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Higgs boson: so what?

Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆ 2012/07/07 18:01:21
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Three days ago the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced some data they actually gathered in December of last year. They found
a new subatomic particle, and they think they might at last have the
Higgs boson. The news has excited most laypeople and many scientists.
But no one seems able to say what the Higgs boson is, or what finding it
really means.


Higgs boson according to CERN

The staff of CERN announced their find at CERN’s offices in Geneva, Switzerland. They did not say that they had the Higgs boson, but only that they had something like it. Whatever they have is more than a blip on a tracing:


We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV.


“Five sigma,” in statistics, is almost an ironclad guarantee.
Scientists describe subatomic particles, not by their weight, but by
their energy; hence “126 GeV.” That makes it 126 times as heavy as a
proton, and the heaviest subatomic particle anyone has found so far.


The data come from two sets of experiments on the Large Hadron
Collider, the largest atom-smasher in the world. The names of those
experiments are ATLAS and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid).


The Standard Model


Large Hadron Collider. Has it found the Higgs boson?

A
section of the Large Hadron Collider. Photo: User “solarnu”
(Flickr.com); Creative Commons Attribution/Non-Derivative 2.0 Generic
License.


Why does the Higgs boson matter? Theoretical physicists try to explain all of physics in terms of certain fundamental particles of matter. They have a theory, the Standard Model of Particle Physics,
to explain how all the particles they have seen, work together and
combine. Protons, neutrons, and electrons can explain chemistry and
electricity. But much smaller particles make up each of these three.
Bosons are a special case. They each carry one of the elementary forces
of physics. Specifically, W and Z bosons carry the “weak force.”
Photons carry electromagnetism. “Gluons” carry the “strong force.” (The
Standard Model has no boson to carry gravity. A particle like that would
have no mass, and would travel at the speed of light.)


The problem: one type of particle is missing. That particle
is the Higgs boson. The W and Z bosons cannot exist without it. For that
matter, neither can anything else. The Higgs boson, according to this
theory, is the source of mass.


Higgs boson hype

The newspapers, magazines, and TV channels have played up the Higgs
boson for all it’s worth. More stunningly, several scientists, in and
out of CERN, seem almost giddy with their excitement. The National Post
(Canada) quotes two scientists at CERN talking about understanding “dark matter
and even traveling at the speed of light. (If one could somehow “switch
off” the Higgs, then an object would weigh nothing and could easily
reach the speed of light and stay there.)


Just one catch: the Standard Model says nothing about dark matter, or
about canceling out the mass of the Higgs boson, or what that would do
to the larger object.


The Wall Street Journal broke from its usual level-headed policy. It carried this piece that called the Higgs boson “the spark that caused the Big Bang.”


The Los Angeles Times talked about US scientists being jealous of CERN. Why? Because CERN has the LHC, and Congress refused to build the Texas Superconducting Super-Collider.


The Daily Telegraph (London) interviewed Peter Higgs, who said forty years ago that such a particle must exist. Now that CERN has found it (maybe), even he admits: he has no idea what it’s for, or how to use it. At least he’s honest.


So What?

In fact, nothing in particle physics says, or implies, that without
the Higgs boson, the Big Bang could not happen. Then again, nothing says
that it could happen. This is another heavy particle, nothing more. And no matter what anyone says, the Higgs boson cannot prove anything about how the universe came about. No one can prove anything in science. One can only disprove something. CERN has shown one thing only: the Standard Model still holds. So far.


Thomas Fleming, in The Daily Mail (London), finally
gave the proper perspective. He scathingly accused the “press lords who
tell us what to think” of having a hidden goal. That goal: to make God
unnecessary. (He has a point. Lawrence Krauss, at the University of
Arizona, now calls the Higgs boson the “Godless particle.”) Nor does this stop with the quest for the Higgs boson:


The US government is actually spending billions upon
billions of dollars looking for extraterrestrial life forms, and why?
Because they think that the discovery of a virus on Mars will prove that
man is not special and there is no God. There must be a cheaper way,
some deity-destroying pill we could all take. I feel sure there is
government money for such a program.


