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CELEBRATING HIGGS BOSON July 5, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth.
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Any excuse will do for the rites of celebration. Apparently the Higgs boson is a fundamental part of constructing the universe and reality and it looks as if it might just have crossed the boundary from theoretical construct to observed phenomena. If so this will be a very significant discovery.

Dennis Overbye in The New York Times provides a coherent description of the science, without recourse to fantastic analogies such as an extended snowfield across the universe. He reports:

Signaling a likely end to one of the longest, most expensive searches in the history of science, physicists said Wednesday that they had discovered a new subatomic particle that looks for all the world like the Higgs boson, a key to understanding why there is diversity and life in the universe.

Like Omar Sharif materializing out of the shimmering desert as a man on a camel in “Lawrence of Arabia,” the elusive boson has been coming slowly into view since last winter, as the first signals of its existence grew until they practically jumped off the chart.

“I think we have it,” said Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director general of CERN, the multinational research center headquartered in Geneva. The agency is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the immense particle accelerator that produced the new data by colliding protons. The findings were announced by two separate teams. Dr. Heuer called the discovery “a historic milestone.”

He and others said that it was too soon to know for sure, however, whether the new particle is the one predicted by the Standard Model, the theory that has ruled physics for the last half-century. The particle is predicted to imbue elementary particles with mass. It may be an impostor as yet unknown to physics, perhaps the first of many particles yet to be discovered.

That possibility is particularly exciting to physicists, as it could point the way to new, deeper ideas, beyond the Standard Model, about the nature of reality.

Russia Today, did not take short cuts, but broadcast the presentation at CERN:

As an ordinary, hopefully humble, human being, I can celebrate what I hope will be an scientific breakthrough, because it shows that we as human beings can use the gift of our evolutionary consciousness to achieve scientific truth. Why not  then aspire and achieve justice and peace, even survival, on this planet as it in concert turns around our sun and as the galaxies of the universe move in the majesty of space-time?

The Sydney Morning Herald has some of the details in cartoon form.

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