 TeV). Many theorists expect new physics beyond the Standard Model to emerge at the TeV-scale, based on unsatisfactory properties of the Standard Model. The highest possible mass scale allowed for the Higgs boson (or some other electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism) is around one TeV; beyond this point, the Standard Model becomes inconsistent without such a mechanism because unitarity is violated in certain scattering processes. Many models of Supersymmetry predict that the lightest Higgs boson (of several) will have a mass only slightly above the current experimental limits, at around 120 GeV or less.

Sorry.

Re:god? (5, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401061)

"God"? What has god got to do with this?"
Well it could be the use of God in the scientific way meaning that all other particles come from this one particle.
Or it could be using the term God as in the creator of all things which is pretty much the same as the first.

So the real question is are you ask because you are an extreme theist nut case that takes offense at the idea of a God particle because it is an affront to God, or are you an Extreme atheist whack job that takes offense at any use of the word God because it infringes on not having the idea of a supreme being mentioned in your presence?

Notice that is really is hard to tell the nut job from the wack job.

Re:god? (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401689)

Why do I have to choose? I take offense that God is a particle and that he exists anywhere outside of my own head. Call me a nut wack job.

Re:god? (2, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401973)

Call me a nut wack job.

Okay. You are a nut wack job.

Re:god? (1)

jacekm (895699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401625)

Created it in the first place ?

obKirk (2)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401943)

What does... God... need... with a particle?

Re:obKirk (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402101)

What if God is said particle?

Search ... get interesing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400715)

and so does the spelling for interesting.... I wonder if /. needs a proof reader for it's editor?

Re:Search ... get interesing (1, Insightful)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400759)

>for it's editor
Did you mean that? Poignant!

Re:Search ... get interesing (2, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400793)

"the LHC was build to find"

Looks like everyone could use some proof reading. Or is this a quantum leap in tenses?

Re:Search ... get interesing (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401467)

"the LHC was build to find"

Looks like everyone could use some proof reading. Or is this a quantum leap in tenses?
No, but if you actually find this particle it gives you authority to ignore the laws of grammer - much like it seems to ignore the laws of physics.

Re:Search ... get interesing (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401849)

Why bother then? Just get a Slashdot account! It worked for me.

Re:Search ... get interesing (4, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401209)

I wonder if /. needs a proof reader for it's editor?

You must bee knew hear.

Re:Search ... get interesing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401297)

I see what you did their.

Instead of caturdays, how about proofreadays? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401495)

For some reason I instantly imagine a picture of Cmdr. Taco, captioned in big block letters, "Me can has proof reader?" And a picture of Cowboy Neal captioned, "im in yer posts, mesin up yer speling"

Is it me... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400727)

or does this sound like the beginning plot to DOOM 3?

I didnt ask for (0, Offtopic)

jzuska (65827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400827)

I didn't ask for "No Dupes" but perhaps we get paid for checking tenses....

just sayin

Higgs is the GOD particle (5, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400837)

From the article:

The current rumor, which comes in time for the summer conference circuit, may be different. It claims an experiment at the Tevatron has found a peak twice as high as the previous rumors' bumps. And unlike the other rumors, this one includes details: the new particle's mass, for instance, which fits within theoretical bounds on the standard model Higgs. Some versions include a decay chain, which describes what the new particle turned into as the experiment progressed, and which may be consistent with the standard model's predictions.

the higgs particle is one of the last yet undiscovered predictions of the standard model.

But what happens if the Higgs turns out to be just right? Well, then the standard model predicts that you'd need a machine roughly a quadrillion times more powerful than the LHC to find anything new.

if we find the higgs it makes the standard model more convincing as far as its predictive power but by no means means it is correct.

Re:Higgs is the GOD particle (3, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401245)

Looking at this blog [wordpress.com] linked to from the Slate article, one thing that seems inconsistent with the Slate article's interpretation is that they're saying that the observations aren't consistent with a standard-model Higgs; it would have to be something outside the standard model, like, e.g., a supersymmetric Higgs. (Actually, I'm not really clear on what a "supersymmetric Higgs" means; is it two particles, a Higgs plus its supersymmetric partner?) The Slate article, however, raises the idea that the observations might simply confirm the standard model, and that would be it. Am I misunderstanding something?

Is the Tevatron still running? If so, could it be the sort of thing where the collaboration might just be trying to collect more data, so as to make it an 8-sigma observation instead of a 4-sigma one?

