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← LHC: Higgs boson 'may have been glimpsed'

LHC: Higgs boson 'may have been glimpsed' - Comments

andersemil's Avatar Comment 1 by andersemil

May have?! We want the freak in handcuffs for questioning!

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 15:03:52 UTC | #898608

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 2 by KenChimp

Comment 1 by andersemil :

May have?! We want the freak in handcuffs for questioning!

chimp cackle

I agree. Although when the scientific community says "may have" their evidence is quite a bit stronger than when there's a "reported" Bigfoot/alien/ghost sighting.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 15:39:18 UTC | #898616

Philster61's Avatar Comment 3 by Philster61

One can only wonder at the technology they get to see everyday.....

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 16:10:35 UTC | #898623

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 4 by Schrodinger's Cat

The particle is purported to be the means by which everything in the Universe obtains its mass.

Surely the best place to look for the Higgs Boson would be fast food outlets.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 16:16:15 UTC | #898626

paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 5 by paulmcuk

Have they looked behind the fridge?

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 17:18:25 UTC | #898648

JeremyW's Avatar Comment 6 by JeremyW

Related:

Way to go, Leon Lederman.

It would certainly be nice if the mainstream media would ditch that nonsense for good.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:52:19 UTC | #898684

Billions and Billions's Avatar Comment 7 by Billions and Billions

Hopefully the media will continue to refer to it properly as Higgs boson and not "God Particle"; because once discovered, creationists would be quick to claim that scientists have proved the existence of god.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 19:48:27 UTC | #898697

JeremyW's Avatar Comment 8 by JeremyW

Comment 7 by Billions and Billions :

Hopefully the media will continue to refer to it properly as Higgs boson and not "God Particle";

They haven't started!

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:14:08 UTC | #898706

blitz442's Avatar Comment 9 by blitz442

Just glimpses, eh?

The problem is that science is now getting way too close to questions of the "Ultimate", which it is not really qualified to take on.

What this endeavor desperately needs is some theologians, particularly of the Christian kind, who can use their other forms of knowledge to tell us whether the Higgs Particle actually exists, and how this all ties into Jesus.

Don't send in the mere technicians of the material world - we need the best minds in the business on the case.

Where is John Haught when you need him?

Or the Pope? He has a knowledge franchise arrangement with God, who surely remembers how He wove the fabric of the Universe.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:30:46 UTC | #898710

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 10 by Steve Zara

I'm trying to start a meme. We have ended up with the media calling the Higgs boson the "God Particle". Let's try and get the anti-Higgs called the "Satan Particle".

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:08:27 UTC | #898718

blitz442's Avatar Comment 11 by blitz442

Comment 10 by Steve Zara

Oh but God is stronger than Satan, and will ultimately defeat him, so that wouldn't balance out now would it?

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:10:55 UTC | #898719

Caper's Avatar Comment 12 by Caper

The Higgs boson was first called the God Particle in Leon Lederman's book, "The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?" Reportedly, Lederman wanted to call the book "The Goddamn Particle," because no one can find the "damn thing," but his publisher changed his mind.

If this is true, maybe they should start calling it that (the goddamn particle). Better yet, let's us do it! LOL!

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:57:31 UTC | #898731

I Deny's Avatar Comment 13 by I Deny

Ha ha I like that.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 23:21:11 UTC | #898745

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 14 by QuestioningKat

Comment 8 by JeremyW :

Comment 7 by Billions and Billions :

Hopefully the media will continue to refer to it properly as Higgs boson and not "God Particle";

They haven't started!

Maybe people will start calling God Higgs, Higgs Boson, except for the Brits. They will probably refer to God as Higgie - ta ta lovely, bloody good Higgie! Brilliant Higgie. Thank you for the Figgie Puddin Higgie.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 23:31:53 UTC | #898749

mmurray's Avatar Comment 15 by mmurray

Comment 7 by Billions and Billions :

Hopefully the media will continue to refer to it properly as Higgs boson and not "God Particle"; because once discovered, creationists would be quick to claim that scientists have proved the existence of god.

Unfortunately it seems not: Scientists close in on possible God particle

On a more intelligent note an interesting blog post here on the Higgs.

Michael

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 00:11:41 UTC | #898752

Alternative Carpark's Avatar Comment 16 by Alternative Carpark

Am I the only one who thinks that, while the name Higgs boson is fine as a place holder, if and when they find it, it should be given some sort of Greek name?

