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(BBC)   Higgs boson scientists awarded Nobel prize in physics. This is massive news   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 31
    More: Cool, physics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Particle Physics, Nobel Prize in Physics, basic science, Nobel Committee, LHC, Swedish kronor  
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834 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Oct 2013 at 1:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



31 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-10-08 01:10:15 PM  
Wow. That's heavy, Doc.
 
2013-10-08 01:21:01 PM  
Whose bottom?
 
2013-10-08 01:29:24 PM  
Not surprising.

Now, let's see Pynchon win the literature prize so I can at least pretend it's worth something.
 
2013-10-08 01:31:07 PM  
I can't believe the Nobel people fell for this -- everyone knows that psychics are a scam.
 
2013-10-08 01:39:46 PM  
Glad they found the Higgs Boson before Higgs shuffled off this moral coil. Good to see his hard won theory be validated, though if I were in his shoes the winning of the prize would be secondary to them actually discovering the Higgs field.

/And Francois Englert too!
 
2013-10-08 01:47:30 PM  
Media has gotten carried away with things.

But who is going to turn down a nobel prize.
 
2013-10-08 01:47:38 PM  

Reverend J: Glad they found the Higgs Boson before Higgs shuffled off this moral coil. Good to see his hard won theory be validated, though if I were in his shoes the winning of the prize would be secondary to them actually discovering the Higgs field.

/And Francois Englert too!


As far as anyone can tell, it was the discovery he cared about more. No one can even get *ahold* of him. (though he has, apparently, always been a bit media shy)
 
2013-10-08 01:56:18 PM  
Doesn't make a particle of difference who wins, really.
 
2013-10-08 02:00:46 PM  
So the LHC didn't create a black hole and destroy the earth after all?
 
2013-10-08 02:10:08 PM  
Back in the 70's, a friend of mine went to Cal Tech and I ran into him one summer, while we were going to college.  During our conversation, I asked him what he was doing during the summer and he said he was working at Fermi Lab, helping out on an experiment.  I asked, what was the experiment about, and he said, that they were looking for an intermediate boson.  I had a real basic understanding of what he was talking about, like I knew what a boson was and after, I was over my head.  He brought out a write up of the experiment, which consisted of 2 pages of hard to understand text and about 20 papers of equations and diagrams, which, of course, were completely beyond my understanding.  Only much later, when discussions about the Higgs boson appeared in articles in the popular press, did dawn on me that this is probably what they were looking for.

Later, after he had gotten his Phd. from Cal Tech, I ran into him again.  He was living in Palo Alto and he was head of research for a start up company making "switches".  "Switches?", I asked because I couldn't see him designing light switches or something like that.  He said, "Switches for the Internet."  This was so long ago, that my response was, "Internet?  What's the Internet?"  He gave me the "You're a hopeless moron" look and explained what the Internet would be, in the future.  His company, of course, lost out to Cisco.  Last I heard, he was VP of research at some other start up company.
 
2013-10-08 02:14:17 PM  

FrancoFile: So the LHC didn't create a black hole and destroy the earth after all?


They're still working on that.
 
2013-10-08 02:19:30 PM  
They've got a long way to go in making this more substantial...
 
2013-10-08 02:37:55 PM  

GlobalThunder: Whose bottom?


i1.ytimg.com

Pfft... Bottom.
 
2013-10-08 02:43:05 PM  

zimbomba63: I asked, what was the experiment about, and he said, that they were looking for an intermediate boson.  [...] Only much later, when discussions about the Higgs boson appeared in articles in the popular press, did dawn on me that this is probably what they were looking for.


The Higgs isn't an intermediate boson (force-carrying particle).  They were probably looking for the weak force's W or Z intermediate bosons, which were first searched for in the 1970's, but weren't discovered until the early 1980's (at CERN, not Fermilab).
 
