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#1 Posted by Sysyphus (22 posts) -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18702455

So they've finally done it and found the elusive Higgs Boson. Often referred to as the 'God particle' the Higgs is a particle that gives other particles mass.

The discovery is being compared to that of DNA or Einstein's theory of relativity in regards to importance and is being held as a huge leap forward in our understanding of the universe.

Personally I'm glad they made this discovery as the work at the LHC has fascinated me since it was first announced; and it's always good to hear they didn't destroy the universe in the process!

So what do you think of this news?

#2 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

I know little on what it means except it confirms the Standard Model in explaining unknown mass.

Or something.

#3 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

Was kind of hoping they didn't find it to be honest. Would imagine psychics would have a shit load of work to do if they couldn't find why particles gain mass.

#4 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4826 posts) -

Well that's nice and all, but can you speak plainly about how exactly this knowledge benefits us as a species? DNA, relativity, those things opened up new ways of thinking and new avenues to explore. People say the same of the Higgs boson but never give an example of how that knowledge could benefit us. Or they throw a wall of data and indecipherable jargon at you and tell you to figure it out yourself. The latter kind of pisses me off, to be frank.

#5 Posted by TruthTellah (9160 posts) -

I was very excited to watch it this morning. It was fantastic to see; it really will have a great impact on our understanding of the basic structures of existence.

Though, if I might clarify one thing, many people have unfortunately been saying that the Higgs Boson "is a particle that gives other particles mass". The assumption being that all mass comes from the Higgs Boson(or more specifically, the Higgs field). That isn't actually the case, and they made certain to state that today. The mass that comprises you and me does not come from the Higgs Boson. The Higgs particle gave mass to the fundamental elements. Which is extremely important, as matter as we know it wouldn't be what it is today without this fact. But our mass and most of the mass in the universe actually comes from the energy of interactions between all particles, not just the Higgs Boson.

So, the Higgs Boson didn't give all particles their mass, but matter wouldn't be what it is without it. So, it's a big deal. Just not exactly in the way that many in the news media have portrayed it as.

Still so exciting. We have now observed the first scalar particle. It's like if we suddenly saw the concept of temperature or pressure for the first time; fundamental things outside of location or circumstance. Amazing stuff.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9975 posts) -

Wait, this particle can change mass? Create some kind of effect that alters the mass of existing things? Some kind of Ma-

#7 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

Big discoveries and projects in science are really exciting to me because the potential for exciting and crazy stuff is huuuuuge.

This goes a long way to solidifying the standard model of matter and the more we nail down about this sort of thing the closer we get to actually understanding the universe.

There was a time when Michael Faraday showed everyone electricity and nobody could see any use for it, let's hope society can turn its attention toward science for a while and who knows what we'll find.

#8 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4826 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Wait, this particle can change mass? Create some kind of effect that alters the mass of existing things? Some kind of Ma-

ss effect?

#9 Posted by Brodehouse (9975 posts) -
@Oldirtybearon

@Brodehouse said:

Wait, this particle can change mass? Create some kind of effect that alters the mass of existing things? Some kind of Ma-

ss effect?

Dr. Ray now owns your house.
#10 Posted by CookieMonster (2418 posts) -

Dat shit cray.

#11 Posted by TruthTellah (9160 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon: As far as its significance beyond the noble goal of improving our basic understandings of how the universe works, it's tough to tie something directly applicable to this discovery at the moment. This does open up new avenues to explore, though, and it will lead to some fantastic research in the future. And it can certainly impact ways of thinking. As I said in my other comment, it's really like if we somehow observed the construct of a basic part of why things are the way they are. Why there is temperature or why things have pressure. And ultimately, why there is anything instead of nothing.

It's like if you're standing in a building. You know you're in a building, and you know it stays up. So, you wonder, "How does the building not just collapse?" or "How did this building ever even get constructed?" And what they did here is detect part of the frame of the building. Whereas we previously knew that the building must have been built somehow, as we can observe that it is there and still standing, we now have a real discovery of what went into constructing it and holding it all together. The Higgs Boson is part of the frame of existence. Part of why there is instead of there isn't. That's a really cool thing, right?

For the first time, scientists observed what appears to be something intrinsic to existence. In other words, it is independent of circumstance or location. It is a basic element of how things exist. Something woven into everything. When we discovered the atom, we learned that the universe was constructed of atoms like that, and it expanded how people understood what is in the universe. But when we look at something like the Higgs Boson, we're seeing something that is part of everything. Atoms are something in the universe. The Higgs Boson is part of why there is a universe for things to be in.

