6
   

Will the LHC find the Higgs Boson?

 
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Dec, 2011 08:22 am
Quote:
What if we don't find it?

Most professional physicists would say that finding the Higgs in precisely the form that theory predicts would actually be a disappointment. Large-scale projects such as the LHC are built with the aim of expanding knowledge, and confirming the existence of the Higgs right where we expect it - while it would be a triumph for our understanding of physics - would be far less exciting than not finding it. If future studies definitively confirm that the Higgs does not exist, much if not all of the Standard Model would have to be rewritten. That in turn would launch new lines of enquiry that would almost certainly revolutionise our understanding of the Universe, in much the same way as something missing in physics a century ago led to the development of the revolutionary ideas of quantum mechanics.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2012 05:35 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
Will the LHC find the Higgs Boson?

Looks like they did.

Yesterday, in Slate Magazine, physicist Lawrence Kraus wrote:
Who would have believed it? Every now and then theoretical speculation anticipates experimental observation in physics. It doesn’t happen often, in spite of the romantic notion of theorists sitting in their rooms alone at night thinking great thoughts. Nature usually surprises us. But today, two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva reported convincing evidence for the long sought-after “Higgs” particle, first proposed to exist almost 50 years ago and at the heart of the “standard model” of elementary particle physics—the theoretical formalism that describes three of the four known forces in nature, and which to date agrees with every experimental observation done to date.

Source
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2012 05:43 pm
They found something for sure, and probably the Higgs, but the "something" part is more certain than the "Higgs" part.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2012 07:35 pm
@sozobe,
Hence my "looks like" hedge. I'm not usually shy about blurting out "Eureka!" in moments like these. Smile
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jul, 2012 07:58 pm
@Thomas,
Gotcha.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 04:40 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

rosborne979 wrote:
Will the LHC find the Higgs Boson?

Looks like they did.
I agree. It looks like it.

I just wish the initial discovery produced something more meaty to chew on. The idea of the Higgs Field and all of it's ramifications has been out there for decades and it hasn't lead us to any revelations in cosmology or otherwise. Finding the Higgs Boson just helps to validate an already existing theory.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 04:51 am
@rosborne979,
they find his "God Damn": particle? Ill wait till next weks SCience and see whats up
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 04:54 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
particle, first proposed to exist almost 50 years ago and at the heart of the “standard model” of elementary particle physics—the theoretical formalism that describes three of the four known forces in nature,
poor little gravity, so misunderstood.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 04:58 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Quote:
particle, first proposed to exist almost 50 years ago and at the heart of the “standard model” of elementary particle physics—the theoretical formalism that describes three of the four known forces in nature,
poor little gravity, so misunderstood.
Apparently you can understand gravity, or you can understand QED, but you can't understand both and still live with yourself. Smile
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 08:35 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
Finding the Higgs Boson just helps to validate an already existing theory.

I hear you. And I don't understand the headlines about how this discovery "could revolutionize physics at its core" etc. If they really did find the Higgs boson, all they did was confirm that the standard model I've been taught in the 1990s was right all along. That's the opposite of revolutionary; it's pretty close to reactionary. Perhaps the "revolutionize X at its core" is a stock phrase in journalism. Journalists have special keyboards, and when they press ctrl-F8 on them, they automatically insert the "revolutionize at its core" template into the articles. Something like that.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 08:49 am
@Thomas,
I'm still getting a grip on all of this myself but I think that there are still a lot of meaty questions raised by this. Like, is this actually the Higgs or is it a completely new particle? Does it provide any clues about dark matter? Is it acting the way it's "supposed to" in all ways -- and if not, why not?

I went to Dennis Overbye's article to remind me of some of the questions, will just quote this whole section:

Quote:
So far, the physicists admit, they know little about their new boson. The CERN results are mostly based on measurements of two or three of the dozen different ways, or “channels,” by which a Higgs boson could be produced and then decay.

There are hints, but only hints so far, that some of the channels are overproducing the boson while others might be underproducing it, clues that maybe there is more at work here than the Standard Model would predict.

“This could be the first in a ring of discoveries,” said Guido Tonelli of CERN.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/science/cern-physicists-may-have-discovered-higgs-boson-particle.html
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 09:02 am
@sozobe,
Cool. I keep reading that this is nothing more than has been expected for forty years. It's interesting to see that it might not have been business as usual.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 09:05 am
@Setanta,
Yeah! The "nothing more than expected" part is cool, too, though. It's been just a theory, and it's exciting for theorists when experiment confirms the theory.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Jul, 2012 10:23 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
Yeah! The "nothing more than expected" part is cool, too, though. It's been just a theory, and it's exciting for theorists when experiment confirms the theory.

I never liked theorists. But a bit of excitement once every forty years is acceptable, I guess.
0 Replies
 
 

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