back to article Puny US particle punisher finds strong evidence for God particle

The US particle collider Tevatron has jumped in just ahead of the Large Hadron Collider's results announcement this week to say that their machine has found the "strongest indication to date" of the God particle. The LHC's baby American cousin stopped bashing particles off each other back in March 2001 but the scientists have …

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Windows

As said in the comment section of the earlier iteration of this article...

Details on Tevatron data mining and compositing:

http://www.science20.com/quantum_diaries_survivor/25_sigma_higgs_signal_tevatron-91654

Ivory-tower uponfrowned rumormongering details on the upcoming 4th of July PRESENTATIONFEST at:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/

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Apologies for the downvote. I blame an over sensitive touchpad.

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Coat

Strongest indication yet!

Weren't "strong indications" the reason d'etre for building the LHC in the first place. And if anyone announces further "strong indications" from the LHC team this week, won't it all mean that they've just been going round in circles - very, very big expensive circles !!

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Re: Strongest indication yet!

And those strong indications have been getting stronger and stronger. Sooner or later someone's going to spot some of them Higgs bosons and then we'll be able to replicate the results and start working on practical applications. Expect anti-gravity within a few millennia!

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Re: Strongest indication yet!

The LHC is all about large, expensive circles.

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FAIL

Re: Strongest indication yet!

I'm pretty certain that was his point.

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If you use the proper name everybody on here will surely understand

My opinion, but I believe that calling the Higgs boson 'God particle' is a bit like having "Micro$haft" or "crApple" in the title

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JDX
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Re: If you use the proper name everybody on here will surely understand

No this isn't the case, because the name is used by physicists not adolescents trying to sound cool.

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Re: If you use the proper name everybody on here will surely understand

I do not think that everything I see on the Internet is true, but if you search for "physicists hate term god particle" you get plenty of results, if you search for "physicists love term god particle" you get results with the words scrambled in the text...

Using Google, for example, the second search, with "love" returns "Particle physicists searching for the Higgs boson hate the term "God Particle," ... Physicists love the Higgs boson, but they hate the God particle."

I only thought it would be more appropriate to use the name chosen by those working on it, rather than mentioning some random magical entity...

Windows, Linux, BSD and many others are "Operating Systems", rather than the "Souls of the computer".

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Re: If you use the proper name everybody on here will surely understand

I've never met a single physicist who likes the term "God Particle". Even Lederman seems to regret coining it.

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Angel

Re:"Operating Systems", rather than the "Souls of the computer".

Take that back, filthy heathen!

We conjure the spirits of the computer with our spells!

APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL APPLY EVAL

We conjure the spirits of the computer with our spells!

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Re: If you use the proper name everybody on here will surely understand

"Even Lederman seems to regret coining it"

He wanted to call it "that goddamn particle" I believe, but his publishers wouldn't allow it.

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Stop

Ugh - God particle

How about the "Godamn Particle?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson#.22The_God_particle.22

Also, can anyone explain (in relatively simple terms) how it is heaver than a proton?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ugh - God particle

Or how about the Where's Wally Partice ?

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Joke

Re: Ugh - God particle

To put it in relatively simple terms it is heavier than a proton because it has more mass.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Ugh - God particle

I've been wondering about that as well? Isn't the Higgs supposed to be a fundamental particle, so eventually Protons are made up of Higgs? So how is it heavier?!?

Maybe I'm just having a Paris Hilton moment...

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Re: Ugh - God particle

Well the theory goes that mass is a function of how a particle interacts with the Higgs "field". An electron zips through no worries and therefore obtains little mass but for heavy particles like the top quark the Higgs field will be like wading in mud - it has a far greater interaction with the field and so has more mass. I can only assume the the Higgs particle interacts with the Higgs field to en even larger extent.

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Devil

Re: Ugh - God particle

http://ask.metafilter.com/210186/The-part-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-whole#3031439

Hopefully that will answer your question.

Also, the LHC isn't all ABOUT large, expensive circles, it IS a large, expensive circle.

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Re: Ugh - God particle

So how is it heavier?!?

Because the human-scale concept of "heaviness" doesn't really scale down to the sub-atomic level. Protons are not built of Higgs bosons, they are built of quarks and gluons. Sort of. The lego brick concept of "building" stuff doesn't really work at the sub-atomic level either. If you bind some quarks together with some gluons the resulting object doesn't have the same mass as its constituent parts. It has some characteristics that can be derived from the characteristics of its constituent parts but those characteristics are so far removed from the characteristics of human-scale objects that the only sensible way to approach them is through mathematics. It would probably be less confusing if we dropped the idea of "mass" or "heaviness" and used something like "Higgsiness".

Protons are not very Higgsy. Higgs bosons are (probably) fairly Higgsy.

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Thumb Up

Re: Ugh - God particle

"Higgsy" and "Higgsiness" need to become part of everyday vocabulary.

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Idiot seeks answer

How can the particle that is supposed to give mass to all other particles be heavier than the lightest particle ?

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Re: Idiot seeks answer

Isn't it because the other particles gain mass by interacting with the Higgs Field through the Higgs Boson, rather than actually containing Higgs Bosons themselves?

