in the beginning of the beginning, the exploding hot universe was full of elementary particles, but the particles had no mass. The universe also contained force fields, and one of those fields, the Higgs, cooled and condensed into a quantum liquid. The liquid dragged on the other particles, giving them mass. The liquid rippled, and the ripples formed a new particle, called the Higgs.
It reads like a just-so story. But it's the basis of the Standard Model of physics. And so far, physicists have found every particle the Standard Model has predicted but one: the Higgs itself. Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland have been looking for the Higgs for more than a year, and by next winter they will either have found it or they'll know they won't. "It's not obvious," says Andrei Gritsan, a Johns Hopkins University physicist working at the LHC, "which scenario would be more interesting."
Physicists at the LHC look for Higgs particles by smashing other particles into each other so hard that something like a Higgs will appear out of the energy of the collision, leaving its signature in a detector. Previous experiments have suggested that the Higgs does not "live" at energies between 0 and 114 gigaelectron-volts, and physicists have now determined that 145 GeV is the uppermost limit, so they are running out of places to look.
As they collide more and more particles, and detect more and more promising signatures, physicists will become increasingly sure that they've detected a Higgs. By this summer, they will be 95 percent confident, but for physicists that's not good enough. By the end of this year, they will be dead certain one way or the other.
If they do find the Higgs, they will have found something profoundly weird. The Standard Model puts all particles into two camps, those that stick together into matter and those that carry the four forces (electromagnetism, gravity, and the "strong" and "weak" nuclear forces). The Higgs belongs to neither camp, and pushing physicists to define it further gets you nowhere. "Words don't matter here," says Jonathan Bagger, a physicist at Johns Hopkins. "Only math does."
If they don't find it? Maybe it's there but its signature is different. Or maybe the Standard Model has a fatal flaw. And if that's the case, nobody has even a just-so story to account for mass. "It's very exciting," Bagger says. "It's very scary."
2012: THE YEAR IN SCIENCE
Is anyone else hoping they DON'T find the Higgs-Bozon?
-Fractals Exist Everywhere in Nature-
I am. Because, I believe it would shatter the misconception that the human race has a good bead on the understanding of the universe. We can't possibly understand something we can only observe from a distance. We most certainly can't base our understanding on what we can observe, test, and analyze on this one planet.
Also it opens the door to new possibilities beyond what exist for us now. If we're right, we are closer to knowing everything and have achieved the limits of our progression. If we're wrong, then we still have a long way to go with greater potential.
"We can't possibly understand something we can only observe from a distance."
The universe is right in front of you.
P.S., if you're trying to spell "FEE-NIX" like the mythological bird/town in Arizona, it's spelled Phoenix. If you're making a play on the word "pheon", then I don't get it.
It's so fun to read these comments. We get to wonder if traditional spelling is not seen due to ignorance or design, and then if that design is from societal laxity or keen commentary.
It also offers a great chance to examine ourselves in the light of "understanding the universe".
Let's take the first post here as examples of how much fun you can have exploring the fundamental physics of the universe. We'll keep the limits somewhere between "You are a figment of my imagination" and "I am a figment of your imagination". Lots of room to breathe!
@GregN913 - the last time I saw anything related to "bozon" it was spelled "boson". Some here would look at you and laugh, assuming that you can't spell. However, let's look at some other possibilities. I can't calculate the probabilities, but if you expand your horizons a bit quantum mechanics - where the Higgs Boson lives - tells us that there are lots of cool possibilities that we shouldn't laugh at!
Maybe it's as simple as a typo, but what if it isn't? What if in the decades since I delved into the subject everyone decided to change "boson" to "bozon" and didn't call and tell me? What if "bozon" is "boson" in a language other than American English? What if GregN913 suddenly slipped into my universe, and in his universe everyone spells it "bozon". What if I slipped into HIS universe? What if all of the particle interactions required to show a "s" at that point on my screen weren't there and it shows as a "z" instead - or that somewhere between GregN913's fingers - assuming fingers were even used - and my eyes some other set of particles changed? What if his spelling teacher wasn't from our universe?
Hey, I know that this sounds silly, but this medium isn't right for parsing exact parameters for the above-mentioned scenarios. What everyone should get out of this is that every time we think we have it figured out, God rolls more dice - and you don't have to be Einstein to figure that one out.