Re:Higgs is the GOD particle (5, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401761)

Supersymmetric Higgs is the equivalent particle (actually 5 particles, IIRC) to the Standard Model's Higgs boson which is predicted by a Quantum Field Theory which includes supersymmetry and predicts all of the particles that we have already seen.

IIRC, the standard model Higgs has not been excluded yet. But a whole lot of people are expecting to see SUSY (supersymmetry) at the LHC, so those same people also expect to see a SUSY Higgs rather than a standard model Higgs.

The Tevatron is still running, and running better than it ever has been before (higher luminousity). Well over 2 fb^-1 of data have been taken so far, and by the end in 2009, about 8 fb^-1 are expected. A few months ago, CDF published a new measurement of the W boson mass, which is coupled to the Higgs mass, which suggested that the Higgs mass ought to be fairly low. A fairly low mass Higgs might be observable at the Tevatron, so a whole lot more people than before are looking for the Higgs a whole lot harder than before. This W mass measurement is probably the "rumor" referred to in TFSummary.

Of course, we can't just look at one event and say "Oh look! I saw the Higgs boson!" There are a lot of other processes that have signatures very similar to the Higgs signature (I've worked on measuring one of those processes, Z + b jet), so we need to have a lot of Higgs events in order to distinguish them from background events. The top quark discovery was announced with, IIRC, 22 top pair events. I'd guess that we'll need even more than that number of Higgs events to have a decent Higgs discovery measurement.

Even if the Tevatron does discover the Higgs, don't worry, there will still be plenty for the LHC to do. Measure the properties of the Higgs, for one. But more importantly, within a few months of LHC startup, we should see SUSY.

Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Fermilab and CERN are not in competition. CDF and D0 might be considered to be in competition, as might ATLAS and CMS. But not really even with those pairs. It is science, and it is scientists. We are concerned with getting science done, wherever it is done. An enormous number of the people at Fermilab now are either already also working at CERN or are planning to start CERN work soon. The fact that a Fermilab designed system failed is not indicative that Fermilab is trying to sabotage CERN, but rather just that people make mistakes. Fermilab has no incentive to sabotage CERN.

Re:Higgs is the GOD particle (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401959)

within a few months of LHC startup, we should see SUSY.
I'm not a particle physicist. Can you explain more about why you're so confident? AFAICT, supersymmetry could be false, and even if it's true, it's clearly a broken symmetry. If it's broken, and the symmetry breaking leads to masses for the supersymmetric particles that are much higher than those of their standard model counterparts, is there some reason to think that the masses are within a certain range, accessible to the LHC?

Re:Higgs is the GOD particle (1, Troll)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401395)

if we find the higgs it makes the standard model more convincing as far as its predictive power but by no means means it is correct.
It makes it rather harder to convince governments to fund massive facility budgets though: "We have this theory which has proven almost exactly right in every test we've thrown at it, and now we're out of ideas. Can we have $80 billion to build a system ten times bigger to see if we can just brute force some new phenomena?"

There is a distinct lack of a focus in the near future for particle physics if the Higgs is found and doesn't raise even a little question. All that's left to do is bigger numbers and hoping something will come out of it, which is going to be a damn hard sell.

frOst p1st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400839)

ransom for their dim. If *BSD is Usenet is Roughly [tux.org]? Are you poor dead last nneds OS. Now BSDI Elected, we took

Finally! (-1, Offtopic)

Spackler (223562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400843)

When you see God, tell him he owes me 10 bucks (and the 2 points of karma I am about to lose on this)

-Spack

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400861)

God is a drag and photons are the Devil's work.

Re:So (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401857)

photons are the Devil's work.

Exactly. After all, there's a reason why he's named Lucifer.

Oblig. LEXX reference (1, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400865)

So, they're messing about with the Higgs Boson--that means the planet is about to collapse into the size of a pea, if I remember things correctly.

"What happens if I press this button?" "Don't..." (3, Interesting)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401175)

I've long held (mostly out of sheer amusement) that the reason we haven't been contacted by space aliens is that every intelligent species proceeds through roughly the same sequence of scientific discovery, and they all get to an inevitable point of trying an experiment which invariably wipes out their entire planet & civilization.

We almost had it with the first nuke test, when scientists allegedly acknowledged there was a non-trivial chance that detonating the first fusion bomb would set the planet on fire.

