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  (Source: Stephen van Vuuren)
The world of physics takes a bold leap forward with a single laborious finding

The world's two most advanced particle detector experiments -- ATLAS and CMS -- have both detected signs of a particle that eluded physicists for almost a half century -- a particle researchers suspect is the Higgs boson.

I. Hunting for Higgs -- Inside the Most Expensive Machine Created by Man

The two detectors are housed within a 17 mile in circumference underground tunnel in the Alps, a tunnel which is chilled to temperatures colder then outer space.  The particle accelerator and attached detection apparatus is a triumph of engineering, and at $10B USD is the single most expensive piece of laboratory equipment in the history of mankind.
 

Brought online in 2008, the collider suffered from early hiccups, typical of large particle accelerators.  But before long it was setting records and gathering data which led to the discovery of new exotic particles.
 
LHC Track
The LHC track stretchs 17 miles and is colder than space. [Image Source: Entropy Bound]

But the biggest payoff for the high cost and years of effort came when the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that they had detected signs of the Higgs-like boson, a particle whose operation necessitates a super-powerful collider and world class detection equipment.

Just a couple days before U.S. Department of Energy's FermiLab published data from their now-defunct Tevatron indicating that they were 99.8 percent (roughly 3σ) sure that they had detected a Higgs-like boson.  That level of confidence is called an "observation" in particle physics.

II. From "Observation" to "Discovery"

By contrast the threshold of confidence for a "discovery" is 5σ -- and CERN delivered precisely that on Wednesday.

Using data gleaned from record 7 TeV and 8 TeV proton collisions, the CMS and ATLAS teams jointly pinpointed a Higgs boson or similar particle to within the 125-126 GeV mass region, with the requisite 5σ confidence.

That result is strengthened by the fact that the observation at the Tevatron predicted a mass between 115 and 135 GeV.

The CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela comments:

The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found.  The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks.

Higgs boson observation
A CMS detector view of a Higgs boson creation from a 8 TeV collision. [Image Source: CERN]

ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti comments:

We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage, but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.

Atlas Higgs
An ATLAS detector view of a Higgs boson creation from a 8 TeV collision. [Image Source: CERN]

III. The Hunt is Over, But the Discoveries Have Just Begun

The discovery of the new boson is a momentous day for particle physics, and one that comes despite wise caution on the parts of the men and women involved.  Physicists were wary of jumping the gun and announcing the discovery, lest they make a mistake and alienate a public who already is less than highly interested in taking a trip into the cerebral land of modern particle physics.

The Higgs boson is theorized to give rise to the so-called Higgs mechanism, a form of electroweak symmetry breaking.  A simple analogy of this complex effect is to think of a sort of "sticky field" that coats particles like a spoon dipping through a jar of honey.  This "sticky" effect is thought to give protons, neutrons, and electrons -- the building blocks of matter that most of us are familiar with -- their mass.

To summarize in the simplest terms, researchers are now have detected a particle which they believe may give all standard particles their mass.

 Nebula wide
Finding the Higgs boson is a major step on the road to discovering the secrets of the universe.
[Image Source: NASA]

The discovery takes researchers a step closer to confirming the "Standard Model of particle physics", a theory which in turn opens the door to more advanced applications, such as string theory.

Much work remains to be done, though.  The particle, while observed with a high measure of confidence, was poorly quantified, aside from its mass.  By further probing observed Higgs-like bosons, researchers will be able to tune, accept, or reject certain compenents of Standard Model theory.  These changes could help researchers better understand mysterious components that make up much of the non-visible universe -- such as dark matter and energy.

In short, Higgs boson -- also nicknamed the "Goddamn particle" or "God Particle", for short, by a famous Nobel laureate -- is only the first step in a bold journey for mankind, a journey which will take humans, quite literally where no man has gone before.

Sources: CERN, Atlas Team, CMS Team



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By Joshflighter on 7/4/2012 3:43:17 PM , Rating: 5
The media has to get over the usage of "God" particle. The implication of the Higgs Boson, in a very small nutshell, explains how other elementary particles gain their mass. It is not Science's way of saying Religion is irrelevant, or even that God doesn't exist.
Those who believe that only material things exist cannot use material arguments to prove that immaterial things don't exist. Those who believe that immaterial things exist can't deny the findings of the scientific community. If you are someone who believes that God made the universe, then you shouldn't feel threatened by anything that can be discovered or observed in it.




