Tag Archives | CERN

Power Of CERN Collider To Be Doubled, May Reveal Extra Dimensions

earthspaceAre we ready for a hint of the eleven-dimensional world? Via Reuters:

“When this refit is completed,” CERN scientist Marc Goulette says, gesturing across the gigantic Large Hadron Collider (LHC), “we shall be ready to explore an entirely new realm of physics.”

The collider is only five years old but, after swiftly finding a crucial missing link to support mankind’s main concept of the universe, is now entering a two-year revamp to double its power in the hope of breathtaking new discoveries.

Some scientists predict it might find a zoo of new particles or even catch hints that space has more than three dimensions. Oliver Buchmueller, an experimental physicist, also hopes to see proof the extra dimensions foreseen in string theory.

Could that take science beyond, into the extension of string theory that predicts the existence of parallel universes or a perpetually growing galaxy of universes, unpenetrable one from the other, that cosmologists call the Multiverse?

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Theology vs. Physics, Round MMMMCMXCIX: Church Finds Pope, Science Finds God (Particle)

Photo: Aibdescalzo (CC)

A great, topical headline from VF Dailyas Juli Weiner wraps the new Pope story around the God Particle confirmation:

Science is not going to lose the news cycle to religion so easily! Barely a day after the Catholic Church announced it had found its new Pope (hello there, Francis I!), nuclear physicists at CERN revealed that they have indeed found the God Particle. No, like, for real this time. Swear to. . . science.

What is the God Particle? Is it. . . a one-lunged Argentine with a passion for social justice? No? CBS News clarifies that the body in question is a:

subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape. The elusive particle, called a Higgs boson, was predicted in 1964 to help fill in our understanding of the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.

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Kung Fu Nuns Teach Cosmic Energy To CERN Scientists

Sounds like the plot line of a new movie from RZA … via Reuters:

A dozen kung fu nuns from an Asian Buddhist order displayed their martial arts prowess to bemused scientists at CERN this week as their spiritual leader explained how their energy was like that of the cosmos.

The nuns, all from the Himalayan region, struck poses of hand-chops, high-kicks and punches on Thursday while touring the research centre where physicists at the frontiers of science are probing the origins of the universe.

“Men and women carry different energy,” said His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, a monk who ranks only slightly below the Dalai Lama in the global Buddhist hierarchy. “Both male and female energies are needed to better the world.”

This, he said, was a scientific principle “as fundamental as the relationship between the sun and the moon” and its importance was similar to that of the particle collisions in CERN’s vast “Big Bang” machine, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

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Rap News On Higgs-Boson Unbound

Juice Rap News: Episode 14 - Waiting for the Godot Particle. This civilisation's grand quest for ultimate meaning has taken a giant leap towards its epic conclusion. In the latest prequel to humanity's journey to inner-space, scientists at the CERN laboratory announce that they have unlocked one of the key strands in the origin of Life, The Universe and Everything: 42 years on from its coining, the Higgs Boson particle has possibly been detected at the Large Hadron Collider. So what does it all mean? How does it feel to meet our Massters? Is this the font of all wisdom? Does it anti-matter that...
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Is It Blasphemous to Describe Science as “Magic”?

The Higgs boson announcement last week has reignited an age-old debate about science and the supernatural. Andrew Aghapour reports at Religion Dispatches:

In a thought-provoking post on RD just before the weekend, Yoni Pasternak highlighted some of the enchanted language that has been associated with CERN’s announcement of a Higgs boson-like particle discovery. The Higgs boson has been labeled the “God Particle,” and numerous scientists and journalists have described the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) as a “magical” device. If news about the Higgs boson has struck you as esoteric and confusing you are not alone, but the video embedded in Pasternak’s post offers a nice primer.

As Pasternak points out, even this explanatory video is full of magician’s hats and pink elephants. The fact that scientists themselves are using this vocabulary, he argues, “is a sign of the utility that these supernatural concepts still maintain” for describing our universe.

The use of supernatural concepts to describe the Higgs boson has been hotly debated ever since CERN’s announcement.

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Higgs Boson ‘God’ Particle Discovered – And Explained

CERN has indicated that after many false starts, it has finally found proof of the elusive "God Particle," a/k/a the Higgs boson. It's widely being hailed as the most significant scientific discovery of our generation, etc. But what exactly is it? We thought this video about CERN's operation of the Large Hadron Collider might be especially useful:

The Higgs Boson Explained from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

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God Particle Proves Elusive

CMS_41For those of you following the “God Particle” saga, the scientists at CERN disappointed us all at today’s much hyped news conference. Nick Collins reports for the Telegraph:

At a specially-arranged seminar at the Cern laboratory in Geneva, researchers presented clues in their data which suggest experts may have pinned down the “God particle” at last.

Scientists remained cautious about their findings and insisted they did not represent an official discovery, but admitted the results were “intriguing”.

The two teams searching for the Higgs boson at the LHC said they had found hints which point towards a Higgs boson with a mass between 124 and 126 gigaelectronvolts (GeV).

A mass of 125 GeV is equivalent to about 130 times the weight of a proton found in the nucleus of an atom.

The team working on the ATLAS detector said there was only a one per cent likelihood their results occurred by chance rather than reflecting a real effect, while the CMS team quoted a figure of about five per cent.

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A Glimpse Of The God Particle

A simulated event in the CMS detector, featuring the appearance of the Higgs boson. (CERN)

A simulated event in the CMS detector, featuring the appearance of the Higgs boson. (CERN)

As an update to this post, physicists the world over are all ashiver at the prospect of the elusive Higgs boson particle being announced tomorrow. Via ExtremeTech:

Tomorrow, at 9am EST, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland are expected to announce, with fairly strong certainty, that they have observed the Higgs boson “God” particle at a mass-energy of 125 GeV.

For just over a week, rumors have been rife that observations with 2.5 to 3.5 sigma certainty (96% to 99.9%) have been made. For it to be declared an actual discovery, however, a sigma level of five has to be recorded. A score on the higher end of the range, towards 3.5, would definitely have particle physicists, engineers, scientists, and philosophers jumping around excitedly, though. Perhaps more importantly, LHC has two detectors at the end of its 17-mile-long particle acceleration tunnel, and both have reportedly seen the Higgs boson: the CMS detector with sigma 2.5, and ATLAS with sigma 3.5.

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CERN’s Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Speed Of Light

EinsteinScientists making discoveries that defy the laws of physics seems to be something of a theme this month. Now the eggheads at CERN say they’ve observed subatomic particles moving faster than the speed of light, which might theoretically allow us to travel back in time. Eryn Brown and Amina Khan report for the LA Times:

Albert Einstein had the idea. A century of observations have backed it up. It’s one of the cornerstones of physics: Nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

But now a team of experimental physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, says that one exotic particle possibly can.

The scientists reached their conclusion after sending streams of tiny, subatomic particles called neutrinos hurtling from an accelerator at CERN outside Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, about 450 miles away.

The neutrinos seemed to get there too soon — 60 nanoseconds too soon, give or take — than they should if they’d been traveling at the speed of light.

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CERN Scientists Back Alternative Climate Change Theory

File-CERN_logoFor those of you who think that all scientists subscribe to the “global warning is caused by humans” theory, some very prominent exceptions are making some noise, now led by the boffins at CERN, reports Anne Jolis in the Wall Street Journal:

In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times “To Skeptics on Global Warming” in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.

But a few physicists weren’t worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or “cosmic rays,” whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth.

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