Higgs Bosn

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04/07/2012 at 10:23

It looks life the boffins at CERN have found the Higgs Boson, although this is still to be confirmed. They've found a Higgs-like particle at 126.5 GeV.

Exciting times for science, and they did it without blowing up our planet.

04/07/2012 at 10:34

There's a fascinating CERN webcam here.

04/07/2012 at 10:38

Yes exciting.  Will it mean more holidays and cheaper fuel?

04/07/2012 at 10:49

Just realised that in my haste, I have spelled boson incorrectly in the title. 

04/07/2012 at 10:49

Aye aye cap'n

04/07/2012 at 11:11

The BBC article I just read about this shows two things:

- Theoretical physicists are a clever bunch;
- People who comment on science articles on the internet are generally a bit thick.

I suppose it scrapes away another layer of understanding, although I'm not keen on all this talk of a "God particle".  It just doesn't make sense to me, to be anything other than agnostic about these things.

Sorry, bit deep.  Carry on. 

04/07/2012 at 11:40
Excuse my cynical ass but.............and I am asking a question rather than making a statement............What is the point of it all? I presume that spending all this money on it will have some benefit for mankind. But in terms that the average Joe or Joseph will understand what is the point?
04/07/2012 at 11:47
Sussex Runner (NLR) wrote (see)
Excuse my cynical ass but.............and I am asking a question rather than making a statement............What is the point of it all? I presume that spending all this money on it will have some benefit for mankind. But in terms that the average Joe or Joseph will understand what is the point?

that's much like asking what is the point of a lot of scientific discovery

we wouldn't be on here without science breaththroughs - the discovery of the electron (gave us electronics), the development of the web (at CERN by the way) etc etc ara analagous to what this breakthrough may mean in the future.

the Higgs boson is difficult to grasp for a layman - and even a lot of scientists don't grasp the basics - and what it means in the long term is very undecided.  it adds another step in the chain of unifying fundamental physics and what we see around us and who knows where it may lead.


04/07/2012 at 11:59
Yeah Brian Cox just said that a little better Dave. Forgive me if I don't get too excited just yet by "the most significant breakthrough in scientific history".
04/07/2012 at 12:13

who the feck is Dave??  your nickname for me I guess....hey ho - if it makes you feel happy so be it.

sure - not everyone will be excited by it and you could argue that the amount of money spent on it woud be better served on solving world poverty and getting people clean water to drink but that's not how the world works sadly.

it's one step on a goal that maybe hasn't an end and who knows what will come out of it but don't deny the scientists their moment of glory - stacking theory and actuality together is a big deal for these guys

04/07/2012 at 12:41

FB or Dave, you are right, this could be the breakthrough to a new era of science, discovery and future benefits to all of us mortals.  All atomic theory is just an incredibly difficult concept to get your mind round.  People like Brian Cox, annoying as I find him, is one of those people that has the ability to just make it  slightly understandable.

04/07/2012 at 12:51

Watching Brian Cox on TV right now. As far as I understand it, the scientists could only blow up the planet by accelerating and crashing together a certain mass. Well the collider just isn't powerful enough to move much more than a micro speck of matter. So, tiny mass, tiny crash, tiny result but proprtionally massive.

04/07/2012 at 13:55

This isnt some esoteric lab test that is relevent only to a few geeks. This is an important test that is is relevent to the science that gives us gps - to name one running related example

04/07/2012 at 18:45
04/07/2012 at 18:54

Sometimes it's enough to be curious enough to ask the question. It's how humans came out of the cave, and ended up at the moon - it's just what's next on the horizon. It doesn't have to produce anything to be worth doing, some things are worth doing of their own account. 

04/07/2012 at 20:18
Lovely clear and relevant response Helen. That's what makes you one of my favourite posters x
04/07/2012 at 23:25

I can't say I totally get it (as a non-physicist), but I always had the impression it was important because without it we don't know how any atom gets its mass, and therefore is important for working out how gravity works and how atoms hold together. I figure if we can sort that out, Star Trek type space travel might become a reality (eventually). Physics and engineering in general have already given us touch screens, voice activated computers, scanning equipment akin to tricorders and some degree of teleportation so I figure warp drive will happen eventually.

CERN itself has made so many advances to make the collider and associated science possible that I don't begrudge them the money, which probably works out at about the same as the royal family costs per person. It also brings together thousands of people from ~110 countries for an entirely peaceful purpose, which I also think is a good thing.

05/07/2012 at 09:16
Really good post........but ........Easy to say that you don't begrudge them the money when your belly is full and you can get clean water from a tap.
05/07/2012 at 10:44

Is that true about CERN costing the same as the Royal Family? Wikipedia tells me that the LHC cost about £6.2 Billion to build, whereas the Royal Family cost the taxpayer about £30M to £35M per year.

05/07/2012 at 12:48

People rarely quote accurate figures when comparing chalk and cheese items like scientific research, solutions to world poverty, numbers of hospital beds, bankers' bonuses, etc.  That's beside the point thought isn't it?  How do you quantify the benefit of having a fundamentally better understanding about the way literally, like, everything, is made up? 

Anyway, I found this quite useful.  And if you don't understand the science at least you get to see cartoons being drawn really really quickly.

The Higgs Boson explained.

Edited: 05/07/2012 at 12:48
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