By ShaolinSoccer on 7/4/2012 3:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe God made the universe. I believe God IS the universe. Including all the matter that makes up you and me. Some episodes of Through The Wormhole go hand in hand with my belief. And that evidence comes from scientists.


By EricMartello on 7/4/2012 4:09:33 PM , Rating: 1
You can believe what you want to believe, but thankfully there are a small group of people who prefer to investigate the unknown rather than simply relegating it to the realm of being some kind of ethereal deity.

Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of desire while actively rejecting the possibility that your beliefs are flawed or simply incorrect (as a matter of ego), and people who share that mindset are a detriment to the human species as a whole.

We as humans don't know everything but we do know enough to not need to rely on using fairy tales and imaginary beings to explain the things we don't know.


By runutz on 7/4/2012 4:25:15 PM , Rating: 4
[quote]
EricMartello wrote:

Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of desire while actively rejecting the possibility that your beliefs are flawed or simply incorrect (as a matter of ego), and people who share that mindset are a detriment to the human species as a whole.
[/quote]

Any possibility your beliefs are flawed? just askng


By EricMartello on 7/4/2012 4:35:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Any possibility your beliefs are flawed? just askng


Regardless of what my beliefs are, I would not be opposed to dismissing them or changing them in light of new data.


By Amedean on 7/4/2012 10:00:16 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of desire


As a member of the science community I acknowledge that discoveries are not only made by accident but also from faith.

quote:
while actively rejecting the possibility that your beliefs are flawed or simply incorrect (as a matter of ego), and people who share that mindset are a detriment to the human species as a whole.


I separated this because it should not have been used in the same sentence. Lets not confuse bigotry from faith.


By polishvendetta on 7/5/2012 10:08:55 AM , Rating: 2
Here here!

There is a large difference between faith/belief and religion.

I'm sure all the scientists the devote their many many years of research have faith that their research will mean something. Some people only need firth of their abilities in order to be happy, and that faith can be stronger then any religion.


By knutjb on 7/5/2012 2:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Newton was all but an ordained priest who used his scientific knowledge to better understand God.

Like anything it is how you use those beliefs.


By Moishe on 7/5/2012 4:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
But wait... are you saying that humans are more than just cells and "facts?"

Yes. I think that's what most of these religion bashers fail to realize. I see comments like "religion is for the weak-minded and stupid..." It dismisses the whole psyche and soul parts of a human.

It's this same attitude that wants to accept only what is proven and reject all else. Science has to allow for the fuzziness, inconsistency, variablity of human nature.

There is no science versus religion. They are simply apples and oranges.


By AntDX316 on 7/10/2012 2:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
So scientist have discovered a new layer of how science works. There could be more than thousands of undiscovered major layers of how science works. Now, what's the scientific explaination of how spirits work? While people try to figure out and ponder how life is, the one's that know the spirit world and the science world 100% are running parallel to our lack of required information to truly manipulate the future of how they are due to the inferior processing capable to do the astronomical calculations at 5000000000000000x the speed of light at the minimum.


By EricMartello on 7/4/2012 11:51:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Then your beliefs are no more meaningful than a man who wants to quit drinking, sees a squirrel, and says that as long as the squirrel comes around, he won't drink.


That's not really a belief so much as it is a condition. A belief is something you consider true and/or accurate without any real evidence to the fact.


By muy on 7/5/2012 5:31:23 AM , Rating: 3
"Any possibility your beliefs are flawed? just askng"

yes, some of the beliefs in the scientific might be flawed, but they are the best shot we have at understanding the truth of reality. and unlike religion, science is EAGER to discard any theory that proves incorrect or incomplete
the things i believe are tried and tested and verifiable. the things i believe in hold predictive power towards the future. what i believe are not the ramblings from deluded stone age primitives.

All it takes is one exception to make me doubt/discard a belief i hold.

what does it take for you to doubt/discard your beliefs ?

prove anything scientific wrong that i accept as a truth and i will thank for broadening my scientific knowledge ;)


By dotpoz on 7/5/2012 9:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
Christian do not hate science, they just hate some of science results


By knutjb on 7/5/2012 2:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
they just hate some of science results
First, it's not hate, it's disagree with. Second, it's not the science, it's how the science is presented, i.e. most news reports "God particle" or Jason's "Goddamn particle."

