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    Thread: Higgs Boson Discovered?

    1. #1
      Xei
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      Higgs Boson Discovered?

      Apparently CERN's doing a press release on Tuesday, and there've been some leaks saying that basically they've found the mass range where the Higgs Boson is and are in the process of confirming it.

      In other news, nobody on this forum has any clue what this means. Oh well.

    2. #2
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      Do you mean they think they found the Higgs boson or just where it theoretically should be?
      Last edited by Wayfaerer; 12-08-2011 at 01:14 AM.

    3. #3
      Xei
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      Well on the news just now they said somebody from CERN had leaked to them that they're pretty sure they've found the particle.

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      Member nina's Avatar
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      I also heard a rumor they discovered the arc of the covenant.
      Seroquel and Phion like this.

    5. #5
      Xei
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      Was it on the BBC?

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      I heard that there was supposed to be 'a big announcement in the physics community' coming from CERN, and a lot of speculation that they might have found it, but do you know anything new about what the actual announcement is/was?
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
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      Member Photolysis's Avatar
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      If they have found it, that's very interesting. If I recall correctly, they were getting pretty close to exhausting the range of energies where it 'should' be... unless they have found evidence of it being in the intervals they were 95% sure didn't contain it.

    8. #8
      Xei
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      How is that statement arrogant? I was just stating that it's funny that we are so interested in such things when it's really a technical discovery and likely nobody here understands what a Higgs Boson even is.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      How is that statement arrogant? I was just stating that it's funny that we are so interested in such things when it's really a technical discovery and likely nobody here understands what a Higgs Boson even is.
      But that's not true. I think a lot of people know what a Higgs Boson particle is. Fuck man they mention the thing in practically every article they publish about CERN. Anyone who's ever queried why they built the fucker in the first place is going to know what the Higgs Boson particle is. You're judging people so far off base it's a little disgusting.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    10. #10
      Xei
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      I'm lost. I claim to have no idea what a Higgs Boson is along with everybody else, you say that you do, and that makes me arrogant?

      Well, whatever. Please explain what it is.

    11. #11
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      It seems I made the mistake of assuming you were excluding yourself from that statement, probably because of the way you wrote it.

      The Higgs Boson particle is a theoretical particle that was imagined in order to account for how particles are able to relate to each other. The metaphor I heard describing this relationship is like a stranger walking through a crowded room unnoticed vs a popular person walking through a room and not being able to make it 5 feet without being stopped by a crowd. The HB particle was theorized to account for the latter case.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    12. #12
      Xei
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      That's just a simplistic metaphor for one facet of its consequences, not what it is. It no more describes what a Higgs Boson is than talking about people running very fast into a dense crowd and causing them to bounce about explains what a photon is. Can you explain why it's even necessary in the first place? Why does the current model of other particles imply its existence?

      Wikipedia tells me that a Higgs Boson is the root of the Higgs mechanism. The Higgs mechanism is apparently the process in which gauge bosons in a gauge theory can acquire non-vanishing masses through absorption of Nambu-Goldstone bosons arising in spontaneous symmetry breaking. Without a good knowledge of quantum physics and group theory, I have literally no understanding of what any of these terms even means. I don't have any idea what spontaneous symmetry breaking is or why it's so important, or how it could cause mass. I don't even know what a particle is, not really.

      I know that the Higgs Boson is the cornerstone of the current understanding of particle physics, and I know it has something to do with causing mass. But these are just simple consequences; I also know enough to know that I'm nowhere near educated enough to claim to have an idea of what it actually is or why any of these things is true. It's just information relayed to me which I take on faith. This will be the case for anybody who hasn't studied this formally, and I don't know of anybody here that has, with the tenuous exceptions of Philosopher and possibly cmind.

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      You drew out rather different implications with your original post. If you had said something like "Though I doubt anybody knows exactly how the Higgs Boson Particle works" rather than "no one knows what it is" maybe I wouldn't have felt the need to call you arrogant.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    14. #14
      Xei
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      If you don't know how it works, you don't know what it is. You just know what it's called and some things that it does. The difference isn't that subtle.

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      If you don't know how it works, you don't know what it is. You just know what it's called and some things that it does. The difference isn't that subtle.
      How many thousands upon thousands of inventions do you know that you don't how it works.

      Inversely, there's plenty of things where we know how they work but we don't know what they are, such as gravity. In this case, people know how the universe functions with the HB particle but they don't know what it is. But we still know, at least, that the HB particle is a theoretical particle imagined for particles to acquire non-vanishing masses.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    16. #16
      Xei
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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      This one is true.


      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      How many thousands upon thousands of inventions do you know that you don't how it works.
      That's my point. If you don't know how it works then you don't know what the invention is. You know what it does.

      I make no claims to know what a plasma TV actually is. I just know that it displays moving pictures.

      I didn't think you'd have such a propensity for dressing up false, superficial wisdom as the real thing.

      Inversely, there's plenty of things where we know how they work but we don't know what they are, such as gravity. In this case, people know how the universe functions with the HB particle but they don't know what it is. But we still know, at least, that the HB particle is a theoretical particle imagined for particles to acquire non-vanishing masses.
      In what sense is that true about gravity? Gravity is defined a priori as the phenomenon of objects with mass experiencing an apparent force. The cause is the bending of spacetime, but this understanding (of 'how it works', I suppose) is incomplete because it's inconsistent with other theories.

      Theoretical physicists know what the Higgs Boson would be and how it would work. For you and me, it could literally be described as a crowd of people and our understanding of it would be no different.

    17. #17
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      Sounds like more hair splitting. I was wrong to call you arrogant because I thought you were making a claim that you were excluding yourself from. To be fair you've done it to me, too. I'm not concerned with what you think qualifies as understanding.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 12-10-2011 at 12:08 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    18. #18
      Member nina's Avatar
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      Infractions given, insulting remarks removed...nothing to see here.

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