The latest news from the Large Hadron Collider: scientists still cannot explain why we're all here. In the most detailed analysis of strange beauty particles — that's what they're really called — physicists cannot find supersymmetric particles, which are shadow partners for every known particle in the standard model of modern physics. This could mean that they don't exist, which would be very interesting news indeed.
Physicists at CERN have been studying a class of particle called B mesons, which are heavy objects made up of two different quarks (one antimatter and one regular matter) that decay into other particles. Their heaviness gives them several decay options, which makes them useful for studying matter-antimatter asymmetry.
This asymmetry explains why everything exists — which, from a mathematical point of view, it should not. Equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang, and the two types would have annihilated each other, leaving nothing behind. But somehow matter won out, meaning there was an imbalance between matter and antimatter at some point. Supersymmetry is one way to explain this. Supersymmetric particles, which have names like squarks and selectrons, exist for every particle and have slightly different characteristics than their counterparts.
Last year, physicists at the Tevatron said B mesons seemed to have had an affinity for becoming matter rather than antimatter. This decay preference suggested some other particle or force may be at work — a deviation from the standard model, possibly the work of supersymmetric particles.
But now the LHC data, which physicists say are more precise than Tevatron's, does not show this matter-decay deviation. This, in turn, could mean there is no supersymmetry; no squarks or selectrons. We are not going to attempt to delve into the physics of this — check out the LHCb experiment and Quantum Diaries posts if you're interested in the nuts and bolts.
This will be disappointing to some theorists, because supersymmetry provides a handy answer to many troubling physics questions. At high energies, it unifies electromagnetism with the weak and strong nuclear forces, and in some iterations, the theory provides a candidate for dark matter, in the form of a stable heavy particle like a neutralino. Supersymmetry is also an essential characteristic of string theory, which for now is the only widely accepted theory that unifies quantum mechanics and relativity.
In a story about this over at the BBC, Nobel Prize-winning physicist George Smoot called supersymmetry "an extremely beautiful model."
"It's got symmetry, it's super and it's been taught in Europe for decades as the correct model because it is so beautiful," he said. "But there's no experimental data to say that it is correct."
So what does this mean? It's not entirely over, as the BBC points out — there are a few versions of supersymmetry, which are more complex than the basic mass-energy level version that has apparently just been ruled out. So different flavors of supersymmetry could still be true. But it could also mean supersymmetry is just wrong, and if that's the case, physicists will have to come up with some big new ideas.
At least we ruled out something! Which means we're one step closer to the truth :)
bored? lets go mine the stars... :)
If we do not exist detemine by some of the smartest people around, then it antimatter, if I take tomrrow off from work.
i am definately not an expert but i do try to keep up, could this just mean they have not found supersymmetric particles yet, and what if we are not capable of finding them, would that necessarily mean they don't exist? it would be nice to have some evidence of their existence, cheers
By some of the smartest people around, they were allowed to create some of the best tools available, to validate we exist. Currently there conclusion is we should not exist. I wonder if they feel ok, if their future pay check should reflect the results of their work. Since their search and found nothing and they concluded they do not exist. I really so point in paying someone who isn't there.
Imagine they probably get a large salary in pursuant of something none of us can imagine and they themselves cannot see. And yet they being scientist find us religious people just having an odd little fantasy speaking to our invisible friend, in hopes of protecting our soul, of which we cannot quantify.
Quantum physics is the juncture where science and religion become so similar they may as well be one and the same. And fact always supersedes theory.
This means a lot and very little. Basically our lovely smart people took existing data, put it on the wall and tried to apply a math construct that would explain how what we know and what we perceive could have come to be as well as how they interact with each other.
After creating a great model that got other smart people to agree that it was a super model. So like some clothing makers do, they assume if you put your hopes on a super model you will sell clothes. Unfortunately their supermodel pigged out on bacon cheese burgers the night before and could not fit into the clothes.
The smart people are left with two options. Fix the clothes (symmetry hypothesis) or redesign new clothes for something that fits the data (come up with a new hypothesis they can test). If they fix the clothes, that means they need more strings and increase the dimensions of the clothes. Otherwise they need to scrap it all and start over.
Many scientists have dedicated a good portion of their life to these formulas. A good scientist can go through his life believing one thing, to find out he was completely wrong, and still feel good about his life. Science is one of the only field where being wrong can be just as valuable as being right.