When science is used to denigrate God most religions take a dim view on such presentations. Context and insult, if a third of all news said dotpoz is a clueless fool you would have a problem with how the news is portrayed.

Unfortunately, there is always a fringe of fools on both sides who get their feathers in a ruffle just because everything ruffles their feathers and I discount them first.


By SlyNine on 7/5/2012 2:37:45 PM , Rating: 1
Notice how much we advanced after 1800....


By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2012 11:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Science is not eager to discard theories by any stretch, because scientists are human. Human concerns or attributes like money, ego, bias, and the limits of imagination slow down scientific discovery and technological evolution constantly. Many theories are stubbornly held on to well past their deserved expiry, or unintentionally shaped by our need for meaning and order in things and the way in which we experience existence. It could be said that science is a more advanced religion, as both have the same goal: to explain the universe.

For example, the big bang theory derives from the theme common to all religions, that all things must have a beginning and an end. It would be difficult for humans to believe or comprehend the possibility that the universe just is. Or, take the theory that human-released CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming. You'd think that anyone with a basic understanding of geology (the history of this planet) would see the flaws, but it is believed like dogma.


By MethylONE on 7/4/2012 5:00:51 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Anyways... scientists had unproven beliefs in the higgs boson but faith that it existed.


That is incorrect. They had EVIDENCE that it existed not faith, huge difference.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/4/2012 7:16:28 PM , Rating: 1
Not weighing in on the stupid religious Internet debate #20,000,000,000, but there was no "evidence" Higgs Boson existed when the theory was formed 48 years ago. There was a theory that it might exist to explain certain particle phenomenon.

What is it with you guys anyway? This is the second stupid religious war on Daily Tech this week. This is a discovery of such massive proportions, I believe it's true implications won't even be fully understood in our lifetimes. And I click on this article and see the same old Daily Tech religious bashing and evangelicals going at it. Can't that wait just once in favor of much more relevant discussion?

I wanted Star Trek and I got Jerry Springer. Sigh...


By inighthawki on 7/4/2012 8:31:10 PM , Rating: 5
No, they had a theory formed by data and mathematical proofs that predict its existence, and as a result they believed it MAY exist. Those are several fundamental differences to faith.


By morob05 on 7/5/2012 2:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
Well, there were plenty of other higgles theories that might aswell have been true...


By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 10:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
Why on earth do discoveries like this always have to revert into Athiests and Christians bashing each other in the head? Seriously?

Can't we all just step back and clear the air for a moment while absorbing the implications of this discovery. The higgs boson, the single most elusive boson we have been searching for has finally been found--well, all evidence points towards it. We might not know much more than that but just knowing that finally, we might be able to fill the standard model is amazing.

That isn't even considering what we might someday learn to do with the higgs boson. The manipulation of matter at its core is tantalizing. I'm titillated to think what we might be able to tweak with it as it not only could lead to advances in material sciences but also holds the potential for letting us manipulate general relativity and more specificly gravity along with spacetime itself.


By SlyNine on 7/5/2012 2:42:35 PM , Rating: 1
Because the fundamentals of science dictate that any theory's must undergo tough scrutiny to decide weather the evidence pointing to them are valid..

Religion doesn't even come close to having valid conclusions. It's pretty much an insult to science.


By vanionBB on 7/4/2012 5:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” ? Werner Heisenberg


By SPOOFE on 7/4/2012 5:36:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Faith is synonymous with ignorance

Only if one ignores subtleties; the implication of "ignorance" is that the ignorant in question SHOULD be capable of knowing better, whereas the implication of "faith" is that there is a limit to what humans can physically understand, yet their desire to understand doesn't stop.

Faith is merely the crossroads of two human compulsions: The insecure need to discover new aspects about their environment, and the powerful creative engines that drive their development as they learn about their environment. Where actual human understanding fails, imagination invariably - and essentially uncontrollably - takes over.


By morob05 on 7/5/2012 2:37:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well, he didn't really claim to believe in any fairy-tales or unprovable superstition now did he. He just claimed to have a slightly different definition of the word god than the standard theistic definition. Basically he just said that he believes in the universe and the laws of physics, don't see what's so ignorant about that. Have you never heard of Spinoza's god??