2013-10-08 02:50:20 PM  

zimbomba63: Back in the 70's, a friend of mine went to Cal Tech and I ran into him one summer, while we were going to college.  During our conversation, I asked him what he was doing during the summer and he said he was working at Fermi Lab, helping out on an experiment.  I asked, what was the experiment about, and he said, that they were looking for an intermediate boson.  I had a real basic understanding of what he was talking about, like I knew what a boson was and after, I was over my head.  He brought out a write up of the experiment, which consisted of 2 pages of hard to understand text and about 20 papers of equations and diagrams, which, of course, were completely beyond my understanding.  Only much later, when discussions about the Higgs boson appeared in articles in the popular press, did dawn on me that this is probably what they were looking for.

Later, after he had gotten his Phd. from Cal Tech, I ran into him again.  He was living in Palo Alto and he was head of research for a start up company making "switches".  "Switches?", I asked because I couldn't see him designing light switches or something like that.  He said, "Switches for the Internet."  This was so long ago, that my response was, "Internet?  What's the Internet?"  He gave me the "You're a hopeless moron" look and explained what the Internet would be, in the future.  His company, of course, lost out to Cisco.  Last I heard, he was VP of research at some other start up company.


Well sort of...
The W and Z bosons (together known as the weak bosons or, less specifically, the intermediate vector bosons) are the elementary particles that mediate the weak interaction;
...
Following the spectacular success of quantum electrodynamics in the 1950s, attempts were undertaken to formulate a similar theory of the weak nuclear force. This culminated around 1968 in a unified theory of electromagnetism and weak interactions by Sheldon Glashow, Steven Weinberg, and Abdus Salam, for which they shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics.[5] Their electroweak theory postulated not only the W bosons necessary to explain beta decay, but also a new Z boson that had never been observed.
The fact that the W and Z bosons have mass while photons are massless was a major obstacle in developing electroweak theory. These particles are accurately described by an SU(2) gauge theory, but the bosons in a gauge theory must be massless. As a case in point, the photon is massless because electromagnetism is described by a U(1) gauge theory. Some mechanism is required to break the SU(2) symmetry, giving mass to the W and Z in the process. One explanation, the Higgs mechanism, was forwarded by Peter Higgs and others in the mid 1960s. It predicts the existence of yet another new particle; the Higgs boson. Of the four components of a Goldstone boson created by the Higgs field, three are "eaten" by the W+, Z0, and W- bosons to form their longitudinal components and the remainder appears as the spin 0 Higgs boson.
 
2013-10-08 02:55:16 PM  

Ambitwistor: zimbomba63: I asked, what was the experiment about, and he said, that they were looking for an intermediate boson.  [...] Only much later, when discussions about the Higgs boson appeared in articles in the popular press, did dawn on me that this is probably what they were looking for.

The Higgs isn't an intermediate boson (force-carrying particle).  They were probably looking for the weak force's W or Z intermediate bosons, which were first searched for in the 1970's, but weren't discovered until the early 1980's (at CERN, not Fermilab).


awww, second place again!
 
2013-10-08 03:06:22 PM  
Congratulations to the CERN team.

The USA would have had this ~10 years earlier if the democrats (who held the Presidency, as well as the majority in both the House, and Senate) had not killed the U.S's Superconducting Super Collider in 1993.

* MUCH larger than the Euro project.
* Wasn't downsized, it was killed outright.
* In defense of billy jeff, he did try to get the democrat congress to keep the project alive, but he caved to the democrats.

Why do democrats hate science?
 
2013-10-08 03:25:47 PM  
I live about a mile from Fermi Lab. They have a herd of buffalo living on the grounds. I call them... The Higgs Bison.

/sorry if you've heard this one before
//but it's true, nonetheless
 
2013-10-08 03:28:55 PM  
Passed over once again:

si0.twimg.com
 
2013-10-08 03:46:13 PM  
The Higgs thingie is that mysterious woman part, right?
 
2013-10-08 03:51:46 PM  
Huh.... bet he didn't see that coming.
 
2013-10-08 03:57:19 PM  
I see what you did there.
 