My biologist friends use to tell me that there is no mystery about
how life originated on earth. After all, given infinite time and an
infinite variety of circumstances,anything can happen. This is an
insincere argument, since it is precisely the scientists who have
limited both the time and the circumstances in which life might have
originated. Nobel laureate Francis Crick was honest enough to see the
thing was impossible, which is why he put forward the hypothesis that
life is alien on earth, having arrived by way of spores from outer
space. This conveniently gets us back to infinite time and
circumstances, but it is really a confession of failure.


Right again, though Fleming oversimplified the case. Francis Crick did give up on abiogenesis (life from non-life). He knew that DNA had far too much information for that. So he and Leslie H. Orgel came up with directed panspermia.
According to them, aliens, either in this Galaxy or in another, fired a
brace of missiles, each laden with bacteria and blue-green algae, in
all directions from their dying home world. One crashed on Earth, and we
are the by-product. That concept found its way into two popular
science-fiction franchises on television:


  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (“The Progenitors”)
  • Babylon Five (“The Old Ones”)

Fleming ends by quoting William Blake, who threw back in their faces the mockery of François Arouet de Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau, and of even earlier philosophers:


The Atoms of Democritus

And Newton’s Particles of Light

Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,

Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright


So all right. What does the Higgs boson matter?

Read More: http://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2012/07/06...

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Top Opinion

  • SK-pro impeachment 2012/07/07 18:24:57
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    SK-pro impeachment
    +9
    Even if they do find something they still have to prove how it came into existence and no evilutionist has proven anything of the sort in it's fairy tale science. Still asking the question: How does something come from nothing without a Maker??????

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  • Jon Bergen 2012/08/20 11:32:03
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    Jon Bergen


    Except the discovery of the boson doesn't prove anything one way or the other about God. It proves the Standard Model of particle physics is correct (so far) and shows how mass is conferred on other particles via the Higgs field. God really has nothing to do with what this discovery is about.

    It is a very cool discovery, though, and may possibly open the door at last to what physicists have long been waiting for: so-called 'new physics.' The theory of Supersymmetry, proposed as an extension of our knowledge of physics, is waiting in the wings now, to either be discounted, confirmed, or modified. The Higgs boson is a physics milestone.

    https://images.nonexiste.net/...
  • ruthannhausman 2012/07/16 21:31:10
    Higgs boson? What's that?
    ruthannhausman
    +1
    Thank you for the posting here, it was very interesting. And it further strengthened my happiness at having not chosen physics as my career choice. Hah! While indeed interesting, I have to admit I have a huge headache just scanning the article. I'm going to save it and read it more carefully again, but only after a nice, long rest!
  • Uranos7 2012/07/09 19:13:25
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    Uranos7
    +1
    Amazing discovery considering even Stephen Hawkings was betting against it.
    It does not prove or disprove God nor was that the scientist intention, they are just taking things apart to figure out how things work.
  • ★Calliope★ 2012/07/09 16:13:46
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    ★Calliope★
    +1
    Doesn't have a thing to do with proving God or disproving God.

    Thank GOD, I don't need any proof.
  • Radical Ed 2012/07/09 08:04:02
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    Radical Ed
    An amazing discovery that will probably have major implications in the future.
  • Mandy 2012/07/09 02:32:07
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    Mandy
    +1
    Why are religious people so defensive when it comes to science? Why must they attribute ulterior motives to the pursuit of knowledge? Science has done more for the human race than any other field. It's a process that should be embraced and celebrated.
  • ★Calliope★ Mandy 2012/07/09 16:12:33
    ★Calliope★
    +1
    Because those that relish dismantling all religions of the world laud this as PROOF there is no God.

    That's the only reason.

    A lot of folks believe religion and science cannot co-exist. It's hogwash. The Jesuits are some of the most pre-eminent scientists. As are religious of many sect. Science and religion are not enemies. They can thrive together.
  • Mandy ★Calliope★ 2012/07/09 18:36:27
    Mandy
    I don't know anyone who thinks the Higgs boson would be proof there is no god. I do know a lot of insecure religious people who get very defensive about science because they're afraid science will disprove their religious claims.
  • ★Calliope★ Mandy 2012/07/09 20:57:06 (edited)
    ★Calliope★
    +1
    Oo.

