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CERN Scientists Looking for the Force

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the yes-that-force dept.

Sci-Fi 284

An anonymous reader writes "National Geographic has a fascinating article on the God Particle, which can help explain the Standard Model and get us closer to explain the Grand Unified Theory. The obligatory Star Wars-angle summary is even better: 'CERN's scientists, the fine people who brought us the W and Z particles, anti-hydrogen atoms and hyperlinked porn web pages, are now hard at work building the Large Hadron Collider to discover something even cooler: the Force. Yes, that Force. Or like physicists call it, the Higgs boson, a particle that carries a field which interacts with every living or inert matter.'"

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284 comments

Obligatory (5, Funny)

drunken_boxer777 (985820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22520958)

"Use the Large Hadron Collider, Luke."

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521042)

There are two particles involved, differentiated by spin - light and dark.

They will inevitably come to the dark side.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521684)

Proof that light and dark force are like matter and its antimatter: Every time Luke and Darth Vader met, something huge blew up.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

Anonymous Cowtard (573891) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521736)

I wonder how many papers/emails/reports/whatever have been written where a d/r reversal typo has made its way to the final draft.

Re:Obligatory (1)

chissg (948332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521804)

I wonder how many papers/emails/reports/whatever have been written where a d/r reversal typo has made its way to the final draft.
You jest, but I know of one real case where a badly spelled, "hadron.F" (yes, FORTRAN -- really) made it into the CVS repository.

Re:Obligatory (5, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22522026)

I wonder how many papers/emails/reports/whatever have been written where a d/r reversal typo has made its way to the final draft.
At least a few [google.com], it would seem.

What? (0, Offtopic)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22520968)

a particle that carries a field which interacts with every living or inert matter
So basically, gravity?

Re:What? (5, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521072)

No. According to Newton's Law of Gravitation the force of gravitation allows two particles with mass to attract one another.

This doesn't cover all particles.

Re:What? (2)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521174)

Photons aren't supposed to have mass (otherwise they couldn't travel at light speed), so how are they affected by gravity?

Re:What? (4, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521214)

They're affected by curved space due to gravity.

Re:What? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521416)

Space isn't even a particle and doesn't have mass, so why should it curve?

I wonder, does gravity affect space or merely everything in that space? Could we tell the difference?

Re:What? (2, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521480)

Space isn't even a particle and doesn't have mass, so why should it curve? I wonder, does gravity affect space or merely everything in that space? Could we tell the difference?
Yes we can detect the difference: light curves in a gravity well. Also you seem to be confused about curving space. Mass causes space to curve, lots of mass, lots of curvature. The effect of this curving is what we call gravity.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521604)

Unfortunately folks are mixing Newtonian and Einsteinian explanations of gravity. In Newtonian physics, the particles exert attraction on one another, in Einsteinian physics spacial geometry is curved around gravity wells (whether that's an atom, a human or a black hole), and it is that curvature that causes bodies to attract.

Cue the bowling ball on the mattress with the marble moving towards it. That's a reasonable analogy of what goes on.

Then cue quantum mechanics, which takes such a delightful model and tosses it on its head.

Space doesn't curve (2, Informative)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22522056)

Curved spacetime is a mathematical model we use to describe the motion of matter in a gravitational field, it doesn't mean space is physically curved. "Spacetime" doesn't really exist, it's an abstract mathematical concept that combines physical space with the fourth time dimension and that is what physicists use to model gravitational effects.

That's why physicists are so keen on finding a so called "God Particle", because gravity still can't be explained. We can model its effects, but since space doesn't curve some other mechanism must be at work to transfer gravitational force between objects.

IANAP, so if there are any real physicists out there correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:What? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521316)

That description is gravity as described by Newton's universal gravitation. Under general relativity, gravity is a warping of space-time, not a force. In the various incarnations of quantum field theory, gravity is mediated by a (hypothetical) elementary particle called the graviton. It works, put simply, much like the electromagnetic field, which is mediated by virtual photons, but in this case it would be virtual gravitons.

Re:What? (1)

delibes (303485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521424)

Because Newton wasn't quite right, and matter bends space-time which means photons do noticeably bend around really massive objects. Cool.