Maybe the Higgs boson test will, like other species that tried to make one, turn us into merely a dark stain on the space-time fabric.

Not (4, Funny)

OSS_ilation (922367) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400907)

as interesing (sic) as the search for a Slashdot spellchecker!

Re:Not (0, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401909)

Eye all ways use a spell chequer. That way eye no four sure that their are know miss takes in my spelling!

Like Indiana Jones (-1, Offtopic)

Vexor (947598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400909)

you just have to let the Holy Grail go...

Bizarre (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400927)

Why should any scientist hope that standard model will or will not turn out to be true? Nature doesn't care how many billions was spent on a new particle accelerator. Just be happy that we may have discovered something new and move on to a million things that we still don't understand, including much of what's happening on our own planet.

Re:Bizarre (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401021)

They care about finding out one way or another so they can move on to other investigations. Many scientists are just as happy to find out the theory they are testing is *disproven* as they are when it's *proven*. It's about advancing the body of knowledge.

Re:Bizarre (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401255)

That's just standard human behavior. Nobody wants to spend years or decades working on something that ends up not really accomplishing anything. While the greater good of science might have been served by someone else making the discovery, it doesn't mean that these people won't be disappointed that they'll miss out on the thrill of making that discovery themselves. Maybe it's ego, maybe it's worry about their funding, maybe they just hate those physicists over in the US... but don't pretend that just because scientists are primarily concerned with facts and theories means that they aren't still human beings with lots of different emotions and different motivations.

Re:Bizarre (0, Troll)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401423)

"That's just standard human behavior. Nobody wants to spend years or decades working on something that ends up not really accomplishing anything."

It worked for Bill Gates.

Re:Bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401747)

Just be happy that we may have discovered something new and move on to a million things that we still don't understand, including much of what's happening on our own planet.

Yeah, like how I put 7 pairs of socks into the dryer, but only get 13 socks back!

Science =/ competition (5, Insightful)

RMB2 (936187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400939)

I'm getting rather bothered by continuously seeing these /. posts implying that scientists are so non-cooperative. The last few stories about LHC have even nearly insinuated that it was somehow Fermilab's fault that there were design issues with the magnet structures, almost as if the mistakes had been intentional.

Perhaps the men and women working in the more news-worthy branches of accelerator physics have to try and defeat each other. My experiences have only ever been constructive and helpful; contemporaries offering knowledge, insight and advice to help my research succeed, rather than breaking the equipment so they can steal the glory.

I hope that /. editors become aware of the slant they have continuously put on the LHC setback stories.

Moo ha ha! (3, Funny)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401519)

I'm getting rather bothered by continuously seeing these /. posts implying that scientists are so non-cooperative. The last few stories about LHC have even nearly insinuated that it was somehow Fermilab's fault that there were design issues with the magnet structures, almost as if the mistakes had been intentional.

The scientists are not to blame. Fermilab has a herd of bison. We fiddled with the magnet structures. We're not so dumb as we look.

Re:Science =/ competition (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401565)

Well, the experiments are competing. Yes there is collaboration.. but it's at the top level and mostly lip service. Fermilab + CERN are friends only as long as they are useful for each other. Drill down a bit where you find the actual experiments, and the competition is quite strong and has been around for years.

It's mostly funding related, whichever experiment produces the results will continue to see money, which means scientists get to keep their job. Within Fermilab, the competition between experiments is mostly a friendly one, but it doesn't change the fact that the competition exists.

Would it ever expand to active sabotage? Of course not. But the rivalry is in fact there.

The slant isn't accidental (1, Flamebait)

doug141 (863552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401917)

I hope that /. editors become aware of the slant they have continuously put on the LHC setback stories.

They BECOME editors to inject their slant, whether about Bush, RIAA, DMCA, capitalism, america, or anything else.

Just how big... (5, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19400961)

... are these large hadrons anyway? Couldn't they have built a small prototype machine for colliding tiny hadrons first, then scaled up when they had got it all sorted out? Idiots!

Re:Just how big... (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401133)

They have. It's called tevatron.

Re:Just how big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401191)

I initially saw that as "how big are these large hardons..."

Re:Just how big... (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401241)

They are particle accelerators...

And yes, they started small and grew bigger and bigger (although I recently read that they found a way to minatiurize the process dramatically by using plasma if I remember correctly).

Re:Just how big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401251)

What's harder? Letting two pianos collide, or two marbles? (Assuming the pianos both have wheels, of course.)