    Then you obviously haven't read through this thread.
    http://www.sodahead.com/livin...
  • Mandy ★Calliope★ 2012/07/09 22:47:09
    Mandy
    +1
    No, I don't read through every thread on sodahead.
  • Temlako... Mandy 2012/07/09 22:49:19
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +1
    Well, maybe you don't know anyone personally who thinks that way. But I've read the words of them who do.
  • Mandy Temlako... 2012/07/09 22:51:53
    Mandy
    +1
    Well if this particle would explain how creation came to be as a purely natural phenomena, then I guess they'd have a point. I don't care either way. But I think the search for that knowledge is awesome, and I'll follow the evidence wherever it leads.
  • Temlako... Mandy 2012/07/09 22:53:59
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +1
    It can't do that, because it cannot put the probability of the Null Hypothesis within the realm of acceptability.
  • Mandy Temlako... 2012/07/09 23:04:19
    Mandy
    +1
    I guess we'll just have to see what happens.
  • goblue1968 2012/07/09 00:01:00
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    goblue1968
    +2
    Finally, a natural entity which provides the explanation of how mass is created from non-mass, therefore, no god is necessary to create any physical mass.
  • ★Calliope★ goblue1968 2012/07/09 16:13:08
    ★Calliope★
    +2
    No proof. It's just you hoping.
  • goblue1968 ★Calliope★ 2012/07/12 22:01:21
    goblue1968
    I didn't say it was proof, I said it was the explanation of creation. That then leads to a logical theory that creation does not require any kind of god. There is now a scientific verification of a mechanism that does it.
  • ★Calliope★ goblue1968 2012/07/13 02:59:57
    ★Calliope★
    +1
    No there isn't. No proof. No nothing. Just one more theory.

    But if it makes you feel better and all superior - go for it.
  • goblue1968 ★Calliope★ 2012/07/16 16:50:18 (edited)
    goblue1968
    I do not understand your reply. What I stated in my last post is inarguable. But if you had bothered to read my last post, I stated that it was not "proof". So then, what is your specific debatable rebuttal to the actual fact that the Higgs particle explains creation of mass without the need for some other imaginary guy? Making me "feel better and all superior" has nothing to do with the observable discoveries which modern beings recognize that explain what we observe now without having to believe in old-fashioned superstitions and fables.
  • ★Calliope★ goblue1968 2012/07/16 20:18:16
    ★Calliope★
    +2
    I did read your last post so please don't start that crap.

    "There is now a scientific verification of a mechanism that does it." what is verification if not proof? Scientific proof is indeed 'verification'. Verification is more formal 'proof'. So I don't understand your contradiction.

    If you do not have an atheist agenda, as in disdaining all of those that believe in God - fine and dandy.

    If you wish to score points off others - mainly believers - and use this exactly to do so - well, count me out.

    It's very easy.

    I don't try and change folks one way or the other.
  • goblue1968 ★Calliope★ 2012/07/16 23:37:03
    goblue1968
    The response indicates that you are one of those who misunderstands science. We scientists are always searching for more information about what we have observed. That entails continual observation to "prove" or usually, disprove what has been proposed before. The Higgs particle has provided the most basic explanation for creation which does not have to fall back upon the superstitious imagination that previous generations of humanity have had to invent. I don't really care if you want to believe it or not, but that is what science does--explains what we observe. We know that there is much more to be discovered, but we at least don't delude ourselves about some imaginary old guy who actually gives a crap about each of the humans trying to survive on this earth.

    So, in conclusion, I'm not trying to "change folks one way or the other", as you stated it, but just provide logical education to those who are willing to learn about actual facts instead of clinging to the superstitions that they were brought up to believe.
  • ★Calliope★ goblue1968 2012/07/17 01:38:44
    ★Calliope★
    +1
    And WHO didn't read what I wrote? If you did - you managed to miss a word, same word twice, in fact.

    IF IF IF IF IF

    "IF you do not have an atheist agenda, as in disdaining all of those that believe in God - fine and dandy.