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 00:59:58 UTC | #898756

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 17 by Vicktor

These physicists must be shitting in their pants that they have yet a single, confirmed, significant scientific finding to show for their expensive toy. At least the media is doing all they can to help.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 02:49:00 UTC | #898772

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Comment 16 by Alternative Carpark :

Am I the only one who thinks that, while the name Higgs boson is fine as a place holder, if and when they find it, it should be given some sort of Greek name?

Why? We already have quark and gluon which are sort of jokes and barn as a measure of cross-section which is definitely a joke. Naming it after Higgs seems sensible in comparison.

Michael

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 03:04:01 UTC | #898776

Alex, adv. diab.'s Avatar Comment 19 by Alex, adv. diab.

Comment 9 by blitz442 :

Just glimpses, eh?

The problem is that science is now getting way too close to questions of the "Ultimate", which it is not really qualified to take on.

What this endeavor desperately needs is some theologians, particularly of the Christian kind, who can use their other forms of knowledge to tell us whether the Higgs Particle actually exists, and how this all ties into Jesus.

I've been trying to tell the stupid journal for years that god revealed to me personally that the Higgs boson weighs 125.5 GeV, but them wicked materialist athiest referees won't publish it.

Comment 10 by Steve Zara :

I'm trying to start a meme. We have ended up with the media calling the Higgs boson the "God Particle". Let's try and get the anti-Higgs called the "Satan Particle".

Splendid idea, with an amusing twist: the Higgs boson mathematically is represented by a real field, and therefore is its own anti-particle. Take away whatever theology you want from that ;)

Comment 18 by mmurray :

Comment 16 by Alternative Carpark :

Am I the only one who thinks that, while the name Higgs boson is fine as a place holder, if and when they find it, it should be given some sort of Greek name?

Why? We already have quark and gluon which are sort of jokes and barn as a measure of cross-section which is definitely a joke. Naming it after Higgs seems sensible in comparison.

Michael

I think giving the boson a new name when it is discovered is a very good idea, in particular since the Higgs boson has not only been discovered by Peter Higgs. To be fair, one would have to call it the Higgs-Kibble-Anderson-Guralnik-Whatshisname Boson, so choosing a nice greek name to honor all of the inventors equally would be nice.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 08:55:21 UTC | #898798

Alex, adv. diab.'s Avatar Comment 20 by Alex, adv. diab.

Vicktor, you are annoying. You keep griping about all the announcements of preliminary results and how you are bored by them because they are too tenuous, and when a real one seems to come up, you start being cynical about that because it's not good enough. I think you don't care about the stuff either way, and just want to complain.

Comment 17 by Vicktor :

These physicists must be shitting in their pants that they have yet a single, confirmed, significant scientific finding to show for their expensive toy. At least the media is doing all they can to help.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 08:57:51 UTC | #898799

Alex, adv. diab.'s Avatar Comment 21 by Alex, adv. diab.

Ok, here are two bad proposals,

-- Melion, short M, from greek μέλι, Honey, because the Higgs boson is like a sirup in space which slows everything down. I know it is a wildly inaccurate metaphor, but honey is really yummy, and that is what really counts.

-- or, Prometheon, short P, from the titanic prometheus, who gave humankind the knowledge of fire, which is obviously a bad metaphor for giving energy in form of mass to elementary particles.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 09:10:41 UTC | #898802

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 22 by bendigeidfran

Good news indeed. Not long ago it was a giant bollox detector, and that was the good news. Is this the glimpse of the final piece of the standard model then? The model that's been f***ed for quite a while? What was the 'adjustment'? The flow of information is somewhat hazy, dark even. There is another answer to the measurement problem, and it's not Mr E's. It's Mr B's. Meanwhile, the ants on he flake continue their attempts to look outside the snow-shaker. I've got a halting problem too. This is creationism at it's purest. Pure as the driven snow.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 09:30:38 UTC | #898803

keyfeatures's Avatar Comment 23 by keyfeatures

Comment 22 by bendigeidfran : There is another answer to the measurement problem, and it's not Mr E's. It's Mr B's.

Are you charging for the answer, timing its release for Nobel nominations, or being a deliberate tease?