By NellyFromMA on 7/5/2012 8:35:41 AM , Rating: 1
Wow. You DO realize not THAT long ago it would be unthinkable to say that right? Yopu're totally entitled to your own opinion, but why put down others by dictating to us all that religion is synonymous to ignorance.

Further, science doesn't really define much. We define science based on our observations. Thinking that we know EVERYTHING and putting down others for having THEIR OWN opinion is weak science at its worst if you really think about it.

Actually, your perspective on faith and people's choice to interact with it is, well.. synonomous with ignorance. Maybe respect others before covering them in blanket statements?


By Boze on 7/5/2012 3:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah.

It really is.

Having "faith" that the Sun will rise tomorrow is a pointless thing to say you have faith in, for several reasons. One, the Sun isn't really rising. Your particular point on Earth just happens to be coming back around to face the Sun again in 12 hours or so. Two, we've been able to prove how and why the Sun "rises" without the aid of mystic books from the ancient past.

Additionally, since you mention the Bible, and I assume the Holy Bible, its gullibility to believe in Heaven, that Jesus walked on water, came back to life after three days, etc. Why is it gullibility? I've never met or heard from anyone who went to Heaven. I've never seen, or heard a report, about someone who walked on water. I've never once met anyone, or heard about someone, who came back to life after three days.

If you believe these things, you're gullible. You're not only gullible, you're doublely gullible. A lot of people 2,000 years ago thought Jesus was full of crap when he was alive. Nothing the Bible has foretold has been true. Most, if not all, of its "history" is incorrect.

There is no reason to believe any of the claims it makes. Anyone who wants to believe its claims should talk to me about some oceanfront property I have for sale in Arizona. I'll cut them a great deal.


By Starcub on 7/5/2012 10:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of
desire while actively rejecting the possibility that your beliefs are flawed or simply
incorrect (as a matter of ego), and people who share that mindset are a detriment to
the human species as a whole.

The Christian definition of "Faith" is the evidence of things unseen. You could say that Christian belief is the eternal science of Faith. Most people use the contemporary and religious definitions of faith interchangeably, but they really reffer to two very different things.

People who have no experience of Faith often equate Christian belief with what would be more accurately described as blind faith.


By cliffa3 on 7/5/2012 12:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
investigate the unknown rather than simply relegating it to the realm of being some kind of ethereal deity


Belief in God does not mean that one relegates the unknown as unknowable nor does it mean that one has no interest in the investigation of the unknown.

quote:
Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of desire...


Faith is not belief in something despite what your brain tells you.

quote:
people who share that mindset are a detriment to the human species as a whole


I believe a small amount of research into who you would hold as a 'detriment' if you were to cling to that statement would provide evidence sufficient to overturn that belief.

quote:
We as humans don't know everything but we do know enough to not need to rely on using fairy tales and imaginary beings to explain the things we don't know.


Understandable that you view it this way. Unfortunate, but understandable. I encourage you to investigate why you view it this way and if your view is accurate. If you are unwilling, you are no better than the religious person who is unwilling to investigate. Fact is, you're comfortable in your beliefs...so comfortable that you attack anyone or anything that appears to challenge your views or holds different ones.


By Moishe on 7/5/2012 4:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
This black and white "science is true and religion is not" notion is just garbage.

Since we're speaking in terms of things that cannot be proven, let me repeat your words back to you.

You can believe what you want to believe, but thankfully, there are a small group of people that accept some ideas that are unproven.

See, I watch all this stupid arguing over faith, and I think it's so foolish. Clearly there are smart people making the arguments, but they prove themselves to be as blind as those they bash.

There are a subset of religious people who ignore science because they have faith.
BUT
There are also a small subset of people who ignore all thought of faith because they believe in science.

Frankly, when you ignore the thought that you could be wrong, you're acting on faith and you're no better than them. We can't go around labeling unproven theories as "fact" just because the word "science" carries more social weight than the word "religion."

Some scientific theories ARE a religion for some people because they find something they want to believe and ignore the other (scientific) facts that disprove their belief.

On the other hand, religion is not the "explanation of everything" for some religious people. Religion and science play nice together quite frequently and plenty of religion folks are die-hard scientists and love knowledge.


By crazy1 on 7/12/2012 12:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Faith is synonymous with ignorance because you cling to unproven beliefs out of desire while actively rejecting the possibility that your beliefs are flawed or simply incorrect (as a matter of ego), and people who share that mindset are a detriment to the human species as a whole.

