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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  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    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/

    1. Stratman

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

  2. Scott Broukell
    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 !!

    1. Remy Redert

      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!

    2. Martin Lyne

      Re: Strongest indication yet!

      The LHC is all about large, expensive circles.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Strongest indication yet!

        I'm pretty certain that was his point.

  3. DAN*tastik

    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

    1. JDX Gold badge

      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.

      1. DAN*tastik

        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".

        1. ZankerH
          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!

      2. Some Beggar

        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.

        1. Annihilator

          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.

  4. My Alter Ego
    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh - God particle

      Or how about the Where's Wally Partice ?

    2. Alex Rose
      Joke

      Re: Ugh - God particle

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

    3. Simon Davidson
      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...

      1. fearnothing
        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.

      2. Some Beggar

        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.

        1. ZankerH
          Thumb Up

          Re: Ugh - God particle

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

    4. Daz555

      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.

  5. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Idiot seeks answer

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

    1. Norman Hartnell

      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?

    2. scrubber

      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...

  6. Alex Rose

    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.

    1. Mike Bell

      No Idiot's Answer, I'm Afraid

      Quantum mechanics is pretty complicated stuff.

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

      1. Brian Morrison
        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.

        1. Some Beggar

          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)

          1. LordHighFixer
            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. ;)

            1. Kevin Johnston

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

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

    2. Stratman

      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?

      1. Alex Rose

        Re: Re Alex Rose

        @Stratman

        That was the one.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  8. Stefing
    Megaphone

    Proof?

    5-Sigma or nothing.

    1. ZankerH
      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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it stop me eggs sticking to me fryin pan?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Miek

      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.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Miek
        Linux

        Re: There's plenty of collaboration

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

        1. HolyFreakinGhost

          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...

  11. The Axe
    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.

    1. Brian Morrison
      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.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

  13. Hawknic
    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.

    1. ZankerH
      Trollface

      Re: why I read the Reg

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

      1. Mako

        Re: why I read the Reg

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

  14. Bracken Dawson
    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!?

    1. ZankerH

      Re: Nice article, shame about the title.

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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Vic

      > 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.

  16. the-it-slayer
    Trollface

    Where's Sheldon when you need him!?

    Bazinga!

  17. Tom 7 Silver badge

    a pair of bottom quarks?

    ah the quantum finger pulling ploy

  18. Ironclad
    Coat

    Deep Thought

    If the LHC suggests another, bigger LHC should be built then the Douglas Adams estate is due some royalties.

  19. Andy Fletcher

    Unimpressive

    So the guys at the Tevatron have said:

    "They've either found it, or they haven't"

    Clearly they don't know a lot about QM. If they did it would have been:

    "They've either found it, or they haven't. Or both."

  20. all-four-inches
    Meh

    why are so many people butt-hurt about the Higgs being nicknamed the "God Particle" ??? really? why? does it matter? is this insulting to you in any way? ar eyou religeous or an athiest? either way wtf does it matter? why is this getting you so riled up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ....

      Presumably because it's even more evidence contrary to the existence of god. It's a misnomer extraordinaire.

      1. all-four-inches
        Meh

        Re: ....

        I think everyone knows that, but it still begs the question; why are you so upset about it? how is it affecting your life?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great Scott!!!

    125 Gigaelectronvolts.

    AC/DC

  22. mhenriday
    Boffin

    «Attempt to mow LHC's grass ahead of Thursday's Big Reveal»

    «The LHC is due to announce its results at a scientific seminar at 7am GMT on July 4 ...» Wonder where you live, Brid-Aine - in my neck of the woods, Sweden, which lies one hour ahead of the UK and Ireland, 4 July 2012 is a Wednesday, not a Thursday....

    By the way, the LHC does seem to have delivered a well-formed Higgs boson....

    Henri

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