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Higgs Boson

I heard a rumor that somebody was getting ready to announce the discovery of the Higgs boson, and now I see the discovery being hailed as a done deed on CNN, so I guess they really did it. This is so cool and so awesome! It’s a bit ironic that the discovery was announced on July 4th, the American independence day, by European scientists—if it hadn’t been for penny-pinching anti-science bureaucrats in Washington, that discovery might have been made by, or in conjunction with, an American research team. But America has lost its drive to be pre-eminent in cutting-edge science, preferring instead to come up with innovative ways to mingle science and superstition in public school curricula.

But I digress, and I don’t want my curmudgeonly rant to cast a pall over this tremendous scientific discovery. Like so many in the field of advanced physics, it seems this answer only serves to raise more questions. And that’s the way science ought to work: each new discovery opens the door to making further discoveries. Yes, we have more questions, but now we know what the right questions are, and can start to work on answering them.

Of course, there’s one truly momentous question that’s on everyone’s mind right now, and I’m sure it’s one you all can’t wait to get answered…

How the hell is William Lane Craig going to spin this one into some kind of cock-eyed proof of that God exists?

 

Comments

  1. E.A. Blair says

    Keep in mind that CNN also announced that the Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    It’s a bit ironic that the discovery was announced on July 4th, the American independence day, by European scientists—if it hadn’t been for penny-pinching anti-science bureaucrats in Washington, that discovery might have been made by, or in conjunction with, an American research team.

    Many American physicists are involved, as collaborators on those research teams. The resulting journal articles will have hundreds of authors, many of them Americans.
    .
    The Tevatron at Fermilab was indeed shut down ahead of schedule last year, which was unfortunate, but the mass of the Higgs was quite a stretch for them anyway.
    .
    Then there’s the SSC (Superconducting super collider) which was killed before it was built. It was badly managed, as displayed by critical design changes during the process which mangled the budget.

  3. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    It’s a bit ironic that the discovery was announced on July 4th, the American independence day, by European scientists

    The first announcement, for the CMS experiment, was made by Joe Incandela, who is American.

  4. Anubis Bloodsin the third says

    The July 4 thing was nor meant as a slur or a nah nah de nah nah chance.

    It was decided apparently a week earlier when it became abundantly clear to the team leaders Atlas and CMS, and the top brass at CERN that they both had the 5.0 sigma standard deviation slam dunked, to borrow an American idiom!
    But the protocol for the CERN collaboration meant that the announcement of a discovery would only be made from a contributing member state territory.

    Australia is not involved financially in CERN so the IHEP conference scheduled to start at that date was ruled out as the venue …but it is a important conference…so they did the video link thing with their opening ceremony in Aussi.
    Besides now they can throw data from their presentation to the assembled there and give them summat’ to get their teeth into during the duration.

    It was just a timing thing….besides they could not keep a cap on it for more then a week cos leaks were apparent a week ago in the physics blog world…so it was a pragmatic move before it turned into a farcical gesture.
    I must admit when they announced the update…I was expecting a 3.5-4.5 sigma rating and a things going well and should be there end of this year kind of message…but the cat got out the bag when it was revealed the theorists that developed the theory in the 60’s were invited to CERN on that date specifically…that was a giveaway…this was special.

    It was just a buzz…I watched the thing on line from CERN live and the excitement was so palpable it made the nerves tingle.

    When Atlas announced they had it at 5.0 sigma…I nearly cried!

    • Deacon Duncan says

      The July 4 thing was nor meant as a slur or a nah nah de nah nah chance.

      Oh, absolutely, and I hope I didn’t sound like I was taking it that way. I thought it was highly ironic, but not intentionally so. I agree, this is a tremendous breakthrough, and news well worth announcing regardless of the date.

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