Bucks, Blisters or Blood - Everyone needs to pay for the freedoms we enjoy!
The standard model--with its 18+ particles is way to complicated--it may well quantify what we see, but the answer has to be simpler. Also the standard model falls apart when you try to include gravity. But as we learn more the real answer will become more obvious. I am starting to think that there may be some flaw in what we call mathematics which, when you start multiplying by something approaching infinity starts to give some very strange answers.
I explained this to others as I am about to explain to you. The name is spelled this way due to the name selection issues I encountered when I started this account so long ago. I know how to spell phoenix. Get it.
Also, thanks to space telescopes on multiple spectrums and pretty pictures placed in astronomy books, the universe is in front of us. Doesn't mean we are actually in these relatively different places. You can't account for the chemical make up of a planet on the other end of the observable galaxy. You can't even legitimize the necessity of what leads to the creation of life, only life as we know it (there's a difference). That assessment is akin to a fish making observations about the universe from a bowl. Doesn't really make any sense. If it did, we wouldn't waste our time sending scientific experiments to space because they'd bare results no different than what we do on the surface.
Your point of view is very refreshing.
My prediction, the Higgs boson will never be found, in my view it isn't the basis of the standard model. The Higgs is what most scientist think is the missing link, it's not. The standard model will hold up fine without the Higgs boson, however the standard model must converge with part of the string theory model to survive. I know this may sound pretentious but I honestly think I can explain why this is so, it explains everything, it has nothing to do with the god particle or even the illusionary force of gravity.
The answer to what is mass is so simple most people will be scratching their heads saying why didn't I think of that. Once this new theory is revealed and accepted by the scientific community, Democritus, the great grandfather of modern atomic theory who planted this seed of knowledge will roll over in his grave to scream -- I told you so.
Beep! Beep! Standby for this important news flash!
To POPSCI Editors and Readers of POPSCI,
Side note, but an important one not to be forgotten.
"...The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) seeks ideas for a new name for the VLA. Click the link below for an online entry form to submit a name suggestion. You may enter a free-form name, or a word or phrase to come as a prefix before "Very Large Array," or both.
Entries were accepted through December 1, 2011 and are now being reviewed. The new name will be announced at NRAO's Town Hall at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, January 10, 2012..."
Beep! Beep! Your orginal programing will now resume.
Thank you! ;)
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
Do we know of anything that exists outside of a system? If the answer is no, then the simplest thing in the universe is not a particle, but a system. Using Ocum's Razor, the simplest system would be a binary system. This would point to the universe as being computational.
I would suggest the universe is set up like the very brain we use. The left brain (sequential thought) would be equivalent to the space-time portion of our universe (Directional time)and the right brain (non-sequential thought) would be analogous to a parallel universe that was pure potential and timeless. Potential allows for change.
This model would suggest a universe that has an accelerated expansion as information beget information. The two parallel universes could be connected by Planck Space-time where quantum probability gates governed by the Uncertainty Principle would control the flow of subatomic particles from the timeless universe to the space time universe.
@pheonix1012 “I am. Because, I believe it would shatter the misconception that the human race has a good bead on the understanding of the universe."
You have issues. You would prefer we remain in ignorance simply to humble us as a species.
@pheonix1012 “If we're right, we are closer to knowing everything and have achieved the limits of our progression. If we're wrong, then we still have a long way to go with greater potential.”
You assume we are near the end of the journey. Those that discovered the Atom thought they were studying elementary particles (particles that do not have substructure). Great discoveries in science usually lead to even greater mysteries being uncovered.
I am ready for more mysteries to be revealed.
Moore's Law has to do with the amount of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit, nothing more (Pun intended). Occam's Razor just states the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Binary (Simple) can account for complex, so why not start with simple. I am giving a starting point to leap off from.
Also, beauty has nothing to do with intention. Your spoon quote proves my point about the universe. Particles do not exist by themselves in the manner that physicists believe.
"By the end of this year, they will be dead certain one way or the other."
Just want to point out that even at five-sigma there will still be %0.00003 of uncertainty.
Can you explain why you believe "Particles do not exist by themselves in the manner that physicists believe." and what you mean by "by themselves"?
Well said. I don't like it when grammar critics get on here to sound smart. Thanks for bringing out the point more clearly and I am in total agreement to all your statements.