Re:What? (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521478)

As the other poster mentioned, photons are affected by gravity in as much as they travel through a space-time that is curved by massive objects. So the path of a photon (e.g. light) can be deflected by a gravitational field.

To those who would then say "Aha! So clearly photons do interact with gravity!", it's important to note that photons may be affected by the curvature of spactime, but they don't have mass and thus don't interact gravitationally. For instance, photons cannot attract each other gravitationally (whereas matter does), and a photon won't attract matter gravitationally.

MOD PARENT IGNORANT (0, Troll)

l2718 (514756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521756)

To those who would then say "Aha! So clearly photons do interact with gravity!", it's important to note that photons may be affected by the curvature of spactime, but they don't have mass and thus don't interact gravitationally. For instance, photons cannot attract each other gravitationally (whereas matter does), and a photon won't attract matter gravitationally.

To those don't understand physics: please stay off physics-related discussions

In fact, everything interacts gravitationally, and has a mass (more properly, contributes to the Stress-Energy tensor). Indeed, photons don't have a rest mass; however, by the famous formula $E = mc^2$, they do have mass-energy -- and this mass does interact gravitationally. It is true that, in general, the stress-energy of a single photon is small enough that it will have negligible back-reaction to the curvature of spacetime, but this is not the same as saying that the photon will have no back-reaction at all.

Re:MOD PARENT IGNORANT (4, Funny)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521932)

I know we shouldn't rely on /. for physics advice, but last weekend, on the advice of a misguided commenter, I kicked a deuterium atom down the linear accelerator in my backyard the wrong way, and hoo boy! I won't be hearing the last of that one for awhile.

Photons have mass equivalence (1)

sshore (50665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521892)

For instance, photons cannot attract each other gravitationally (whereas matter does), and a photon won't attract matter gravitationally.

Photons do attract matter gravitationally. It causes the perihelion shift of Mercury, which is one of the tests [wikipedia.org] that lead to wide acceptance of general relativity.

Under general relativity, "spacetime curvature" replaces the "force of gravity" as a paradigm. Photons make their own little divots in spacetime in accordance with the mass equivalence of E=mc^2.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521928)

I thought that light had a dual nature? Waves and particles. Doesn't the photoelectric effect demonstrate that photons have sufficient mass to knock electrons around?

Re:What? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521964)

"For instance, photons cannot attract each other gravitationally (whereas matter does), and a photon won't attract matter gravitationally." What makes you so sure? A photon might attract another photon gravitationally, but the force might be so small compared to other factors. It is ignorant to say with 100% certainty what does and doesn't happen when the top scientists are still trying to figure this stuff out.

Re:What? (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521690)

Photons aren't supposed to have mass (otherwise they couldn't travel at light speed), so how are they affected by gravity?

By having momentum and energy, even if they don't have rest mass, and by living in a world where, it appears, Einsteinian gravity (i.e., general relativity), where it's energy and momentum, rather than just (rest) mass, that matters, rather than Newtonian gravity.

Re:What? (1)

GooRue (611282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521696)

Jumping ahead a couple centuries, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity indicates that even massless particles, e.g. photons, are affected by space-time curvature. See Gravitational Lensing.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521990)

Newton's law is actually neither an explanation of gravity nor is it a particularly good description of it.

It is only an approximation to Einstein's law of gravity. As an example, Newton does not say anything about the speed of propagation of gravity. That is if one of the two particles moved suddenly (by firing a rocket engine for example) how long would it take the other particle to notice. Another problem with Newton's law is it does not describe correctly the attraction between massless particles like photons.

So really the question is what about Einstein's law of gravity? Well it does describe all particles, but has some deficiencies as well. Most notably it does not allow for a quantum description!

So what makes gravity tick?

Re:What? (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521158)

I got troll-modded for saying that a Higgs boson was not gravity? How does that work?

