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* Posts by Ben 38

11 posts • joined 7 Oct 2009

LHC spots mesons flipping between matter and antimatter

Ben 38
Boffin

Re: And the "Standard Model" is?

@Eadon, "What people forget is that SUSY makes the SM worse anyway, by introducing a 100 extra parameters that can have arbitrary values. The SM has about 18, I think"

Something like 18 yes, but 18 parameters that have to be incredibly finely tuned if the model is valid at high energy. Radiative corrections to the Higgs mass scale quadratically as you go up in energy, and only by finely tuning the SM parameters can you cancel these corrections and recover a sensible Higgs mass value. That's a horrible type of feature in any physical model.

SUSY neatly solves this 'Hierarchy Problem' since each particle type's radiative corrections to the Higgs mass are cancelled by the superpartner.

Sure, it's theoretical and there's no proof. But it simplifies the SM rather than complicating it. Add to that the fact that in SUSY models the EM, weak & strong coupling constants converge to a single value at high energies (something like 10^16 GeV for the MSSM), hinting at possible grand unification.

Then there's also the lightest neutralino, a weakly interacting massive particle and a perfect candidate for dark matter.

Certainly, there's no evidence yet, but the LHC hasn't ruled out SUSY and as Mallorn said LEP didn't come close. Theories are being constrained, just like the Higgs mass was being constrained right up until it was (probably) discovered in the last unconstrained region. People were proclaiming the death of the Higgs too, even back in LEP's day. It's far too early to rule out such a promising theory as SUSY.

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'Online sex abuse of children is growing trend', warn Brit net cops

Ben 38
Thumb Up

Re:Re: .... nice

Hats off to that man. Really, hats off. I considered chipping in - no longer a need.

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Obama win may mean NASA 'nauts to Deep Space as soon as 2021

Ben 38
Pint

Re: JDX

Yeah, it would have only been about six times more powerful than the LHC. At just twice the cost. Taking up funds an order of magnitude below those the space station did.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a British physicist and love to see Europe beating the States in our mutually motivating tit-for-tat race for cock waving rights. But when it comes down to it, science is poorer for losing the SSC. The LHC would not have been built, nor been necessary, if we had SSC, nor would we need any other hadron collider in the forseable centuries, barring nice new technologies of course.

To put the cash in context, chances are that Japan will host the next high energy (lepton) collider. Their far-sighted government have offered to pay 50% of the costs of an international project, knowing they'll reap loads of tech, smart manpower, prestige and inspiration. That 50% is about 5 billion (insert pounds/euros/dollars here). So only double what the US chucked down the drain for the SSC, and in today's money to boot.

However much I'd rather it were different, the yanks were the only ones who could have done it alone. And instead they pissed the cash down the drain and are the trailing in the high energy game, with little now but memories of the Tevatron. Oh, and of course observer status at CERN to get access to the LHC.

Beer, because after that rant...

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Astroboffins out FREAK 'BI' GALAXY

Ben 38
Headmaster

Orders of magnitude

7.05e19 miles... Apologies, I can't see orders of magnitude without making a quick sanity check. Whatever you think about using miles, they are at least of the same order as kilometers.

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US military's non-lethal weapon plans revealed

Ben 38
Happy

Vortex cannons?

Ah, good old vortex cannons...

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Deep-fried planets discovery offers hope for Earth’s future

Ben 38
Mushroom

Earth survival?

I'm not sure this finding gives much hope for Earth. From what I've heard these planets were once gas giants, with only their charred iron cores surviving the cremation. Any process that can strip a Jupiter down to a sub-terrestrial sized husk is not going to do wonders for the Earth's habitability!

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UK police warns off hacktivists

Ben 38
Meh

Buddha

There is a middle way - what LulzSec et al are doing is inevitable, expected and it's not worth fretting about (we're the savvy and safe ones right?). They're slightly annoying, like the lads in the alleyway on the way to the shop. Buddhism, the apathetic religion.

Then again, they're going to grow up soon. It'd be wise to make sure we've got strong passwords.

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Schmidt explains the Google way to self-erasure

Ben 38

Re: Privacy

"If it's genuinely anonymous, what is the problem with Google gathering data... As for Scroogle... great idea, steal their service"

But if it's genuinely anonymous, what's the problem with using scroogle? Anyway, I'm happy with google adding me to their 'doesn't want to be tracked' demographic along with the other scroogle users.

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'Spacetime cloak' could act as 'Star Trek transporter'

Ben 38
Alert

Photons...

"Inside matter, spacetime is likewise distorted by each atom of matter creating a longer total path. The photon is still attached to spacetime, traveling at C, but the path is longer due to the bending back and forth of spacetime. We see this longer path as a slower speed."

Sounds like someone's managed to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics... post your proof and book your ticket to Stockholm!

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Guardian super-blogger flames Reg boffinry desk

Ben 38
WTF?

Boffin?

I'd always assumed it was a term of endearment and felt proud to be one while browsing el Reg. Now the chavs are using it as an insult?! Was it always an insult!? Scared and confused boffin here...

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New antimatter atomsmashers 'may destroy themselves'

Ben 38
Thumb Up

@Nebulo

Check out SLAC. The story goes that when they built their linac, they had precision engineered cavities. The cavities did their job holding an EM wave to accelerate the particles, but because they were so well made each time a bunch of particles passed through a cavity it *induced* the same field. Subsequent bunches built up this field, inducing a 'wake field' instability in the beam, and ultimately beam loss. The solution... engineers literally hit each cavity with a hammer! The resulting dents changed the resonant frequency of each cavity, such that the induced fields in each cavity were different from one another. There was no resonant build up of beam instability, and SLAC went on to host the world's only linear collider.

But anyway... CLIC?! Don't even worry about it - the technology (drive beam, super-duper low emittance) has never even been properly demonstrated. We've demonstrated ILC tech and can't even get the cash for that!

Also ILC spaces its bunches out, so wakefields aren't too bad... no 'super-collider destroyed itself' stories to be had there. Probably.

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