More people should be on the same page, quit criticizing each other and give ear to peoples ideas.
@Boucains: Surely "Bozon" would be the American English variant, similar to the sheer number of words such as "localise" and "standardise" that have a "z" instead of an "s"? Just sayin' ;)
@D13: If we aren't allowed to correct your grammar, can we correct your misusage of a phrase? (Which, fyi, results in a different meaning being put forward, thereby conveying the wrong idea ;) ) Point in question: if you couldn't give a rat's @$$ (or, as the original phrase was, couldn't care less) then you have no rat's @$$, so you actually cannot give one (or, you care so little, you couldn't care less). However, if you *could* give a rat's @$$, this means you are in possession of a rat's @$$ and could give one, which is not the idea, thought or emotion you wished to convey.
Of course they'll find the Higgs Boson. They always find everything that's predicted by the Standard Model. Isn't it curious how a bunch of hairless monkeys like us can build models that seem to describe the Universe so well? Maybe it's because the Universe is full of every possibility. Whatever they dream up will will be found. By dreaming it up, they create it.
Apparently the observer in the picture of this article can explode marbles with the heat of his magnifying glass, WOW!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
I'm intrigued by the binary concept, with the effects of cp-violation in breaking symmetry on a fractal-based cosmology governed by the laws of thermodynamics. Limitless imperfect iterations of energy due to random mutations that populates every quantum state..
I guess the question is, what causes asymmetry?
@Robot: lol at exploding marbles. It was a discreet burst of optic blast!
I have a feeling that the physical and observable universe acts like a reiterative fractal does. That is to say that parts of the universe reiterate themselves indefinitely and in all possible dimensions. If mass, space and time all followed fractal logic then we would see: Repeated shapes and motions in the bodies of the universe, a self-replicating design which may have no absolute boundaries. A fractal itself has "outer limits", however it still maintains it's infinite nature by doubling back upon itself. What I am suggesting is that the universe is like some sort of nesting dally made up of spherical particles orbiting other spherical particles orbiting other spherical particles, in which everything is made up of smaller iterations of itself. This opens up the possibility for multiple dimensions (if time reiterates), as well as a universal -inwards flow- of energy from larger masses into smaller masses, or perhaps the other way around. Just an idea, but an infinite and self-replicating universe makes more sense than one that "spontaneously combusted" and in my opinion the idea of this Big Bang theory is one centered more around Theology and out limited view of the universe than anything else. Correct me if I am wrong, but only time will tell on this one. BTW if you have a hard time understanding what a "reiteration" is I suggest you get some sort of fractal generation program like Tierazon or Ultrafractal to experiment for yourself. Now it's your turn to throw out a random idea about the universe, or to call me bat-s*** crazy. :D BTW my finger slipped on that Bozon spelling, Z is right next to S on my keyboard. :D
In a symmetrical binary system, there is an equal amount of particles and antiparticles, in which case, any amount of iterations only succeeds in cancelling itself. Matter would've collided with antimatter and our universe could never have 'materialized' itself.
The mystery of that initial cp-violation which snowballed us into existence is the beauty of chaos. While the predictability of a fractal cosmology allowed these minor 'mutations' to reiterate itself into limitless combinations to encompass every available quantum state.
We are energy manifested. One possibility out of endless possibilities. Our existence owed to the 'imperfection' of our creation as we shared the destiny of every sentient beings in this universe in trying to unravel the mysteries of the unfathomable.
tl;dr: cheese for everyone! or maybe the cheese is asymmetrical.. but why is that so?
...I blame subspace. =P~
I blame the demiurge.. haha.
"In a symmetrical binary system, there is an equal amount of particles and antiparticles, in which case, any amount of iterations only succeeds in cancelling itself. Matter would've collided with antimatter and our universe could never have 'materialized' itself."
Vidar, although it is generally understood that at the moment of creation (for lack of a better term) there was likely an equal amount of matter to anti matter particles, there wasn't *necessarily* an asymmetry. Researchers are suggesting anti-mater may actually be inherently less stable, and that may in fact be why matter so overwhelmingly dominates the universe rather than anti-matter.
This would contend that our universe is not a perfect binary, but rather only very closely approximates one. It can still, however, have been born symmetrically.
However, I must stress that any theories in this particular field are extremely preliminary. There's lots of mathematical models that work, but only some observational data (or, in some cases, none). So it's really tough to say what was going on in the first 0.000000 to 0.1 seconds of the early universe.