What do you mean it wasn't the Grail??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19400985)

GALAHAD: I seek the Grail! I have seen it, here in this castle!
DINGO: Oh, no. Oh, no! Bad, bad Zoot!
GALAHAD: Well, what is it?
DINGO: Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Zoot! She has been setting alight to our
        beacon, which, I have just remembered, is grail-shaped. It's not the
        first time we've had this problem.
GALAHAD: It's not the real Grail?
DINGO: Oh, wicked, wicked Zoot. Oh, she is a naughty person and she must pay
        the penalty, and here in Castle Anthrax, we have but one punishment for
        setting alight the grail-shaped beacon: you must tie her down on a bed
        and spank her.
GIRLS: A spanking! A spanking!

that'll be great news (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401059)

the next thing to do is to repeat the experiment and verify the result from an independent source. it will only cost 8 billion dollars.

Re: $8,000,000,000 (2, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401611)

Pffft! We could build 2 for the money we are pissing away on the 2012 olympics.

Or, more likely, we could build 1 for $80,000,000,000.

Congratulations to those who stuck it out (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401073)

While many top people set their sites on the LHC, a core of dedicated scientists have stuck by their guns and continued their research at Fermilab. Now they may be having the last laugh.

Commendations for their dedication and hard work!!!

Maybe someone can convince our politicians to continue work at Fermilab instead of shutting it down in the near future.

Re:Congratulations to those who stuck it out (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401651)

heheh, but let's not forget a Fermilab screwup has delayed the LHC, scandalous accusations might be part of the fun

Attention Story Poster... Calling the posterboy (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401117)

lynx -dump http://tinyurl.com/2hfsqq |sed -n '12p'|sed 's/\[//;s/12\]//g'

Re:Attention Story Poster... Calling the posterboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402147)

What?

Lexx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401131)

Kai laughs at the accelerator's Higgs Boson value and dies.

God particle (5, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401153)

Because if this particle exists, and behaves as described, that would mean that you'd find enough energy for a "big bang" in, say, a cubic meter of empty space.

In short, this particle has enough energy for massive events, and it's omnipresent.

Also it decays, meaning that (minute quantities of ...) matter are constantly being created, due to the off chance that a higgs boson would decay into a top and bottom quark and one of the top quarks decays into an electron and a few other things that will combine into a proton and voila ... a hydrogen atom ... out of nowhere. Literally out of nowhere.

Eventually, gravity (in short : by passing through a black hole, yes through, you read correctly), it will recombine into the original higgs boson.

So basically this will reduce "God"'s role in the creation of the universe further back before the big bang, by essentially verifying another prediction by the standard model, which will probably result in the following "creation" facts :
1) the universe has always existed, it neither came into existance, nor will it "ever" end (which is a bogus question anyway, since time only exists INSIDE the universe, it's pointless to ask what was there before the beginning of time, like it's pointless to ask where the moon is on the surface of the earth : it just isn't a location)
2) there are many, many, many big bangs, ours was neither the first, nor will it be the last, a big bang will occur "spontaneously" every x (trillion trillion) years.
3) the reason we haven't heard from people created in other big bangs is simple : it's not possible due to the massive distances involved, which are uncrossable, even by mere (massless) light.

Re:God particle (3, Funny)

HexRei (515117) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401401)

But Jesus and the Bible and Heaven.

mod down - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402003)

Wish i had some mod points to mod this nonsensical nonsense down. Parent seem to have gotten the impression he can teach people physics just because he enjoys skimming through popular science articles now and then. Besides, to call the higgs for 'God particle', is so stupid only a physics professor could have thought it up.

Re:God particle (3, Interesting)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402051)

So basically this will reduce "God"'s role in the creation of the universe further back before the big bang, by essentially verifying another prediction by the standard model, which will probably result in the following "creation" facts :

In such debates, people always miss the deeper question. If you have a spectacularly wonderful description of all the laws of physics which completely describe how the universe was created, then how did those laws of physics come into being?

If you explain that with more laws which create the next set of laws, then how did those laws come into being? Surely it's not turtles all the way down.

Re:God particle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402191)

You have the same exact problem with "God" explanations, as well.

How did the God come into being?

If God were self-existent, why not the Universe? Wouldn't it be more sensible to have a self-existent universe, than a self-existent God, who is by definition separate from the Universe? (by def: if not by def, then why use another term than "Universe" or "Nature"?)