We as humans don't know everything but we do know enough to not need to rely on using fairy tales and imaginary beings to explain the things we don't know.


Rene Decarte had it right, "I think therefore I am." He really added, "and God," at the end, but that's when Christians were killing scholars that influenced religious doubt, so his religious faith is questionable.

In any case, the quote means that I cannot prove my senses are not being deceived by myself or another being. Things like eating lunch, having sex, going to work, playing sports, and reading science articles could all be an hallucination of sorts. Essentially, I can only prove that my own conscious mind exists.

If you are real, you can only prove that your mind exists. Science has no ground to stand on until you can prove to yourself without a doubt that what you believe to be real is actually real. Otherwise, you are relying on "using fairy tales and imaginary beings to explain the things [you] don't know."

In my religion, I believe that my senses function properly... at least most of the time. I have complete faith that the people in my life have their own unique minds. I also accept that I am ignorant. It's not a bad religion to be in.


By albus on 7/4/2012 4:56:50 PM , Rating: 1
The process is thus:

God => Thoughts => Energy => Mass

So, God, thoughts, energy & mass are interchangeable. Science is yet to acknowledge it.


By SPOOFE on 7/4/2012 5:37:48 PM , Rating: 3
No, I don't think anything you just wrote is accurate.


By muy on 7/5/2012 5:35:48 AM , Rating: 2
nice theory, how can i test it ?


By masamasa on 7/4/2012 7:41:47 PM , Rating: 4
Religious people tend be 'unstable'.


By Amedean on 7/4/2012 10:03:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Religious people tend be 'unstable'.


Humans tend to be unstable. Being nonreligious has no correlation to personality dysfunction.


By Donovan on 7/5/2012 12:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Do they decay into atheists?


By Moishe on 7/5/2012 4:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
Absurd.

Human nature is unstable.


By Visual on 7/5/2012 10:42:41 AM , Rating: 2
Going with your definition, everyone will agree what God exists. But not that God is sentient, listening or caring for our prayers, or performing any miracles in response to them or for whatever other reason. Also, there is no reason to believe in an afterlife, divine justice or much anything else that constitutes a religion.

So, then why not just use the word "Universe" instead of confusing people, and yourself, with the much more ill-defined "God"? And admit that you are not truly religious.


I beg to differ
By ben.t.solomon on 7/4/2012 4:05:35 PM , Rating: 3
I beg to differ, I know you have stated the "wise caution".

I spent 3 hours last night watching the presentations by both the CMS and ATLAS teams and the press conference. Yes, they discovered a new boson, but more work needs to be done to confirm or disprove that it is the Higgs boson of the Standard Model.

There is one difference between CMS (125.5GeV) & ATLAS (126.5 GeV). I'm told that small differences are more trouble than big differences. We have to wait and see.

Now returning to what they have done . . .
What grand physics! What grand engineering! Congratulations to both teams and the thousands of physicists, engineers and staff who participated. What grand physics! What grand engineering! Immense. A triumph for particle physics.

Now coming back down to Earth. To propulsion physics.

I am the Principal Investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravity modification, recently published as "An Introduction to Gravity Modification" (links - http://www.iseti.us and http://www.universal-publishers.com/book.php?metho...

The discovery of 2 massless equations that describe acceleration (i.e. force), points to a different direction that propulsion physics will take.

First, the massless formula for gravitational acceleration g = tc^2. Isn’t anyone surprised that such an equation exists? It throws dark matter & dark energy out of kilter.

And the second, the massless equation that describes the acceleration of the Laithwaite’s big wheel experiment a=?s?dvh where ?s is the spin of the disc and ?d the rotation of the spin vector vh is the square root of the hypotenuse formed by the radius of the disc and the diameter of the rotation.

So there are 2 massless equations, which strongly point to the physics of forces that is not dependent on mass but is consistent with the existence of mass!

Just imagine the contrast, my research is about the massless propulsion physics while Higgs boson is about how elementary particles acquire mass.

This new physics, on gravity modification (An Introduction to Gravity Modification) is now available to the public and to the physics, engineering and aerospace communities to test and verify for yourselves.

That definitely is something to think about especially, if we are to do interstellar travel in our lifetimes.

Imagine if we had access to $10 billion (the cost of the LHC) and thousands of physicist and engineers working on propulsion physics rather than particle physics, what we could do, and where we could go?