2013-10-08 04:16:19 PM  
This had to be the least surprising Nobel in physics ever. I'm pretty sure everyone knew it was coming for the last year and a half.
 
2013-10-08 04:50:15 PM  
I hope the next particle is called the Higg's Boson's mate.
 
2013-10-08 05:39:32 PM  

WhyteRaven74: This had to be the least surprising Nobel in physics ever. I'm pretty sure everyone knew it was coming for the last year and a half.


Smart money was definitely on Higgs, but there was uncertainty as to who he'd share the prize with.
 
2013-10-08 06:06:07 PM  
I wanted to reach through the radio and strangle the reporter on NPR this morning who kept calling it "the god particle."  I expect more responsible reporting from NPR.
 
2013-10-08 07:53:05 PM  
Now make a device that can remotely manipulate the higgs field to make skulls less dense and you'll win another Nobel.
 
2013-10-08 07:54:42 PM  

Prickly Pete: I wanted to reach through the radio and strangle the reporter on NPR this morning who kept calling it "the god particle."  I expect more responsible reporting from NPR.


God-damn NPR.
 
2013-10-08 09:14:57 PM  

OnlyM3: The USA would have had this ~10 years earlier if....
Why do democrats hate science?


Yeah, nowhere near that simple.  There were several layers of farkups in the SSC.  Too many overlapping committees* chock full of physicists and nowhere near enough engineering talent high enough up in the mix to help steer things.  DOE and before that AEC had a history of underselling things and then cranking up the cost.  During the atomic age and cold war it worked, congress would fret and furrow their brows but then give in.  After the Berlin wall came down, shiat got real and everyone was talking about a peace dividend.  People from both parties in congress were not amused when the SSC costs doubled, then doubled again.  OK, same thing with NASA and what became the ISS, but they were getting hammered too, they just did the politics much better and got enough token international support.  SSC had managed to piss off enough of their colleagues in Europe and Japan such that they couldn't do the same.  Eventually congress turned it into a "I'll vote for the NASA thing and then I've done my bit for big science, fark this SSC bullshiat I keep hearing no good things about".

I got the fun of sitting on a tiny sub-panel evaluating one of the farkups that became a reason for adding another $500M to the SSC cost and at least a year to the build schedule.  It was stunning how some of the higher ups acted.  Here we were telling them that they were going to need a 'liner' in the tube because otherwise the radiation was going to 'heat' the wall (not exactly, but laymen's terms) and make it impossible to startup the machine, because it would fill with gas and ruin the beam.  And they were like "well, we have to do whatever it takes, the science here is too important".  To materials guys like us scratching out $0.5M here and there and having to suck industry cock and let brilliant postdocs go due to belt-tightening it was pretty nauseating to witness.  When Lederman's "God Particle" book we all laughed at how stupid it came off.  One senior solid state guy went around saying "he's single handedly destroying high energy physics".

*anyone with org behavior experience knows why you don't do this
 
2013-10-08 10:01:04 PM  

Ambitwistor: zimbomba63: I asked, what was the experiment about, and he said, that they were looking for an intermediate boson.  [...] Only much later, when discussions about the Higgs boson appeared in articles in the popular press, did dawn on me that this is probably what they were looking for.

The Higgs isn't an intermediate boson (force-carrying particle).  They were probably looking for the weak force's W or Z intermediate bosons, which were first searched for in the 1970's, but weren't discovered until the early 1980's (at CERN, not Fermilab).


Well, this is why the dawn is pretty dim for me.
 
2013-10-08 10:26:27 PM  

Prickly Pete: I wanted to reach through the radio and strangle the reporter on NPR this morning who kept calling it "the god particle."  I expect more responsible reporting from NPR.


I had a coworker tell me once, "Did you hear the scientists proved the existence of God?  Yeah, they found the god particle."

Inexplicably his cubicle had an addition a week later.  A first grader science textbook, with a post it note helpfully reading "Start here".
 
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