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:57:53 UTC | #898813

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 24 by RomeStu

I hope there's room for some humour in amongst the hard science..... (plus RD gets a mention)

The God Particle .... as interviewed by the "Daily Mash"

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 11:59:45 UTC | #898820

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 25 by RomeStu

Comment 16 by Alternative Carpark :

Am I the only one who thinks that, while the name Higgs boson is fine as a place holder, if and when they find it, it should be given some sort of Greek name?

Perhaps the Greeks could franchise out the name of one of their ancient scientists to this omnipresent particle - maybe it would offset some of their debt problem.

PS - love the username. I was watching some old Not the Nine o'Clock News clips just the other day.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 12:06:07 UTC | #898822

JoxerTheMighty's Avatar Comment 26 by JoxerTheMighty

What I don't get: The higgs boson is supposed to be everywhere, giving mass to all particles, but they only can hope to detect traces of it after a very energetic collision? Why special circumstances are required for something that is supposed to be very common?

Also, where do we draw the line where we 'give up'? Suppose we don't find it, when do we say 'okay boys, the boson doesn't exist, time to fix the Standard Model'. It seems things are blurry when we're dealing with experimental physics; one could always argue that it exists, but we can't detect it because of imperfect devices or situations.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 13:51:08 UTC | #898841

Alex, adv. diab.'s Avatar Comment 27 by Alex, adv. diab.

Comment 26 by JoxerTheMighty :

What I don't get: The higgs boson is supposed to be everywhere, giving mass to all particles, but they only can hope to detect traces of it after a very energetic collision? Why special circumstances are required for something that is supposed to be very common?

There is an important physical difference between a nonvanishing value of the higgs field everywhere, and a physical higgs boson that acts like a particle. Think of the latter like a local excitation of the field that has a higher energy than the vacuum, while the former is a constant everywhere that does not carry energy from a to b, but just is. The constant higgs field is not unobserved at all, it has a very strong effect indeed, namely giving mass to elementary particles, and this is observed! The question is whether we can also observe local excitations of the higgs field in addition to the constant basis value as a consistency check that the model that describes both, is correct.

Also, where do we draw the line where we 'give up'?

That is not really a question of giving up. We have a theoretical prediction from the Standard Model how strongly the Higgs boson is produced depending on its mass. We haven't covered all relevant mass possibilities yet with enough data to day to say something definitive, but we know exactly how much data we will need to say something definitive (roughly 5 times more than we have now), and this is well-known. Once we will have collected this amount of data (maybe in 1 year if we're lucky) and the Higgs boson is excluded throughout the entire possible range, this is also a discovery - namely that the Standard Model is not correct.

Suppose we don't find it, when do we say 'okay boys, the boson doesn't exist, time to fix the Standard Model'.

When it is excluded in the entire mass range by 2 standard deviations, most people will agree that the standard model is in trouble, but not before that. Nevertheless, many researches already now entertain this idea (that the standard model needs fixing) before it becomes an experimental necessity higgs wise - there are other things to motivate modifications of the standard model, such as dark matter.

It seems things are blurry when we're dealing with experimental physics;

It's no different than in any other science, if anything, it's much less blurry because the models used are so simple and predictive compared to, say, biology.

one could always argue that it exists, but we can't detect it because of imperfect devices or situations.

That's just statistics 101 - you can never be 100% sure, but you can be arbitrarily sure if you collect an arbitrarily large amount of data. Your uncertainty goes roughly with the inverse square root of the number of collected collision events.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 14:21:14 UTC | #898854

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 28 by DavidMcC

Comment 11 by blitz442 :

Comment 10 by Steve Zara Oh but God is stronger than Satan, and will ultimately defeat him, so that wouldn't balance out now would it?

No, that's the wrong way of looking at it. If Satan is the anti-God, the two must annihilate with each other. All we need to do is bring them together!

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 15:12:25 UTC | #898869

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 29 by DavidMcC

... The only snag is that neutral bosons are their own antiparticles! So, Satan IS God, and vice versa.

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 15:16:12 UTC | #898871

Chanakya's Avatar Comment 30 by Chanakya

Comment 10 by Steve Zara :

I'm trying to start a meme. We have ended up with the media calling the Higgs boson the "God Particle". Let's try and get the anti-Higgs called the "Satan Particle".

Actually, I think there is an excellent reason to call the Higgs the "God particle", namely this quote from Rolf Heuer, the DIrector-General of CERN:

"We know everything about the Higgs boson except whether it exists"

Well said, sir. :-)

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 16:10:24 UTC | #898886