The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. It is the only Standard Model particle not yet observed, but would help explain how otherwise massless elementary particles still manage to construct mass in matter. In particular, it would explain the difference between the massless photon and the relatively massive W and Z bosons. Elementary particle masses, and the differences between electromagnetism (caused by the photon) and the weak force (caused by the W and Z bosons), are critical to many aspects of the structure of microscopic (and hence macroscopic) matter; thus, if it exists, the Higgs boson has an enormous effect on the world around us.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521222)

I got troll-modded for saying that a Higgs boson was not gravity? How does that work?
The Real WTF is that you also got an "Informative" for it.

Re:What? (4, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521246)

Well, to people who think that a Higgs boson is gravity, I guess it is informative. For everyone else, it's sort of like saying "a watermelon is NOT a puppy dog".

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521440)

For everyone else, it's sort of like saying "a watermelon is NOT a puppy dog".

For real? Whoa... MOD PARENT UP +1 INFORMATIVE!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521372)

I got troll-modded for saying that a Higgs boson was not gravity?
As this is slashdot, your comment most be pre-approved by the RNC, Pat Robertson, or the crack-smoking monkeys called libertarians. And we don't approve anyone who has the appropriate background to comment on matters relating to particle physics.

Re:What? (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521190)

You're along the right track....sort-of.

It's a good deal above my head as an undergrad, but I do understand that the Higgs boson is somehow involved in giving rise to the nature of all other particles [wikipedia.org].

Brian Greene explains it pretty well in layman's terms in his book, The Elegant Universe.

Re:What? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521446)

Ah, but the Higgs boson would not exist without Alan W. Livingston (The Alan Livingst-on particle?), who was responsible for the creation of all Bozons [wikipedia.org]

Re:What? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521618)

not directly, space can "bend" and light traveling straight through curved space will curve as well. secondly, photons, the particles that light is composed of has a rest mass of zero although because light carries energy and energy has mass light also has a mass because of the energy it is carrying.

It's much weirder than Star Wars (4, Informative)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521910)

So basically, gravity?
No. The Higgs Boson is a particle that's needed in the Standard Model to explain why certain Bosons (the W and Z) are massive, while others (the Photon) are not, although they all unite to a common field (the Electroweak interaction) at high energies. Some people call the Higgs the "mass giver". I personally never liked that name because it suggests that this Boson somehow carries mass from one place to another, which it does not. It's simply one Eigenstate of the Model after symmetry-breaking that really has to be out there if Electroweak Unification (and thus the Standard Model) are to make sense. If there were no Higgs, all the Bosonic modes of the Electroweak field would have to be massless (so-called "Goldstone Modes"). If this was the case, the Weak Force (which is mediated by the Ws and Zs) would have infinite range, just like the Electromagnetic Field (which is mediated by the remaining mode, the Photon), and that would really mess this Universe up.

But this all has nothing to do with Gravity in the sense of "things attracting each other due to their mass", or rather "mass curving space-time". The Standard Model does not incorporate Gravity in the picture (that's why it's called the Standard Model of Particle Physics, not Physics as a whole). The theory for this force is (still!) called "General Relativity". Despite a lot of really intelligent people (no self-compliments here, I have stopped working in the field as I felt way too stupid for it) trying really hard, we still don't have a generally accepted theory for how Gravity and the other, (quantum) theories can be combined in a principled manner. CERN might help a lot with this but, ultimately, we might have to wait till the big crunch, if it ever comes, to see how all those fields really unite.

But really people, why do we need Star Wars to make this sound cool? This is an amazing universe of ours. It doesn't need George Lucas to make Light and Magic.

That's all fine and good... (4, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22520992)

...but shouldn't they be focusing on something much more worthwhile?

Like a working model of a lightsabre. Now that'd be really cool...

Re:That's all fine and good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521906)

like creating a magnetic field shaper to suspend nanoprisms and thus give a high energy laser a sword shape ?
( nuclear reactor not included )

Here's a question: what if it's not there? (-1, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521006)

What if they piss billions of dollars into this machine and there is no Higgs Boson.

Does that mean There Is No God?

Good grief - theists are such asshats.

RS

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521100)

If there is no Higgs Boson, oh well...the collider has many other uses that can help move our scientific development along.

Christ I sounded like a politician right there...but it's true.