    IF you wish to score points off others - mainly believers - and use this exactly to do so - well, count me out. "

    And yet - you obviously disdain folks - calling their beliefs superstitions. You make me tired. You can't see your own words for what they are. You definitely are of the 'score points off others' ilk.

    You've succeeded in proving my first impression correct, no matter how refreshing I would have found being wrong. You do not understand there is room in science for God, and/or for honest respect for another's belief. The bottom line is that you don't know. NO ONE DOES. Some of the most preeminent minds in science have been religious. The Jesuits and the Catholic Church embrace science. But that doesn't 'fit' the atheist agenda does it? Much easier and more profound and ego-boosting to an evangelical atheist to call folks names and disdain their beliefs calling said beliefs 'superstitions'.

    This is really pointless. SSDD. I won't engage you further. Too typically boring and senseless.
  • goblue1968 ★Calliope★ 2012/07/25 01:54:10
    goblue1968
    +1
    I have not opened my SodaHead blog for over a week, so now I am reading your reply to me on July 24. First of all, I am an old guy (66 yrs.), so I don't recognize common "texting" abbreviations. What does SSDD mean? (I honestly don't know, and I tried for just a few seconds to try to "get it"-it's not in my limited texting vocabulary that my grandkids have tried to teach me to comprehend)

    To continue, I am trying to understand your insistance upon the use of the word "IF". I went back to re-read the previous postings so I could reply to you in as sensible manner as we scientists can towards ideas that most people were raised to believe without firm confirmation. I do not see anywhere in my posts above where I had
    disdained people who cling to their superstitious beliefs. I only continue to adhere to those facts about the Universe which we scientists have been able to confirm as actual reality, so far. There is so much more to be discovered, and we are fully willing to accept that which we observe of our reality as we proceed through the discovery process. If "GOD" wants to knock us scientists upon the side of our heads during this endeavor, he has had ample opportunity to do so within the past couple of centuries of scientific progress. If he would only hurry up that proc...
    I have not opened my SodaHead blog for over a week, so now I am reading your reply to me on July 24. First of all, I am an old guy (66 yrs.), so I don't recognize common "texting" abbreviations. What does SSDD mean? (I honestly don't know, and I tried for just a few seconds to try to "get it"-it's not in my limited texting vocabulary that my grandkids have tried to teach me to comprehend)

    To continue, I am trying to understand your insistance upon the use of the word "IF". I went back to re-read the previous postings so I could reply to you in as sensible manner as we scientists can towards ideas that most people were raised to believe without firm confirmation. I do not see anywhere in my posts above where I had
    disdained people who cling to their superstitious beliefs. I only continue to adhere to those facts about the Universe which we scientists have been able to confirm as actual reality, so far. There is so much more to be discovered, and we are fully willing to accept that which we observe of our reality as we proceed through the discovery process. If "GOD" wants to knock us scientists upon the side of our heads during this endeavor, he has had ample opportunity to do so within the past couple of centuries of scientific progress. If he would only hurry up that process, we would all very much appreciate it!! Otherwise, the "god" concept is still relegated to the realm of manmade concepts (were you ever exposed to previous mythologies, e.g., Greek, Roman, Norse, etc.? I was, during my younger, more impressionable years0.
    (more)
  • Temlako... goblue1968 2012/07/25 01:55:58
    Temlakos~POTL~PWCM~JLA~☆
    +1
    It means roughly "the same stuff (of doubtful usefulness) on a different day." I decline to be as graphic as the abbreviation calls for.
  • reaper 2012/07/08 21:12:49
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    reaper
    +1
    does anyone else find this just as exciting as I do? getting closer to figuring out the origin of our universe.
  • NarcolepticGoat 2012/07/08 15:49:56
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    NarcolepticGoat
    +1
    Well not just ANY other... Stephen Hawking lost 100 bucks on it
  • beavith1 2012/07/08 15:17:21
    Higgs boson? What's that?
    beavith1
    +3
    it ties together our deeper understanding of our physical world and offers support for our current hypothesis as to what 'mass' is.

    its about as important as the discovery of the neutron, electron or proton.
  • harry 2012/07/08 15:03:44
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    harry
    +1
    In the standard model of particle physics, the existence of the Higgs boson explains how spontaneous breaking of electroweak symmetry takes place in nature.