Of course this also means all of those books are basically worthless now. The scientists will have to write new books on the topic, and of course there are no refunds or trade ins, so you will have to buy a new fall wardrobe for your bookshelf. (The bright side, lots of people will make money on a new set of books.)
"Imagine they probably get a large salary in pursuant of something none of us can imagine and they themselves cannot see. And yet they being scientist find us religious people just having an odd little fantasy speaking to our invisible friend, in hopes of protecting our soul, of which we cannot quantify."
Show me a religious person who is building devices to prove the existence of his/her God and disprove the existence of competing Gods from other religions.
Also... the scientists are not paid based on theories they come up with... they get paid through grants to perform research and collect empirical data.
This is the crucial difference... scientists admit to themselves when their beliefs (ideas not based on empirical evidence) are proven wrong through experiments.
Religious folks don't even try to do experiments to test their own beliefs.
This is why this experiment is so ground breaking. I think the lack of supersymmetric particles will lead to an even greater discovery than proving the classical theoretical structure.
Means that there's either more to what we understand creating the opportunity to learn a few new things, or that we simply do not understanding anything at all with a chance to learn everything new as it is suppose to be understood.
If our laws of physics could be re-written, this would open the door to all the things that people keep saying are impossible; much like combustion engines and powered flight.
The fact that we are as intelligent as we are and still don't have it all figured out is proof of something greater than us at work on the forces of the universe. Except things are not totally random. There's an order to nature that we're still trying to understand.
Truly exciting news.
I think the mix up is the divide between the religious and the spiritual. Spiritual folk seek truth, no matter what that truth may be. Religious folk hold on to one truth and usually do not except anything else.
True scientists seek truth through the collection of empirical data in the hopes that they might enlighten themselves and humanity. Regardless of their individual truths, every once and a while they may shed light on a scientific fact that shatters whatever truth they cling to (scientific or spiritual). This however does not shake them because they understand (like any intelligent individual) that we all form preconceptions about the universe surrounding us. Academic pursuit allows us to learn, grow, and evolve.
This is the connection between the scientific and spiritual; the search for truth through fact. However, no matter what you believe, anything that can not be calculated, measured, or quantified you must take with a measure of faith. In the end it's the only thing that'll give you peace of mind on the more simply complex things that drive most people mad in the pursuit of trying to figure out a definitive meaning.
we do not exist. we are simply constructs in a complex computer simulation. the big bang/god created the universe (same thing) was just the programmer turning on the computer
@B.V. A non-religious person is never wrong; at least to themselves. Being non-religious bring much opportunity for a Narcissist too. Of course in life he will have everything to himself, but at the end of life, he will have nothing.
But a Christian considers being a sinner and is always doing inner research and gladly admits he is wrong to learn a higher lesson. Though it’s not just about admitting to oneself be wrong, but actually understanding why and growing in spirit. Now I have seen a popular “feel-good” Christian belief that worries me. It just promotes 2 or 3 parts of Christianity. 1st, God our father loves and forgives us, 2nd Jesus our brother loves and forgives us. I have notice this seems exceptionally dominate in churches and little if any is explained about the 3rd. The 3rd understands the Holy Spirit. In Christianity we also need to understand if we show contempt to the Holy Spirit, we can lose our salvation. The “feel-good” church may touch on this, but I feel it is spoken rarely. If I was forgiven for everything, then I could easily rationalize I can do anything I want, because well I am forgiven and this just leads to chaos and no growth. The Holy Spirit is inside us and around us and it can see and know if we are honest\truthful\hypocritical in our love and request for forgiveness. People in church do not want to be told, not all go to Heaven; A great many preachers would be booted out the door. A true Christian is always introspective, growth oriented. Each of us is individuals and is having our own religious experience in life. 7 Billion People in the world and 75% of them believe in God and yes we do have a wide variety of cultures, language and regions. The journey of life is unique for each person.
Oh, my first comment about the scientist and saying we do not exist or nothing... I was just joking a little. Don't take it to serious, B.V.
