Long Time, No See

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Topic 196439

Well it seems that Mr Higgs was right!

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

tullio
tullio
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Long Time, No See

Yes. It will be interesting to read an article in Physical Review with more than 4000 authors. This is really Big Science.
Tullio

Rod
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Don't get me started on 5th

Don't get me started on 5th sigma
Isn't their some stories about self fullfilling prophesies or was it theories.:-)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Mike Hewson
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RE: Don't get me started on

Quote:
Don't get me started on 5th sigma
Isn't their some stories about self fullfilling prophesies or was it theories.:-)


A few years ago, and I think it was even a string theory variant, there was a concept like that. The idea was that if you go far enough down in scale, and therefore up in the energy of the probe used to look with, you will find whatever you want in the sense that quantum behaviours at that level will fill whatever size/shape of bucket desired. The energies were way above the LHC though. In any case another theory variant proposed that, due again to quantum string jiggery-pokery at really small scales, the hierarchy of 'what particles were fundamental' could be inverted anyway you please. A sort of high energy masquerade party.

[ Not to mention that we could have found the first of many Higgs ..... and I think this recent LHC work has probed to within about a fifth of the known range of the weak nuclear force. ]

In my view I think we have reached a wall/cusp/nexus for the entire reductionist program as applies to this area of study. I don't mean to demean all the clever poppets who are working in the field - whoever gets the Nobel - but simply that humans can only drive the energy probes so far. As a practical enterprise in it's social context I mean. The ultimate funding providers for this experimental program ( ie. taxpayers ) aren't really going to be swept up in any group high-fives here, are they? Plus I reckon the 'God particle' label is going to prove to be a very unfortunate choice indeed. See 'black holes' ...

For me I think it is enough that we already had a characterisation of the pre-existing Standard Model particles without having to go a further level down to get a mass determining mechanism for them. The obvious next question is going to be 'what determines the Higgs mass?' and around you go again. Even if some group of Higgs particles determine each other's mass you still will have some question equivalent to : why is that so? If you ask reductionist questions then you have to accept a series of such conundrums.

Might I suggest that punters read anything written by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen ( say The Collapse of Chaos, or The Science of Discworld series with Terry Pratchett ) who write very well about how detail at one level of explanation can be 'fuzzed over' when you go upwards in scale. This is the 'effective theory' structure to knowledge, indeed without it much of science would be unintelligible.

What I want to know about the fifth sigma - and this is your point Rod - is did they decide that threshold in advance of the discovery ?? I think many people won't be able to cognitively encompass the statement "we have found a 5th sigma phenomenon which on later examination might not be truly significant, but if it is then our current findings represent the detection of a particle mediating the postulated Higgs mechanism". Try that down at the local watering hole !! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Actually I could run a book (

Actually I could run a book ( betting ) on this that the punters would love. Nobel Prize rules limit the split to three ways at most, and you have to be alive. I've heard that five guys are in the running. One of them has just gotta be Mr Higgs, right? So that leaves four guys for two remaining slots, thus baseline/opening odds of 2 to 1 for each. Now if only I knew someone in Sweden I could get the inside run on this .... :-):-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

tullio
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My bet:Higgs, an American

My bet:Higgs, an American from Tevatron and a Japanese. They always choose a Japanese for poltical reasons. See how Nicola Cabibbo, of Cabibbo angle fame, was neglected.
Tullio

Rod
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Now that we found it. What

Now that we found it. What are we going to do with it.

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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RE: Now that we found it.

Quote:
Now that we found it. What are we going to do with it.


Despite the hubris it doesn't validate any theory of strings ( in my view they'll get their capitalisation aka 'String Theory' when they produce a testable number ). Mr Higgs postulated the mass determining mechanism long before we replaced point particles by extended ones ( string theory is one way of giving structure below some length scale ). A Higgs could be either a point or a string and the Standard Model survives either way. So go with Occam and toss the added detail of a string basis. Superfluous.

I never quite understood the claim that by finding the Higgs we would be informed about extra dimensions. So I'll defer to Lisa Randall and ask how many, how big and where are they? Another reductionist question or five.

So moving/zooming out in scale to practical matters.

- found a new religion with it ( this may have happened already )

- throw them at malignant tumours in order to kill them.

- find the anti-Higgs so that we can make things lighter.

- found a new political party with it ( this also may have happened already )

- Higgs based furniture. Perhaps Ikea could produce it.

- use this discovery as a basis for funding an even bigger machine. This worked quite well for Deep Thought, and I for one would be delighted for 42 to be involved.

- start up some Higgs 'retreats' where you can go and be bathed in the radiation of Higgs particles. Your worries and cares just get stripped away. This worked in Victorian times using electrons ( sit in a bath and be sub-electrocuted ) and later it was Thorium/Caesium salts ( but it was your teeth and facial bones that got stripped away ).

- use Higgs particles as money. This could help Europe.

Rod, I feel the possibilities are unbounded.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Rod
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With elementary particle

With elementary particle physics experiments, are they exploring the natural world or are they just creating exotic environments. I seem to get more comfortable with physics experiments once they are outside the lab.

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

tullio
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I am simulating proton-proton

I am simulating proton-proton collisions on this PC via the Test4Theory@home project using a Virtual Machine BOINC_VM provided by CERN. At the end of every CERN job I see the results scrolling in a window, but I am unable to understand them. They are uploaded to LHC and somebody has to interpret them.
Tullio

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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Cheers, Mike.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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