Re:God particle (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402057)

In short, this particle has enough energy for massive events, and it's omnipresent.

Then I guess we should build a bomb out of it before the Iranians/North Koreans/etc do. We've gotta protect ourselves from those people!

Re:God particle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402065)

I'm going to start praying to the Higgs Boson. Praise the almighty god particle! Now we shall worship by performing an integral spin.

Re:God particle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19402187)

I think there is a contradiction in saying first that
> time only exists INSIDE the universe
and then saying that
> big bang will occur "spontaneously" every x (trillion trillion) years.
and
> the reason we haven't heard from people created in other big bangs is simple :
> it's not possible due to the massive distances involved
If you are talking about different universes conected in space and time you are
meaning different parts of a single universe. I am not saying that you cannot
have many big bangs, only that you shouldn't find spatial or time dimensions in
which to relate them - or you shouldn't be talking about universes.

Noooo! (0, Redundant)

Jethro (14165) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401243)

Don't they know that if they find the higgs particle, the entire planet will collapse on itself and end up about the size of a pea??!

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I just saw a really friggin huge dragonfly in my yard.

Particle Accelerators... (1)

midifarm (666278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401273)

A few questions for those in the know... Why is the Tevatron scheduled to shut down in 2009? Couldn't there be more science performed there? What ever happened to the 26 mile radius accelerator that was planned for New Mexico? It seems that a particle accelerator can do more than just find weird particles. $8EU seems extravagant for one tiny little thing. Any thoughts or answers? Peace

Re:Particle Accelerators... (2, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401385)

You mean the SSC which was to be built in Texas, 54 mile circumference and only 15 miles of tunnel bored built before funding pulled in 1993. I worked on part of the design SSC (haha yeah, me and hundreds of other engineers and physicists, my job at Fermilab was a very very minor) Sure, accelerators can be used by schools (indeed Fermilab for example is run by consortium of universities), but they're very very expensive. If standard model is verified there really isn't much more to be learned in high energy physics by bigger accelerators smaller than say half a million light-years in circumference.

Re:Particle Accelerators... (1)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402171)

"If standard model is verified there really isn't much more to be learned in high energy physics by bigger accelerators smaller than say half a million light-years in circumference."

As a curious layman, I have to ask what could be accomplished with an accelerator that big? That's a truly mind-boggling scale.

A lot of reasons for skepticism (2, Informative)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401293)

There's a good wrap-up of this at http://dorigo.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/the-higgs-r umor-spreads-again/ [wordpress.com]

He's been following it since the rumor first surfaced. Imagine how the LHC folks will feel if this turns out to be accurate. Billions spent to search for a particle that is found before their collider is even complete.

New Word? (1)

LoneGNUman (882696) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401603)

Maybe it's a new word???!!! Interesing == Not quite Interesting

"interesing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19401845)

It's spelled "interesting". Notice the "t".

Re:"interesing"? (5, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402149)

The t is very unstable and quickly decays. Therefore it didn't survive long enough to make it to the front page.

Purpose of the LHC (4, Insightful)

sidb (530400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19401897)

The LHC is not being built for the express purpose of finding the Higgs boson. It's being built to find whatever there is to find at very high energies, and the Higgs boson is simply one of the most anticipated possibilities. There are four main detectors around the acceleration ring, and each contains a bewildering array of instrumentation to detect all sorts of things that might occur. Even if Fermilab beats LHC to this particular confirmation, there is plenty of purpose to continuing LHC, contrary to the /. summary's implication.

god particle again? (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19402113)

they are looking for a particle which interacts freely with other particles without rules of the quantum phisics.
Sorry, you will not find it because god is not in the small forces of the universe
anyways if you try a higgs you will find interesting reactions in other points of the same quantum universe
and a very intensive research in mirror points of different universes
which actually completes your small theory of strings, because the atom of hidrogen is not just one, but the precise event of the appearing of the atom, happens in every universe at the same time, which actually contradicts with quantum phisics because, if the atom exists in all universes at the same time, means that the possibility of you looking at the atom and not seeing it, means that the ocurrence of the experiment is what fails, and not the duality of matter, which actually does not exist for all universes, but exists as an application of the small quantum phisics in this very universe were we are getting the experiment done.
logic is applicable for quantum phisics as real as the atom flyes on the emptyness of this very universe.
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