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (4, Informative)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521300)

Parent pretty much sums up particle physics, and why people don't get it.

If they don't find a Higgs boson, they're still stepping into a massive new range of collision energy. I think the LHC will produce collisions with a total energy of 14TeV (I haven't read about this for a while).

This step up allows all sorts of other interesting experiments to be run too.

Not to mention, GP smells a little under-the-bridge. But so does every post related to religion on slashdot.

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (2, Funny)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521354)

are you suggesting perchance to use politicians in the collider similar to the Superconducting Kitty Collider?

I could get behind that...

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521412)

I think we should put a little flag in there with a picture of Hello Kitty on it, and make it a game. The flying politicos have to try to grab it as they go hurtling around.

The flag will be pink, naturally...

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (2, Funny)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521564)

I prefer the idea of smashing politicians into each other to see if the resultant collision creates an honest politician (the equivalent of antimatter).

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521702)

I think you're a little confused. The large hardon collider won't work properly if you're behind it - you want the large black hole collider, next door.

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521820)

The large hardon collider

So that's why the Web (another CERN invention) is used to collect pr0n!!!!

That would be incredible. (5, Interesting)

Dopamine, Redacted (1244524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521832)

The most incredible thing anyone could hope for is that the higgs boson isn't there.

No higgs boson would be utterly incredible.

No higgs boson would be like the sudden realization that there's no aether. When we had to swallow that one, the result was special relativity and the whole world changed.

After all, the whole concept of the higgs is a scalar field permeating the whole universe giving things inertial mass. That field quantizes into these little happy things called Higgs Bosons, which, if Higgs was right, ought to be producible like any other particle by pumping enough energy into a small enough space enough times for the odds to be in the experimenter's favor. The fact that you ought to be able to make a higgs boson (and, to be cruely explicit, watch it decay in a rather unique way that leaves little doubt that what decayed was a higgs) is a prediction that's almost something of a side-effect of the existence of the higgs.

Higgs seems a lot like the logic of aether applied to the problem of inertia, at a high level. Aether, if you recall, was some stuff permeating the universe through which light travels as waves, giving it its observed properties.

Higgs plugs a hole in the standard model, that of inertia, that happens to also come from the same fundamental something (mass) that results in gravity. Higgs lets us just sort of ignore the whole inertial mass = gravitational mass thing and therefore not worry about annoying things like relativistic quantum gravity, which is enough to give anyone enough of a headache to be unable to apply enough duct tape to make it work (renormalize the infinities away). It also doesn't hurt that the energy levels we're playing with still leave gravity a pretty meaningless force, in terms of the magnitude of its effect on the actual behavior of particles.

If higgs isn't there, there's a lot of work to do in the standard model again. There would be answers we don't have, and some of those answers could very well go to the very nature of inertia and gravity itself. That would mean physicists can stop playing with toy models of 11-dimensional energy spaghetti branes (I'm not a fan of M theory just yet) and get back to some real work that's testable in the real world with a real supercollider, which we just happen to have build, called the Large Hadron Collider.

Right now, to make physicists deal with the holes in the standard model, without going straight to energy spaghetti branes, one has to bring up something annoying like neutrino oscillation. No higgs would be a field day.

No higgs would make the LHC immediately worth every cent, and woth every politician some physicist had to give head to to make it a funded reality.

I hope the Higgs boson isn't real.

Re:Here's a question: what if it's not there? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521858)

No experiment that tests a solid theory is a waste. If there's no Higgs Boson, there is no Higgs Boson. But then we have proof that there is none.

We're currently in the "godlike state". We believe there is one. We have some pointers leading us to believe there is one, just like the humans of all times had pointers leading them to think there is a God (or Gods, depending on your faith). The difference is, science has the means to verify or falsify its theories. Whether you can ever proof that there is a God or there is none, well, kinda hard to say. God doesn't offer a test for his existance, so you have to stay in your state of belief.

Science offers you a way to test its theories. You might not be able yet to test them because you need tools that cannot be built yet, but once you build them (and they now did), you have a test, and you can find out whether the theory holds its water or whether you can toss it out and work up something else.

