Tag Archives | Higgs boson

Best Explanation of Quantum Field Theory That You Will Ever Hear

via chycho

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Below you will find an excellent lecture by Dr. Sean Carroll delivered on 12 June 2013 at the 46th Annual Fermilab Users Meeting, focusing on the importance of the discovery of the Higgs boson confirming the existence of the Higgs field – giving us a glimpse into the world of “Particles, Fields and The Future of Physics”.

For me, the highlight of the lecture occurred during the question and answer period, at approximately 1:14:32, when one of the members of the audience asked the following question:

Question: “So, could you explain a bit more on measurement? You said that you have wave and it interacts with an entangled amount of waves and then pops out a particle, right?

I found the following response by Dr. Carroll to be the best description of quantum field theory that I have ever come across:

Sean Carroll: “Yes.

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What Lies Beyond The Higgs Boson?

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)

Apparently scientists are having a tough time with the Higgs Boson. From Science Recorder:

According to a news release from Harvard University, Harvard and Yale scientists have made the most precise measurements ever of the shape of electrons and, as a result, have raised “severe” doubts about several popular theories of what lies beyond the Higgs boson.

“We are trying to glimpse in the lab any difference from what is predicted by the Standard Model, like what is being attempted at the LHC,” said John Doyle, Professor of Physics at Harvard, in a statement.

“It is unusual and satisfying that the exquisite precision achieved by our small team in its university lab probes the most fundamental building block of our universe at a sensitivity that compliments what is being achieved by thousands at the world’s largest accelerator,” added Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard.

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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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An Alternate Universe Will Eventually Annihilate Ours, Higgs Boson Discovery Reveals

Great, we spent all that time and money so we could find out this terrible news. Via io9:

Remember that Higgs-like particle that scientists finally managed to pin down last year at the Large Hadron Collider? According to Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the mass of the Higgs boson indicates that “the universe we live in is inherently unstable, and at some it’s all going to get wiped out.”

After last year’s Higgs discovery, he performed a calculation that indicated the potential for a quantum fluctuation — an event that would create a lower-energy state bubble that expands at the speed of light and “sweep everything before it.” He predicts that it won’t happen for many tens of billions of years.

A little bubble of what you might think of as an ‘alternative’ universe will appear somewhere and then it will expand out and destroy us,” Lykken said.

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Is There Room For God After Higgs Boson?

Victoria Gill reports on a meeting of theologians and scientists to discuss a time before the Big Bang, for BBC News:

Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted – a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang – Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist.

On 15 October, a group of theologians, philosophers and physicists came together for two days in Geneva to talk about the Big Bang.

So what happened when people of such different – very different – views of the Universe came together to discuss how it all began?

“I realised there was a need to discuss this,” says Rolf Heuer, Cern’s director general.

“There’s a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers and theologians the time before or around the Big Bang.”

Cern’s co-organiser of this unusual meeting of minds was Wilton Park – a global forum set up by Winston Churchill.

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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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