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Old Jul 3rd 2012, 10:53 PM
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Default Higgs to be confirmed ?!

Rumour has it that at a press conference tomorrow (2012, July 4th 9am CEST) the conclusive detection of the Higgs particle will be confirmed by CERN. If so, this will be on the same level as the confirmation of relativity in 1919 or the experiments that confirmed the uncertainty principle or the exclusion principle.

The Higgs particle is ubiquitous in modern physics and confirmation would solidify the Standard Model beyond all reasonable doubt. Failure in detecting it on the highest level of certainty used in physics would have caused a crisis in science unprecedented in human history and that's not an exaggeration.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

great news. yeahyay physics.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

I haven't a clue about this business. I read it and read it and never understand it at all.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Rumour has it that at a press conference tomorrow (2012, July 4th 9am CEST) the conclusive detection of the Higgs particle will be confirmed by CERN. If so, this will be on the same level as the confirmation of relativity in 1919 or the experiments that confirmed the uncertainty principle or the exclusion principle.

The Higgs particle is ubiquitous in modern physics and confirmation would solidify the Standard Model beyond all reasonable doubt. Failure in detecting it on the highest level of certainty used in physics would have caused a crisis in science unprecedented in human history and that's not an exaggeration.
Apparently CERN screwed up their scoop and accidentally released a YouTube video on Monday evening confirming the news way before the official press conference to announce it.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Rumour has it that at a press conference tomorrow (2012, July 4th 9am CEST) the conclusive detection of the Higgs particle will be confirmed by CERN. If so, this will be on the same level as the confirmation of relativity in 1919 or the experiments that confirmed the uncertainty principle or the exclusion principle.

The Higgs particle is ubiquitous in modern physics and confirmation would solidify the Standard Model beyond all reasonable doubt. Failure in detecting it on the highest level of certainty used in physics would have caused a crisis in science unprecedented in human history and that's not an exaggeration.

So far as I'm aware, they haven't conclusively confirmed that it is the standard model Higgs Boson, but certainly a Higgs-like particle. It's a new boson with a mass of 125.3 +/- 0.6 GeV at 4.9σ significance - or 5.0 depending on your source.

That means that it could very well be the Higgs Boson, but they're still within the realm of preliminary findings.


In other news, a Higgs particle walked into a church one day and proclaimed that it was the god particle. Infuriated at the blasphemy, the priest demanded that the Higgs Boson leave immediately. "But I can't" the particle cried, "you can't have mass without me!"
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Apparently CERN screwed up their scoop and accidentally released a YouTube video on Monday evening confirming the news way before the official press conference to announce it.
That must be how it got on the rumour mill, LOL. Though I doubt the 'accidental' part. It was probably more over-excitement and maybe a bit of ego.
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

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Originally Posted by Suibhne View Post
So far as I'm aware, they haven't conclusively confirmed that it is the standard model Higgs Boson, but certainly a Higgs-like particle. It's a new boson with a mass of 125.3 +/- 0.6 GeV at 4.9σ significance - or 5.0 depending on your source.

That means that it could very well be the Higgs Boson, but they're still within the realm of preliminary findings.
Correct. The definitive conclusion should be known near the end of July.
http://press.web.cern.ch/press/Press.../PR17.12E.html

Though to be honest : what else could it be ? If it turned out to be yet another non-Higgs boson I think they'd pick up the LHC and throw it in the Mediterranean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suibhne View Post
In other news, a Higgs particle walked into a church one day and proclaimed that it was the god particle. Infuriated at the blasphemy, the priest demanded that the Higgs Boson leave immediately. "But I can't" the particle cried, "you can't have mass without me!"
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

How does this impact the world? What changes in 10, 20, 50 years?
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
I haven't a clue about this business. I read it and read it and never understand it at all.
I'll have a go and try to explain the whole thing while keeping it as simple as possible.

First you probably have to unlearn something. To this day in many schools one still uses the Bohr model for the atom, i.e. electrons as little balls often portrayed as either billiard balls or a tiny planetary system.

Well, forget that model. Erase it from your memory, ostracize it from every neuron in your brain: it's wrong and leads to nothing but misunderstandings and false paradoxes.

Particles aren't little balls. They're weird things incomparable with anything in the everyday macroscopic world. They do not have a position in space in the way a chair or a car or indeed a ball has. They are 'smeared out' over a tiny region. Sometimes they do act as if they were a ball-particle but they can also act as if they're diffuse over that region.

They are this way because they are actually an expression of an underlying concept: a field. They are the smallest manifestations of such fields, by definition the quantum of a field. Hence the notion of quantum field theory.

That's how the universe is now looked upon: a whole bunch of all-permeating fields each manifested in its own type of particles. You'll know neutrons, protons, electrons, photons, etc... but there are actually dozens of them.

This approach to physics with fields and quanta has been hugely successful. But there were still a number of problems. One is that there were nooks and crannies were things didn't add up alright. Another was that the values for the particles were arbitrary. The masses, charges and other properties of the particles were just put in the equations according to the results of measurements and experiments but without any reason as to why they had these values.

Both these issues (and many more but that would require a book) could be resolved by hypothesizing yet another field with its specific particle, the Higgs field. If that field existed it would give a reason why all the particles had the properties they had because it was a result of their interaction with this hypothetical field. It would explain many other things too and it was predicted by new theories such as string theory.

So how do you find out if there is such a field : by looking for its associated particle, the Higgs boson. Now this isn't easy; it was hypothesized to be a relatively heavy particle and in the world of the smallest, heavy things are harder to find. So there was a need for a big ass machine; enter the Large Hadron Collider, the LHC. It does a lot of work but its main focus has been on finding the Higgs particle from the start.

And that's what's now in the news : there is a particle found within the range where the Higgs boson was expected to be. All that remains now is to make sure it is the long sought particle and not something else. But the chance of the latter is very small.

Note : You may ask : "but what IS a field?". Well, it's first and foremost a mathematical construct which allows a framework for calculations which are unprecedentedly accurate and strong in predictive power. But if you ask whether these fields physically exist, I don't think anyone can really answer that. I'm not even sure whether the question makes sense.

Note : this is a very concise and therefore rough and imprecise explanation. If you're really interested in this stuff, ask away or read a good book (hmmm, thread idea...)
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Old Jul 4th 2012, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Higgs to be confirmed ?!

Thank you, DOminick, for trying to explain it.
Unfortunately, I still don't have a clue, but I appreciate your efforts
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