@everyone actually, the spiritual generally attempt to use philosophy to prove logical assumptions on the nonphysical universe under the grounds that the mind is nonphysical and thus an indicator of its own nature. the perfection via divine revelation or otherwise is the religious, who believe they have found truth. Religion in itself, especially the older ones that have stood the tests of time are ingeniously explained and backed up with very minimal assumptions by philosophy and thus by the nature of philosophy rational. As I favor Catholicism and cannot accurately back up any non Christians but the writings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas make as much sense as the most current macro-physics book. The only assumption you need to make is that the universe is ordered and not by chance, not a very big leap of faith really. Especially is you judge the tree by the fruit it bears. Finally my very short guide for the spiritual wanderer to rapidly eliminate a spew of possibilities, Occam's razor, and true science and true faith are complimentary. this can lead you to just about any direction, but food for thought for the undecided theist is that God would have revealed himself and layed down absolute truth, if he has a plan for you then he would have revealed it. Assuming he still attends to this universe I find it doubtful that the true religion he layed down would have fallen. has it cracked or made mistakes? definitively. but luckily when all science is perfected it will be child's play to fix religion. very exciting thoughts for me anyway.
@phoenix the burning question I have is can a spiritual person who believes they have found truth still be considered spiritual? or is the act of completing their goal change their mission to find truth?
really bad joke:"what do you call Sophia's husband? A philosopher!" *slaps knee while fake laughing*
We can't mix a set of believings based on faith with a set of believings based on trial and tests.
People can try to create large constructs around them, but there is fact: it is through the understanding of the laws, rules or mechanics of whatever-we-are-on universe we have made some actual progress.
The main strength of science is being able to evaluate itself and transform based on new data, not on holding the truth. Truth is just an abstract ideal we may never reach, just slowly aproximate.
You religious guys.... stay out from my science! XD
"..... Some one famous once asked, if you heard TRUTH would you know it?...."
Oh dear, don't try to put makeup over christianity. They have a history so long and with so many texts and writers, of course soooome one had to make a little sense somewhere.
Don't forget the work of these philosopher priests started by learning from the philosophers of the (pagan) ancient greece.
That's the main issue of religion, you can't judge science by saying is stubborn when we have a lot of references in history like Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei because it was so hard to contradict their previous believings.
Physics was built upon a foundation of observations, a model dependent realism, understood through an evolved sensory system for Earth faring species.
There is a certain point, a singularity of perception, where human observation can no longer yield the secrets of the universe.
The periodic table of elements is a spectrum, similar to the light spectrum. There are elements, that we cannot observe using our Earth evolved sensory system, which are existing outside of the visible element spectrum.
Since these particles, or elements, have not threatened or benefited the survival of competing species on Earth, the sensory system did not evolve to understand them.
Furthermore, our entire existence, our conscienceness, is a fabrication of the true form of the universe, one that suits survival on Earth.
BubbaGump, your are officially banned from the comments here, as it is harder to understand your english than it is to understand these experiments!
@madmarv, I just read you profile and you last comment. I quote "......First! What up tosh.o?...." Now please explain this sentence so all POPSCI readers can enjoy all your wisdom in your writings. Thank you!
But you are correct at time, my spelling sucks, my grammar is bad. I know, I am sorry. Now as we speak about me, I hope you improve yourself too.
@migsposada very true, if you combine the writings of all who put themselves under the banner of the christian flag then flag we are a few needles of brilliance in a sea of ignorance. likewise if you read a book on the theory of the mind written in the 17th century you will be thoroughly dumbfounded on how this was once the agreed consensus of the mind. The book was about how the cosmic fluids vibrate to create all physical phenomena. point is, stick to the educated and those with credentials in every knowledge seeking activity. Although if you can point out any traditional book of Christianity that is illogical I'd love to hear it, otherwise you are flinging unfounded generalizations. yet again i come across one who seems to think you must choose faith or religion when they really are complimentary, the how and the why. they are both tools used to understand the universe and they work best when used in combination, I would certainly say the theory of evolution suggests some profound insights into the nature of God. Western civilization is in dept to Christianity and largely so to the monks. I'd recommend checking out these books and their credentials, you may be surprised by how much ignorance is distilled within society. "how the catholic church build western civilization" and the much more humorous "the book of general ignorance"
@bubbagump no offense but i have to agree i'm rather confused with what your saying, but i'm sure i'm just as guilty
Please take your Ritalin, Bubba. Then maybe you won't feel the need to post 23 times a day.
They can be complementary, if religion is used as a spiritual guide, but for most of the population it does not end there.
So, there are a needles of brilliance as you say, but the sea of ignorance is not something left in the past, it still lives in this XXI. I think the problems generated by religion (as a whole) outweight its benefits, specially when most of the believers are not actually following the concepts behind their religion.
As Gandhi once said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
For practical purposes, society can benefit a lot more from not having religious organizations than it can benefit from those believings.