    The CERN Experiment shows that something can envolve from nothing!

    2 Protons ( part of an atom) collide at near speed of light and generate an explosion that basically generates a energy field with similar magnetic fields as our entire universe.

    The glue that holds all together, similar to water, for creatures and objects..

    Without it - there would be no existence.

    To be absolutely sure that physicists made this true new discovery, rather than simply seen a fluke, physicists wait for enough data so that their statistics reach a level called 5 sigma, meaning that there is only a one in 3.5 million chance the signal isn't real.

    Nothing to do with god or religion. Its pure science. Future calculations may have less of an unknown, or less variations for any explanation, if something is different then it really is.
  • All American 2012/07/08 14:37:16 (edited)
    At last we can show that we're nothing special and there is no God.
    All American
    I don't know about you all, but my life is now complete. Later, Gator.
  • Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA 2012/07/08 14:22:00
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    Torchmanner ~PWCM~JLA
    Some people try so hard to discredit the belief of the founders and the majority of the people in this country. They also spend truck loads of money to find space men and UFOs.

    Talk about fantasy.
  • reaper Torchma... 2012/07/08 21:14:23
    reaper
    Talk about fantasy... the irony.
  • ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/07/08 12:56:56
    Meh! Just another subatomic particle.
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    +1
    Somewhere, God is shaking his head, waiting.
  • StupidG... ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/07/08 13:52:32
    StupidGreedyRightWingButtKisser
    +1
    waiting for what? why would god care if we found one of his particles? I don't get it.
  • ģhøṡτ øώl StupidG... 2012/07/08 13:57:52
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    Haughty lust for knowledge. Man won't be contented. They'll create a black hole and swallow the Earth up or end up creating a virus or something of the sort that wipes us all out. Human Beings just don't know when to quit or accept things for what they are, ergo they will push things too far. It's in their nature to destroy themselves. I want no part of it.
  • reaper ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/07/08 21:15:11
    reaper
    so we should just remain stupid?
  • ģhøṡτ øώl reaper 2012/07/09 12:47:10
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    You call it stupid. (SIGH) That in and of itself.... What a paradox. There is a point with EVERYTHING where it has gone TOO far. REFUSING to acquire the wisdom to SEE that plainly is Humankind's biggest fault. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps there are things that the human brain in it's known state CANNOT process? Perhaps this life is a test to see if you qualify to use your brain at 100% capacity and THEN be given all the answers? But, I suppose you may be one of those that think that those types of questions are fatuous and nonsensical. Modern religious practices have turned OFF huge parts of the populous while programming the other to a certain way of thinking. BOTH are wrong in their own ways.
  • reaper ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/07/09 17:35:40
    reaper
    i don't know, you seem to me you don't like the LHC and want it taken apart.
  • ģhøṡτ øώl reaper 2012/07/10 12:51:41
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    Not necessarily. The implications of it are intimidating (in Man's hands), and I believe modern science to be a haughty, unrestrained institution. They care more about "Look what we did" rather than "How can we help?". I just see it as a big step towards our impending, ultimate destruction. And anyone who can't draw that parallel from it would be wise to stray from such conversations.

    **Also remember this: Just like any other branch of work, scientists MUST substantiate (or give validity) to the money they are given to do research. And it's not like scientists just have some "Golden Code of Ethics" that no one else has. They are just like everyone else and have a distinct tendency to fabricate results in order to lend credence to their cause. I'm not saying that is what they have done in this instance with the Higgs boson, but it happens ALL the time.
  • reaper ģhøṡτ øώl 2012/07/10 20:10:45
    reaper
    yeah, i'm kind of the "look what I can do" type of person myself. I don't like to limit myself
  • ģhøṡτ øώl reaper 2012/07/13 12:07:36
    ģhøṡτ øώl
    Vanity. Egotism. Two foul human characteristics that will eventually weed out the individuals plagued by them... Or destroy everything.

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