Having said that, we're making ground every day and will one day, I believe, crack this mystery (undoubtedly revealing even more questions).
"Because, I believe it would shatter the misconception that the human race has a good bead on the understanding of the universe...If we're wrong, then we still have a long way to go with greater potential."
Normally I'm very impressed by what you have to say, but this time I feel quite the opposite.
The universe exists. Our understanding of it is irrelevent. And holding back our knowledge just to retain some level of mysticism, some apparent acceptance of what we don't know, is artificial.
Say we prove wrong this time. Next time, maybe we're close to the truth -- should we hold back from realizing reality then, too? How long should we be incensed by reality without coming to further understandings of it? When is the "goldilocks moment" of understanding, when it's "just right" to finally understand the nature of everything?
Why hold back?
We need to push forward, continue improving our understandings, and grow because of it.
Besides, I can assure with complete certainty, *once* we establish a true, accepted law of gravity -- be it the higgs or some other mechanism -- there *will* be more questions left yet unanswered.
Questions are like energy -- you can never eliminate them, only change their form.
"If we're wrong, then we still have a long way to go with greater potential."
The latter is true irregardless of the former. We don't have to be wrong to know that we have a long way to go with greater potential. Finding the higgs takes us closer to that potential, not finding it gets us not much further.
I for one do hope we've found it.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan
"Vidar, although it is generally understood that at the moment of creation (for lack of a better term) there was likely an equal amount of matter to anti matter particles, there wasn't *necessarily* an asymmetry. Researchers are suggesting anti-mater may actually be inherently less stable, and that may in fact be why matter so overwhelmingly dominates the universe rather than anti-matter.
This would contend that our universe is not a perfect binary, but rather only very closely approximates one. It can still, however, have been born symmetrically."
Yep, that's why I talked about CP-violation and it's significance in breaking the symmetry of the early universe leading to the creation of the material world. It's actually a good read after I stumbled upon it years ago, which made binary/fractal cosmology theories make more sense by incorporating a little bit of chaos into the mix.
Now understanding randomness and chaos, that's gonna be the ultimate trip. Is it governed by a hidden set of rules? If so, then it is neither truly random nor chaotic. But if not, then how can we understand something that inherently defies logic?
I think there are certain particles in the universe which are the physical manifestations of chaos, and though we may never truly understand them completely, we can still realize their effects by observing their influence over other particles. So there might actually be other particles yet to be discovered other than the higgs boson, which could theoretically expand the scope of the standard model.
It reads like a just-so story.
It reads like Genesis.
Stephen Wolfram gets my vote for unscrewing the inscrutable
in his book 'A New Kind of Science'.
Lewis Carroll made nonsense that was truly that. You can begin to imagine his allegory, but just when you think you've got him he slips in something new and blows up your little theory. So what if there is no Higgs? What if [God] is a cunning croupier and sends us back to wondering whenever our stack gets too high? Would that really be so bad?
The 'Average Joe' won't notice an immediate difference in his/her lifetime whether or not the Higgs Bosun is discovered and verified. The discovery will be momentous in scientific circles, but as for 'Joe', not so much.
All those people at CERN are stupid to not giving a contract to all those brilliant people posting here, talking about bozons, bosons and even bosuns. A bosun, by the way, "is an unlicensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship" so, apparently, that bosun was discovered a long time ago on that particular merchant ship with Higgs being the captain.
Really hilarious, these erudite posting people, who are either very drunk or severely drugged.
A scientist PS deduced that the Higgs Boson is a perpetual particle of the future which satisfies supersymmetry and links the past with the future and accordingly the big bang.
In order to prove his theory he asked an observer O to set up a screen to detect lignt(photons) from the Sun. He also supplied an atomic clock. He instructed O that at precisly 12.000000 hours on a particular day he should report his findings. O indeed recorded the detection of light. The scientist PS postulated that O had detected light that had, simultaneosly arrived at his screen which originated from the Sun at 11.52 hours and 12.08 hours i.e. the past and the future. PS asked O to confirm there existed no obvious change in the function of the Sun.
PS suggested that the Higgs boson had facilitated this finding and he accordingly called the boson- the futuron.
Precise calculations and astrophyical analysis are available by contacting the writer.