#12 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4826 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@Oldirtybearon: As far as its significance beyond the noble goal of improving our basic understandings of how the universe works, it's tough to tie something directly applicable to this discovery at the moment. This does open up new avenues to explore, though, and it will lead to some fantastic research in the future. And it can certainly impact ways of thinking. As I said in my other comment, it's really like if we somehow observed the construct of a basic part of why things are the way they are. Why there is temperature or why things have pressure. And ultimately, why there is anything instead of nothing.

It's like if you're standing in a building. You know you're in a building, and you know it stays up. So, you wonder, "How does the building not just collapse?" or "How did this building ever even get constructed?" And what they did here is detect part of the frame of the building. Whereas we previously knew that the building must have been built somehow, as we can observe that it is there and still standing, we now have a real discovery of what went into constructing it and holding it all together. The Higgs Boson is part of the frame of existence. Part of why there is instead of there isn't. That's a really cool thing, right?

For the first time, scientists observed what appears to be something intrinsic to existence. In other words, it is independent of circumstance or location. It is a basic element of how things exist. Something woven into everything. When we discovered the atom, we learned that the universe was constructed of atoms like that, and it expanded how people understood what is in the universe. But when we look at something like the Higgs Boson, we're seeing something that is part of everything. Atoms are something in the universe. The Higgs Boson is part of why there is a universe for things to be in.

fuckin' A dude. That's... pretty cool, actually.

#13 Posted by Dany (7887 posts) -

@TruthTellah: wow, thats the clearest explanation on why this is important.

#14 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

One of my physics professors is probably jubilant right now considering he actually did work in the LHC before with regards to attempting to find the Higgs Boson. I'm not sure whether he's flown over there for the summer to be a apart of the actual discovery, though. If he is, he's probably having a hell of a time -- he was really passionate about his work on discovering the Higgs Boson.

Nevertheless, I remember him explaining the whole significance of this particle. At the very least, "theoretical" particle physics is likely to become a little less theoretical after this point, but I doubt there'll be any practical breakthroughs coming out of this discovery anytime soon.

#15 Posted by QuantumPilot (86 posts) -

I'm still waiting for the LHC to blow up the planet.

#16 Posted by tescovee (360 posts) -

It will also help move quantum mechanicsand some aspects of string theory. With out Higgs boson. Some of the theory turns into quasi-philosophy with out it. It's a huge for physicist, going small helps us understand shit that's huge.

#17 Posted by TruthTellah (9160 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon: I know, right? It's really awesome. Scientists have been trying for decades to find it, but they only recently had the technology to do so. They now have certifiable data and procedures in place to detect the Higgs Boson(or, well, a particle which they are now 99.9999999% sure is the Higgs Boson). Today, the physicist Dr. Higgs was there, and his life's work was realized. It was quite something to see.

This will allow for more experimental physics in the future, as they now have an even sturdier foundation to build upon. This is only the beginning.

#18 Posted by WMWA (1162 posts) -

Sorry, Jesus.

#19 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2030 posts) -

You know, the person who coined the term "God particle" actually intended to name it the "Goddamn particle" due to how difficult it was to find and how expensive it was to discover, but that person's publisher wouldn't let him.

So "God particle" ended up being a sort of oversimplification that ultimately drew a bunch of media attention.

#20 Edited by Geno (6477 posts) -

Technically they're not 100% sure on whether it is the Higgs yet, as it could be a variant, but still exciting news nonetheless. It's not really my field but I can tell this discovery is very significant. 
 
Lots of very smart people with very powerful equipment worked on this for a long time, the magnitude of the discovery in terms of "man-IQ-hours" is pretty boggling if you think about it. 

#21 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@wmaustin55 said:

Sorry, Jesus.

Amen brother.

#22 Posted by Winternet (8021 posts) -

And they said 2012 was not going to be the end of the world.

#23 Edited by Kill (298 posts) -

For all those wanting the Higgs boson explained in the simplest way possible and why it's important to us, this short video helps:

#24 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

Exciting stuff. In regards to that video, does anyone have any theories as to why the Higgs Field interacts differently with different particles? He said the heavier particles get bogged down more in the Field, so does that mean that particles have a weight independent of the Higgs Field?

#25 Posted by SockemJetpack (408 posts) -

When I was reading an article about this last night I fell into a youtube vortex of minute long videos about physics. One of the videos had a commercial in front of it explaining how Jesus fed a ton of people with 2 fish and a loaf of bread.

I wasn't convinced. About the fish/bread thing.