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Re: Idiot seeks answer

No part of an airplane is lighter than air, but the whole caboodle can fly.

I understand aerodynamics only slightly better than I understand Higgs field equations, but I am happy to share my Idiot's Guide to Simplification of really difficult stuff down to the level a child can understand for you...

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Actually to try to answer the question my limited understanding is that mass is determined by how much a particle interacts with the Higgs field. Therefore if the Higgs bosun interacts more strongly with the Higgs field than the proton then it will have greater mass. This interaction is independant of size.*

*Note I'm no expert, just paraphrasing a Metro article from a couple of days ago.

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No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

Quantum mechanics is pretty complicated stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_mechanism

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Boffin

Re: No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

Wow, there's a lot of reading required to even be able to grasp what that link is trying to tell you.

I can just about cope with quarks and stuff, but this level of interactions is hard to visualise.

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Re: No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

this level of interactions is hard to visualise

I'd go further than that. I'd say it is impossible to visualise. Our puny human brains evolved to make us cunning hunters on the African savannah. We're pretty well equipped to lob rocks at goats and out-smart lions. We are very poorly equipped to intuitively grasp things at very different scales.

(there might be a handful of asperger megabrains at CERN who can hold this sort of weirdness in their heads ... I'm not sure you'd want to invite them to dinner)

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Pint

Re: No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

"(there might be a handful of asperger megabrains at CERN who can hold this sort of weirdness in their heads ... I'm not sure you'd want to invite them to dinner)"

They are all more than welcome to dine at my place anytime they are in town. If they *ALL* showed up I would also invite all the local farm folk and supply liberal amounts of alcohol. Would be a rockin' good time I suspect. ;)

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Re: No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

My understanding was that any attempt to discuss quantum physics requires rolling a sanity check first

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Re Alex Rose

"*Note I'm no expert, just paraphrasing a Metro article from a couple of days ago."

Was that the article which tried to explain the Higgs Boson using zombies?

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Re: Re Alex Rose

@Stratman

That was the one.

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Anonymous Coward

It's the prick-teasing I can't stand

a week now of "We know something, but we're not going to tell you what it is".

Tomorrow morning had better be good.

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Megaphone

Proof?

5-Sigma or nothing.

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Stop

Re: Proof?

But even 5-sigma is just an arbitrary point at which they've decided to call it "okay, we're confident enough to announce". Even the current "inconclusive" evidence (3.6 sigma) amounts to a probability of .99973 - more than enough for sane non-physicists.

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Anonymous Coward

Will it stop me eggs sticking to me fryin pan?

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Anonymous Coward

The Americans just want to find it and be the ones who discovered it.

I do often wonder why there isn't more collaboration?

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Yes, quite. The Tevatron will become irrelevant as soon as a proper announcement is made by CERN and so they are probably trying to snatch some of the limelight before it passes over them forever.

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Linux

Re: There's plenty of collaboration

Sorry, I meant the facility, not the people that work there.

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Re: There's plenty of collaboration

Fair enough but I'm not sure I get you - they're the same thing. Or do you mean things like building bits of equipment for each other? Because there are parts on the LHC that were built for CERN by Fermilab...

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Coat

Scientists

"Scientists are very careful about announcing a discovery, preferring to be absolutely sure before they say anything..."

Except climate change scientists who seem to be very keen on using models and announcing the results without actually doing any checking any real results from reality.

Mines the coat next to Lewis Page's.

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Mushroom

Re: Scientists

I read over the weekend that the IPCC use predictions from the Met Office long term climate models, these being the very same models that predicted last years barbecue summer and this year as having "below average rainfall" for the last 3 months.

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Anonymous Coward

Please. Stop. Calling. It. The. God. Particle.

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Happy

why I read the Reg

These posts (most of them) sum up why I read the Reg. Once you get past the fanboi/ non-fanboi and similar bollocky arguments going on, there are some genuinely smart people out there.

Thanks for the education today, I learnt a lot from this one.

That was actually quite sincere. Unusually so.

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Trollface

Re: why I read the Reg

TEVATRON IS THE SHIT, FUCK LHC FANBOYS AND THEIR PRETENTIOUS CONFINDENCE LEVEL LIMITS!!!1

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Re: why I read the Reg

Looks like you forgot to log out and log back in again as BIGDUMBGUY555...

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WTF?

Nice article, shame about the title.

Has anyone had any idea what a Reg article is about before reading it in the last couple of years? Granted this one is ok, the "god particle" in this title is a well known term now (even if it's a ****** term used by idiot hipsters). But it's been a long time since I've seen a title make a lot sense now: "Dell drowns competition with defective ducks..." WTF!?

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Re: Nice article, shame about the title.

Titles (and figuring them out) is half the fun, silly.

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Anonymous Coward

Scientific seminar should soon supply seminal six-sigma solution surrounding subparticle search?

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Vic
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> Scientific seminar should soon supply seminal six-sigma solution surrounding subparticle search?

Shouldn't you have prefixed that with "Let me come with you, Pontius. I may be of some assistance if there is a sudden crisis"?

Vic.

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