That is what science is about.

The keeps of the force will use the force to stop. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521008)

The keeps of the force will use the force to stop it form being know and the MIB, SGC, HWS, CIA, NSA, FBI, MI6, M12 and others will cover it up.

Atheism (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521010)

I don't believe in the God Particle. ...you knew that was coming.

Re:Atheism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521396)

But how fast can you collide your large hardon?

Oblig. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521030)

It's in the Midichlorians reference.

Midichlorians don't explain the force (2, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521526)

The force was so much more in ep 4,5,6. Why did they have to screw it up with Midichlorians? It's more like an invisible link between all living and intert objects just like the summary says. How do you think Yoda lifted that rock?

Re:Midichlorians don't explain the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521554)

The force was so much more in ep 4,5,6. Why did they have to screw it up with Midichlorians? It's more like an invisible link between all living and intert objects just like the summary says. How do you think Yoda lifted that rock?
Why did they separate living from inert particles? Is the philosophical concept of 'magic meat' so widespread in our society that we need to describe scientific theories as dually operating on inert and living matter?

I misread that. (2, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521068)

"...and hyperlinked porn web pages, are now hard at work building the Large Hadron Collider..."

Hadron...

Dammit, too much time on Slashdot

Re:I misread that. (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521220)

Sometimes I wish I too was dyslectic. The things I miss out on.

Re:I misread that. (0, Offtopic)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521462)

I spent years thinking Evian water was Naive water...That was back when bottled water was weird, so I was surprised that a company would so obviously insult their customers. Very punk rock.

I was quite disappointed when I found out the truth.

But you are... (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22522004)

Sometimes I wish I too was dyslectic

Well, it's dyslexic... Or is that a simple misspelling, different from dyslexia?

Experimental particle physics sounds like fun... (4, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521116)

From a linked article:

That's the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.

and you get to do it with really expensive, shiny toys :)

proper translation (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521188)

hard at work, CERN's scientists are now
the Large Hadron Collider, they are building
brought us the W and Z particles, the fine people did
anti-hydrogen atoms and hyperlinked porn web pages, they brought us as well, they did
to discover something even cooler, they are
the Force, it is
that Force, yes, it is
carries a field, it does, the particle
interacts with every living or inert matter, it does
the Higgs boson, it is
call it so, physicists do

Re:proper translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521686)

Hmm
the little green thing, you like dont you?

Grand Unified Theory (5, Interesting)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521204)

If they are to find "Grand Unified Theory" I wander if it contains not only "The Function" that explains all interactions in universe but more importantly, why is function evaluated at all and how it is evaluated. Is it possible that any mathematical function can evaluate itself, and if not, is there any other explanation? That would be perhaps more interesting answer then The Function itself.

Re:Grand Unified Theory (5, Funny)

user317 (656027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521284)

If they are to find "Grand Unified Theory" I wander if it contains not only "The Function" that explains all interactions in universe but more importantly, why is function evaluated at all and how it is evaluated. Is it possible that any mathematical function can evaluate itself, and if not, is there any other explanation? That would be perhaps more interesting answer then The Function itself.
Unfortunately its lazy evaluated, so we'll never know.

Well, good bye little blue planet ... (3, Funny)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521238)

Argh, don't these guys watch TV?, the entire planet will be reduced to the size of a pea once the mass of the Higgs boson is known ....

(for the mods, its a reference to the scifi show Lexx ...)

mitichlorians (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521258)

I want counts for each reasearcher. How strong are they in the Higgs Boson?

Re:mitichlorians (0, Troll)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521448)

Especially the female researchers. I'd love to spray my Higgs particles all over their lovely Bosons.

Re:mitichlorians (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521930)

Took quite a while 'til someone made this lame joke. Though I was more waiting for something akin to "What? They get tons of money and toys to play with Mrs. Higgs' WHAT?"

such a thing as "overpopularising" science (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521276)

The Force

Oh dear. This is just increasing the number of people who thing that Star Trek is real. I realise that they're merely out to sell copy, but you'd hope that National Geographic would retain some sense of integrity.

