The Higgs boson, the Higgs, the God Particle is the hypothetical particle believed to give matter it's mass.  Proposed by Peter Higgs and other physicists it has been the object of search at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  After running the LHC continually for five months, "CERN scientists declared that over the entire range of energy the Collider had explored...the Higgs boson is excluded as a possibilty with a 95% probability."

 

Although there is still a 5% chance that it may still be found in this range (the search will continue until the end of the year), and the lower ranges have been explored by smaller colliders, it is possible that the Higgs does not exist.  And this would be a blow to the unification theory of electromagnetic and weak forces and how the universe came into being.

 

I don't know why, but I was disappointed at the news.  But then I thought, what does it really matter?  What would have been accomplished that would have had a positive impact on humanity?  Are all the billions that have spent on this project spent simply to satisfy the curiosty of the physicists - or is there something more?

 

I believe that pure, undirected research, is important - but this search makes me hesitate.   

 

(Scientific American, Guest Blog by Amir Aczel)  

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Replies to This Discussion

That sounds like a contradiction to something I read by Michio Kaku today: http://bigthink.com/ideas/38079
I have not seen any contradition.  The Higgs has not been found, and the Kaku paper does not say that it has.  Some promising readings were concluded to be statistical anomlies.  The CERN results were presented at an international symposium in Mumbai on August 22.
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but Kaku's post seems to say that the memo indicated that the search for the Higgs Boson was over, because they had found it, though they didn't explicitly state that, that's how people were interpreting the leaked memo. But maybe the memo has been misinterpreted, and they were saying the search is over, because they're not going to find it.

 

His paper does seem to imply that something was found, but his enthusiasm made things a bit confusing.

Does Kaku have to be so melodramatic and use the term, "The mind of God?" It has become a useless metaphore.
He has gotten that way lately. I think he's gotten too famous and on tv too much...he's too Hollywood now! Ha! But in the after-show discussion after the Stephen Hawking episode of Curiosity, he disappointed me by basically saying that we couldn't know if there's a god or not, that science can't address that question. I mean, he's a brilliant guy, but it almost seems like he's playing his part too much, trying to make all his "fans" happy.
It does seem that way, doesn't it?
Well LHC has now confirmed that there seems to be no mind of God. It kind of makes sense.

"Are all the billions that have spent on this [Higgs boson] project spent simply to satisfy the curiosity of the physicists - or is there something more?"

If spent to satisfy physicists' curiosity, don't tell the Tea Party Repubs. They know their god did it and will want to cut the funding.

Something more? For a good read, try Eric Lerner's The Big Bang Never Happened. He said LeMaitre, a Catholic priest who studied math, started the creation from nothing story, which a later astronomer ridiculed by calling it the Big Bang. The name stuck.

The Big Bang story (with later fixes: inflation, dark energy, dark mass) requires the entire mass of the universe to have been concentrated in a point smaller than the head of a pin. It requires a similarly fantastical claim that both space and time began then. It has similarities to Ptolemy's idea of planets moving in circular paths around the earth--needing one explanation after another to silence the people who were pointing out differences between the concept and the measurements.

A bright school child can see a flaw. If the universe's mass is moving away from where the Bang allegedly took place (visualize the spokes on a bicycle wheel but in three dimensions), what forces caused the galaxies to change their directions and/or their velocities so much that they (the galaxies) collide?

Lerner's explanation (as I understand it, a universe of plasma with on-going supernovas) makes more sense. It also doesn't depend on a mathematics whose equations can only approximate reality.

 

Sounds like he's trying to say that galaxies can only move in straight lines. No reason that two galaxies moving in approimately parallel lines can't curve in towards each other and eventually collide. I don't understand what he's getting at, talking about galaxies colliding.
That's what I meant. If everything emerged from the singularity with perfect symmetry, you'd have nothing but a thin film spread across reality. But it wasn't, so you get the galaxies clumping together, then stars, etc. Then you get interaction between the various masses. You wouldn't have things moving in straight lines for very long.

"...two galaxies moving in approximately parallel lines...."

Joseph. not approximately parallel lines. Radial lines, like the spokes on a bicycle wheel but in three dimensions. The Bang would result in galaxies moving away from each other. Forces that could change the directions of two galaxies to put them on a collision course would have to be enormous.

 

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