Higgs Boson Discovery Confirmed (1 Viewer)

Denzien

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A newfound particle discovered at the world's largest atom smasher last year is, indeed, the Higgs boson, the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass, scientists reported today (March 14) at the annual Rencontres de Moriond conference in Italy.
Physicists announced on July 4, 2012, that, with more than 99 percent certainty, they had found a new elementary particle weighing about 126 times the mass of the proton that was likely the long-sought Higgs boson.
[...]
"The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is," said CMS spokesperson Joe Incandela in a statement.
Dave Charlton, ATLAS spokesperson agreed, the new results "point to the new particle having the spin-parity of a Higgs boson as in the Standard Model," referring to a quantum property of elementary particles.
To confirm the particle as the Higgs boson, physicists needed to collect tons of data that would reveal its quantum properties as well as how it interacted with other particles. For instance, a Higgs particle should have no spin and its parity, or the measure of how its mirror image behaves, should be positive, both of which were supported by data from the ATLAS and CMS experiments.
Even so, the scientists are not sure whether this Higgs boson is the one predicted by the Standard Model or perhaps the lightest of several bosons predicted to exist by other theories.
Wait...so there's more than one Higgs Boson?

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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7KfjKx0lbdQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

bonnjer

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So what makes up the Higgs Boson?
 

Sun Wukong

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Wait...so there's more than one Higgs Boson?

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They don't really do a good job of explaining it in the story, but in the past few weeks there's been some disappointment in particle physics community over the fact that the Higgs Boson behaves as it was expected to. That may sound weird, but what it basically boils down to is this: particle physicists have been pretty sure that it existed for over 40 years. It's an integral part of the standard model. It had never been observed, but they were pretty sure it was there and of the role it filled.

The questions was whether or not it had other properties that hadn't been ascribed to it by the standard model. The hope was it would, because it could go a long way towards explaining much of what isn't understood about the nature of the universe, or at least pose some new questions. But what they got was pretty much what they expected and while it's notable in terms of it being observed, it doesn't shed much new light on anything. So I think now the hope is that there are multiple kinds of Higgs Boson out there to explain some of the things that the regular Higgs can't or didn't.

We're at a weird point scientifically right now. There's a big fear in the particle physics community that we've pretty much discovered all we're capable of discovering with our technology level. It's a pretty hot topic in some science circles. New Scientist in the UK ran a cover story two weeks ago that flat out said "We've run out of explanations for the Universe." There's very much a "Where do we go from here?" attitude, especially since String/M-Theory haven't really panned out in any meaningful way. That was supposed to be the next big frontier, but it's not any more advanced than it was 30 years ago.
 

mulletslinger

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and the higgs fitting in just as the suspected actually detracts from sting/m theory.
 

JonsDuu

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We're at a weird point scientifically right now. There's a big fear in the particle physics community that we've pretty much discovered all we're capable of discovering with our technology level. It's a pretty hot topic in some science circles. New Scientist in the UK ran a cover story two weeks ago that flat out said "We've run out of explanations for the Universe." There's very much a "Where do we go from here?" attitude, especially since String/M-Theory haven't really panned out in any meaningful way. That was supposed to be the next big frontier, but it's not any more advanced than it was 30 years ago.
We've discovered all we're capable of?????

Where's gravity in the Standard Model?

Where's relativity in the Standard Model?

Why is that what we see don't match what we observe (eg why do we need to bring up some boogie-man called dark energy and dark matter)?

Why can't we go back in time (Standard Model says we should be able to)?
 

Sun Wukong

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We've discovered all we're capable of?????

Where's gravity in the Standard Model?

Where's relativity in the Standard Model?

Why is that what we see don't match what we observe (eg why do we need to bring up some boogie-man called dark energy and dark matter)?

Why can't we go back in time (Standard Model says we should be able to)?
No, we haven't discovered all we're capable of. There is a fear that we have discovered all we're capable of with our current level of technology. Particle accelerators aren't like computers where they get faster and cheaper every year. They're big, they're insanely expensive, and they require tons of maintenance (the Large Hadron Collider just shut down for two years for upgrades.) You're only as good as the tools you have. Right now there's concern that we've learned pretty much everything our available tools will allow. I read an article from one physicists about a month ago in which she expressed grave concern that the LHC upgrades won't remotely be a big enough increase in power to discover anything new. If that happens, funding can dry up. If funding dries up, good luck. Science is expensive. There's an economic factor at play here, too.

And note the word concern. No one is speaking in absolutes. You're always just one discovery away from opening tons of new doors. But this is a very real conversation that is happening in the physics community right now.
 

bonnjer

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Physics hurts my brain. It's amazing, to be sure, but it still hurts. :)

There's so much awesome cool stuff there that I can't even begin to comprehend and then there's a whole ton of other cool stuff that physicists can't wrap their brains around. Science is amazing.
 

JonsDuu

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No, we haven't discovered all we're capable of. There is a fear that we have discovered all we're capable of with our current level of technology. Particle accelerators aren't like computers where they get faster and cheaper every year. They're big, they're insanely expensive, and they require tons of maintenance (the Large Hadron Collider just shut down for two years for upgrades.) You're only as good as the tools you have. Right now there's concern that we've learned pretty much everything our available tools will allow. I read an article from one physicists about a month ago in which she expressed grave concern that the LHC upgrades won't remotely be a big enough increase in power to discover anything new. If that happens, funding can dry up. If funding dries up, good luck. Science is expensive. There's an economic factor at play here, too.

And note the word concern. No one is speaking in absolutes. You're always just one discovery away from opening tons of new doors. But this is a very real conversation that is happening in the physics community right now.
How much money went into the black body experiment?

How much money went into the Michelson-Morley experiment?

How much money went into Young's experiment?

How advanced were those tools at their time?

Do you even need an experiment to reconcile relativity with the standard model?

Throwing a pot and a pan together and hoping something important popped out isn't a very good use of resources.
 

Sun Wukong

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How much money went into the black body experiment?

How much money went into the Michelson-Morley experiment?

How much money went into Young's experiment?

How advanced were those tools at their time?
Do you understand how vastly different science is in the 21st century (not the approach, but the overall knowledge and level of technology and associated difficulty) compared to the 18th and 19th centuries? If so, you would understand how meaningless these questions are.
 

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