Re:such a thing as "overpopularising" science (2, Insightful)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521382)

Perhaps so. Another way of looking at it is that they're trying to explain the article in such a way that allows more individuals - and motivates more individuals - to actually take an interest in, and have a chance of understanding this.

Also, from what I understand from reading the articles, technically they are correct (if a little simplistic). Both affect all particles, living or inert.

Re:such a thing as "overpopularising" science (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521550)

Who cares, I just want to see Spock and Yoda in a lightsaber battle.

Not to be one to pick a nit (especially this geeky a nit), but Star Trek science is bad, but Star Wars science is non-existent. Popularizing science using Star Wars is like popularizing science using Pokemon.

Re:such a thing as "overpopularising" science (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521962)

Not a chance. At least if Lucas directs it, they'll probably start to engage in a battle of "wits" for half an hour, only to fall in love with each other afterwards.

In Other (Real) News (5, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521318)

SciAm, Discover and Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log on MSNBC have all covered CERN's history and present project(s; there's two different Higgs experiments being built), and managed to do so without the silly-assed references to God particles, The Force and Star Wars. Is it too much to hope for that /. will someday stop putting out stuff written for adolescent mentalities and tastes? Probably so, since it's getting worse instead of better.

Re:In Other (Real) News (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521662)

The Force and Star Wars. Is it too much to hope for that /. will someday stop putting out stuff written for adolescent mentalities and tastes? Probably so, since it's getting worse instead of better.
Or maybe its because when we joined /. that we were (and likely still are) adolescents with mentalities and tastes?

Re:In Other (Real) News (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521842)

Or maybe its because when we joined /. that we were (and likely still are) adolescents with mentalities and tastes?

We go to Digg [digg.com] for that.

Re:In Other (Real) News (0, Offtopic)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22522030)

Digg: Get dugg up for making explicit reference to boobies.

Slashdot: Get modded up for making obscure reference to boobies.

Large Hadron Collider (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521406)

You really can't mention porn and then expect people to read Large Hadron Collider as anything but Large Hardon Collider.

What the hell is a Higgs Boson?? (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521456)

Or like physicists call it, the Higgs boson, a particle that carries a field which interacts with every living or inert matter.
Pfft, physicists and they're obtuse vernacular can suck it. We all know from Episode 1 that they're called midichlorians!

Bugger (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521492)

Yes, I know, "their" not "they're". It's friday, it's 5:30 and I have to work this weekend, so grammar nazis can all go swing.

Re:What the hell is a Higgs Boson?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22521716)

Man, it is very simple and it is a Friday night. See the High Bosoms provide a Large Hard-on Collider where you can eject your God Particles...

Spammers have found CERN (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521466)

The spammers are cashing in on the buzz around this project: I've been getting V!@9r@ spam for "Large Hard-On Provider"

Good Test For Heim Theory... (1, Interesting)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521498)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory#Theory [wikipedia.org]

Empirical confirmation of supersymmetry (for example detecting the hypothetical Lightest Supersymmetric Particle or any other particle predicted by the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model) would falsify all existing versions of Heim theory, which are mutually exclusive with supersymmetry. Also, it is not certain whether Heim theory would be able to accommodate the existence of the Higgs boson, the only undiscovered particle expected in the Standard Model, and one which has not been predicted by the published versions of the Heim mass formula. Heim theory is said to be a Higgs-less theory as it is not dependent on the Higgs mechanism for the concept of mass. The ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider are likely to discover the Higgs boson in the next several years, if it exists.

I dare to say (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521748)

...slow news day.

Zen Buddhists "knew", or rather *experienced* such things twenty five centuries ago, and they weren't first either.

But such experience is not considered a valid scientific method, so...

Re:I dare to say (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22521992)

Zen Buddhists "knew", or rather *experienced* such things twenty five centuries ago, and they weren't first either.

They knew, or rather *experienced*, that mass was due to spontaneous breaking of electroweak gauge symmetry by a scalar field?

(Hint: there's a lot more to this than "woo woo, there's something out there that interacts with everything". That's why some people are irritated by the Gizmodo quote in question.)

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