I think I can be a good human being (and thus a good christian in the practical sense) without following a religion or believing in a god, because I love the human race and its potential. We can tell good from bad, in a secular way.
@Greg_NJ, I promise you, my needs are out of this country, but soon they will be arriving and all will be well. hehe hoho, hehe..
To all, I regret my grammar is poor. I do use word to check my spell check and grammar, but still stuff happens. Just move on... and post you own wonderous comments. Believe me, I live with my own frustration most of all.
@Greg_NJ, you have a reputation of just insulting me. But more to the point, you do not add any intelligent comments of your own. Your just deliver cheap shots... If anyone looks at your profile the evidence is there. I have a request for you to say something wondrous about this article and wow us all, the PoPSCi readers with you own genius. I gave you a nice introduction now and we are waiting, please do not disappoint. WOW-us! Bu-bye..
@migposada Agreed. except for perhaps how much of secular morality is borrowed capital from Christianity and if it ever fades will be lost and slowly we will revert to the true apathy and lack of virtue that destroyed Rome. Unfortunately the age of Christianity has faded but those years were the best known to western civilization, one of the few times where Christians were actual Christians and we did as we thought. in contrast to the only well documented time where man could be as base as possible with NO authority to report to, the american frontiers of the 17th century. The part where you say society can benefit is a little irrational when you think about it, religion is the guide for the morality that has shaped the world and for the vast majority the guide to the spiritual world, and returning to God is something that any theist desires. In addition morality is irrational without God, not to say it doesn't work but irrational things rarely hold in our society. Out of curiosity please state what the downsides of religions are specifically, just so i can get a window into your mentality.
Have you ever consider the mystery that surrounds the number 666. Its a feared number or sign. But really what is the concept about? The fact as I understand it, it’s just about symbolism or idols. That a evil and exceptional smart person will show up in the future and speak beautifully and tell you all the things you wish to know and assume signs of idols and paganism. He will not stop at Christian beliefs, no. He will actually influence a large number of religions and ask you to adopt the sign of that religion. And that is the crux of it all. No sign, no words on a page, no language, no religion, anything or symbol or idol can do anything for you. You need to personally understand life, ask questions, like why and how come and truly understand the meanings of things. You cannot get caught up in crosses or figurines or music or clouds or magic or fire of things that shock or amaze you. You as an individual need to find the purpose of life, our dear GOD and all that are meaningful. It’s a real test and it depends on your inner spirit. And there you go. We each are responsible for our own decisions and actions and we will be judge. It is better to die righteous than to die with regret. We all die; die with a meaningful purpose, hope and a future.
non-stop diarrhea of the mouth...
I'm waiting for you to add an intelligent and readable comment also.
Well, we can only agree in our disagreement.
Morality was not invented by Christianity, some people have even suggested Jesus was influenced by spiritual movements from the Far East.
My points against religion, in the practical sense and what happens in our real world:
- People follow instructions (do this, don't that) but don't actually make the core concepts of morality and ethics part of them. They are mostly sheeps, vocalizing words without actually reading them.
- The religion itself is designed to forbide any critics, and ignore arguments against their core ideas, all as a method of self-defense.
- Mix a set of believings of actual practical utility, with mythological narrations and ceremonial rites *AND* make people to believe they are all one single thing.
- Does not know its own limits and affects our society in areas not actually of their concern. (For example, in Latin America the catholic church was against *all* methods of contraception for a long time, how many billions we need to be before we stop the "creced and multiplicaos" nonsense).
- Most religions are fighting each other directly or indirectly, because on its core they are mostly concerned about spreading, and any other religion is competence.
So, we have something hermetic, possibly some nice ideas on its core, but a lot of crappy things around, designed to spread and multiply. Please stop.
Why can't we go directly to the good stuff and learn to live together.
This needs an edit button :P
replace "competence" with "a rival".
@Greg_NJ, that's it.... well ok... you need more time and that fine. I do look forward to your promising intelligent useful comments that will inspire others... No you do not have to do it instantly upon demand. But am confident you have a human being have something positive to offer and look forward to it later. I will give you this and please considerate. You do get points for each day you live life and endure it and survive it; in other words, your opinion matters. So if nothing else if you just wish to opinionate you feelings on the article that is ok. Your opinion matters. I like to hear what you feel or know or think you know. Take care and good night. Being a smart ass is easy. I be blunt, I myself can be a smart ass. I like you just voice your opinions about this article and or knowledge.