Once again congratulations to CERN, CMS & ATLAS, and everyone involved in the discovery of this new boson.




RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: I beg to differ
By CSammy on 7/4/2012 6:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Higgs field is comprised of Higgs Bosons, like water is composed of water molecules. Particles interact differently with the Higgs...the greater the interactivity, the greater the mass. No interactivity (like photons), no mass.


RE: I beg to differ
By Jereb on 7/4/2012 6:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're getting a bit to far into the philosophy of perception and reality as opposed to what science is trying to achieve.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: I beg to differ
By Jereb on 7/5/2012 1:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
I get what your saying but it comes across as a bit dire dont' you think?

Most scientists have a specialty, well yeah that's the point. That's no different from saying i'm pretty good at soccer but poor at baseball. It doesn't matter if a scientist is only able to study a single miniscule topic that nobody may ever look at or connect to another topic. The point is that someone may read the research and the results, then may apply, interpret or flat out disprove those results in another way. You only need to put some more in the big pile of science and see what comes out.
It would be absurd for anyone to consider themselves an expert in all things, that's why there are research teams full of multiple disciplines.

Not quite sure I agree with your space analogy either, on one hand yeah you could interpret it in the "container" way you suggested. It's just a word used to describe something. It doesn't need to have finite boundaries at all. The same with a unit of space, we give meaning to the unit. So yeah, there is no "smallest" unit of anything when we can choose the definition.

I think you're going off topic a bit here with the existence analogy, but I can assure you that many a weed smoking college students would have tempted the same thought of existence. It would be ignorant to say that scientists don't ask these questions because here we are, asking them right now, just because i'm not wearing a lab coat doesn't make it any more relevant. The only difference is, scientists and others likely had the knowledge, tools or otherwise to show it's nothing more than an entertaining thought which is unable to be proven in the now.


RE: I beg to differ
By Digimonkey on 7/5/2012 9:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Science makes assumptions. Scientist work on the basis this is reality, and they work to explain things as we perceive them with our senses and using tools when they are beyond our senses.

I'm sure Scientists are no stranger to philosophy, but it wouldn't go hand in hand with their work. If they come to the conclusion there is no way to prove or disapprove something then they don't bother, and why would they when so much is still left to be feasibly discovered?

If what you're saying is that scientists these days lack imagination, wellI definitely seems that way, but you never know when some great thinker of our century will present themselves and their work and turn our current understanding of physics or some other field of science upside down. It just doesn't happen often.


RE: I beg to differ
By WalksTheWalk on 7/5/2012 9:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree with your main point. Many scientists are looking at sub-particles, matter, dimensional transitions, etc. and have begun the mathematical proofs to show they are correct. having said that, there have been plenty of examples of mathematical models having been thought to be correct, only to be disproved by experiments. Experimental science is need to prove or disprove what we believe to be true at the time.

In the examples you gave earlier you mentioned the possibility of two states being active at the same time. This comes primarily from sciences current inability to measure those states well. By definition, the very act of observing a state changes it since observation requires interaction at the sub-atomic level. Our tools are still blunt instruments that bash rather than dissect.

As an aside, the tone of your posts on this topic are fairly condescending. You state such things as if you have perceptions greater than that of the larger scientific community. Maybe you're a brilliant person that is a giant in the field of science, maybe not. In other words, you're coming off as kind of a wanker.


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 12:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Almost all scientists are specialists - that is akin to being one-trick ponies which are helpless outside their specific area of study. They may be really good at analytical problems but fail when it comes to connecting the dots of something a bit more abstract.


In the thirty seven years that I have been on this earth, I can count the number of people I have met that can properly extrapolate, cross-reference and come to a conclusion on something entirely unrelated to the subject matter by results in that subject matter in question on just one of my hands.

They are that few.

Most humans lack the proper training, well, effort in their brain to do this. I'm not saying they can't, they just don't know how because it hurts too much to push that hard to reach this point.

When you get there, though, it is effortless and feels natural.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2012 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 1
LOL okay Morpheus. Take the blue pill!!!

I suppose you think you're interesting and philosophical, but you're really just full of shit. And regurgitating someone elses crazy ideas because you think they make you sound intellectual is SO boring. Please, get over yourself.

quote:
Why is space a human fabrication?