Anyway it's great that it's getting people talking but I would bet you a steak dinner that the majority of people out there don't know about this announcement but DO know that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes broke up. They also care more about that latter.

Welcome to Earth. Where physics can fuck off because we're too busy with fairytales and celebrity intrigue.

#26 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Kinda disappointing, tbh. I was hoping they'd find something even stranger and cooler that they weren't expecting, to just completely throw all modern physics through a loop and lead to even more awesome shit down the road.

Also this means that when I become a theoretical physicist I have to spend even more time learning shit before I can come up with my own theories.

#27 Posted by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

I like how when everyone knew this was probably coming the dudes at Fermilab decided to have a press conference Sunday to basically say "We haven't actually found anything conclusive, but we might've found some stuff that could indicate there is something to be found." So they didn't look like complete failures. America, fuck yeah!

#28 Posted by MikkaQ (10294 posts) -

Misleading thread title, because it's still a big "maybe".

#29 Posted by Fattony12000 (7461 posts) -

Good job human race.

#30 Posted by N7 (3590 posts) -

They haven't actually found IT, but they found something that looks like it could be it, so they're watching it and letting the Harlem Globetrotters mess around with it for a while and see what kind of bounce this boson has.

#31 Posted by Village_Guy (2598 posts) -

While they haven't found the Higgs Particle, they did find something new - it could be the Higgs particle, but it could also be something entirely different.

Not that that makes the news any less interesting, as they did find something that could change the way we look at our universe.

#32 Posted by Arkasai (701 posts) -

I think what this shows me, more than how our universe was able to form and not continue at the speed of light forever, is that our understanding is really taking off. It used to take more than a generation to solve problems like this, but I read somewhere that the doubling time on human knowledge is seven years. I think that'll get a bit shorter (if it isn't already) in the years to come, it's very exciting because the odds they're wrong are what...3 million to 1? Disappear into this site for a few hours.

#33 Posted by Animasta (14698 posts) -

so now we wait until CERN creates the time machine that will control the world.

but serious pretty dope stuff

#34 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Wait, this particle can change mass? Create some kind of effect that alters the mass of existing things? Some kind of Ma-

I know what you are saying is meant to be a clever reference, but part of my brain exploded with excitement at this reference.

#35 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

@Animasta said:

so now we wait until CERN creates the time machine that will control the world.

but serious pretty dope stuff

that's where i heard that. i was reading an article, and they brought up CERN, now i remember what it is ;)

#36 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@SockemJetpack: I did not know about this Tom Cruise thing.

Also, while I do not speak for the masses, I could not give fewer shits.

#37 Posted by Bollard (5604 posts) -
Comic Sans motherfuckers!
#38 Posted by believer258 (11949 posts) -

@McGhee said:

@wmaustin55 said:

Sorry, Jesus.

Amen brother.

How does this disprove the notion of some sort of divine creator?

Note that I'm just asking and have no intention of turning this into a flame war of any sort. It's just a question.

#39 Posted by fox01313 (5074 posts) -

Woohoo for science, at least they are finding something new even if it isn't higgs boson particle.

#40 Posted by spiceninja (3062 posts) -

Checkmate, Atheists.

#41 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@PlasmaBeam44: What?

#42 Posted by Ninja_Welshman (486 posts) -

Religion says No!

#43 Posted by WMWA (1162 posts) -
@believer258 It doesn't. I decided to suspend logic in favor of snark
#44 Edited by Pop (2641 posts) -

Does that mean we are one step closer to creating something out of nothing? like a infinite amount of fuel?

#45 Posted by mscupcakes (612 posts) -

It's not necessarily the higgs, it could just be a heavy boson we haven't encountered before. Either way it's a momentous discovery which will further our understanding of the universe.

#46 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

"Higgs Bosson? Ha! We found that years ago. We fired the guy that discovered that when he switched the coffee from regular to de-caff last Thursday. And his secretary too. Nope, now were strictly in the Mantis-Man creation and defence business" - Cave Johnson.

#47 Posted by guiseppe (2841 posts) -

Farfin' awesome! :D.

#48 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

We're getting closer and closer to Time Wave Zero.

#49 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@McGhee said:

@wmaustin55 said:

Sorry, Jesus.

Amen brother.

How does this disprove the notion of some sort of divine creator?

Note that I'm just asking and have no intention of turning this into a flame war of any sort. It's just a question.

It doesn't. It's just a joke. You know about jokes?

#50 Posted by ProfessorEss (7401 posts) -
@SockemJetpack said:

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes broke up. 

Wait what?!