Except it's not. It's real. We know it's real for obvious reasons. And please, don't waste my time with that "it's only what we can observe with our senses, so it's not really real" bullshit.

We might not fully understand space and time, but we know it's not a "fabrication". It's real. We could be ENTIRELY wrong about it. Every single theory or shred of data might be wrong about space, but that doesn't change the fact that it plainly exists.

quote:
Space implies that we exist within some kind of "container", but supposing space exists as we perceive it, there is no "smallest possible unit of space". There is no limiting container providing boundaries to what we perceive as our universe.


Is this supposed to be your idea of an original or thought-inspiring concept? This has been explored to death in science fiction and scientific debates.

Space isn't the absence of everything. Only now we're beginning to understand the Universe essentially is a mesh of the spacetime continuum. It's real even thought we cannot literally see it and in the physical universe it's manifested as a vacuum. But thanks to our "flawed" observational science and ample evidence, we have arrived at that conclusion.

I'm not as close minded as I'm sounding, I have considered these things. What I take exception with is your condescending position on science, and how if everyone thought like you, we would still be living in caves.

We have an unlimited capacity for imagination and creativity. But science cannot work that way. Things have to be studied and quantified, and yes, a lot of this is based on our perceptions. But unless we're part of the sickest joke in the Universe, we have to assume that our five senses are reliable in their perception of the world around us.

quote:
This is an inherent limitation to science as a profession, and it's why we haven't made any major technological advances since the 60s. Most tech today is simply gradual evolution of tech that was around since WWII, but prior to WWII we went from riding horses to flying jet planes and traveling thru space in under a century.


Fundamentally flawed analysis. Observational science and engineering are two completely different fields. We're using that tech today because it works really well. Yes we COULD be living in sky domes with flying cars, like the Jetsons. But that wouldn't be practical.

You're trying to put the cart before the horse. Mastering the elements at our disposal is key for advancing our technological state. And science is how we achieve that. Without scientific research and knowledge, we cannot engineer things with every increasing advancement.

Take the Warp Drive from Star Trek, for example. Scientists have already made a great argument for it's feasibility and the possibility of similar forms of FTL travel. Is it their fault we don't have it yet? No. It's because we simply do not have the engineering and materials available to make it a reality. Gathering the anti-matter. Control a reaction of anti-matter and matter through a focusing crystal. And in turn using that reaction to form and manipulate the null-field "warp bubble" allowing the ship to traverse great distances by manipulating space and time.

No major technical advances? I would beg to differ. Did you read the article? Pretty sure we couldn't do this in the 1960's.

Your timetable is a bit off as well. 50 years in human terms wouldn't even be a grain of sand in the hourglass of the Universe. By what scale are you measuring our progress? What is your comparison based on?


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 10:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Control a reaction of anti-matter and matter through a focusing crystal. And in turn using that reaction to form and manipulate the null-field "warp bubble" allowing the ship to traverse great distances by manipulating space and time.


Ah but you can't even hope to manipulate something you don't even understand or comprehend. In theory, manipulation of spacetime through gravitic mechanisms is absolutely plausible--we have to define and fully understand that "nothing" to do it well.


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 12:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I can appreciate the concepts he is trying to distill even if I differ with a couple of them.

I think that philosophy does belong when talking about science. You see, philosphy governs our perception of things and how we as humans potentially react to circumstances and consequences. It encompasses our nature as humans and subsequently how we may interpret or perceive scientific data or results. Philosophy also can govern what we might test and explore and what we may not.

At its core, Philosophy is the crux of our existence. As science seeks to prove it and everything around us--or even disprove it, I think philosophical inquiries cannot be completely ignored when looking at deep, theoretical scientific issues. At the core of it all, they can at the basic level seek to explain motive. Motive is the unseen force that drives everyone and without knowing motive, you can never properly interpret data that has been presented--as data can statistically be manipulated to influence almost anything in a favorable light.

So, they are intertwined--at least, to properly classify and summarize results or studies.

He does have some good points,

quote:
What real evidence do we have that space exists? Don't tell me because it's what we perceive. What evidence do we have that time exists? We don't - it's another human invention (limitation) we apply to make things more palatable to our way of thinking.


While at face value, it might seem philosophical and in reality, this question is as it determines the course a researcher might take and why they do so. But if you dig even deeper, it asks the most essential question all physicists seek to solve. The single most important question that science can solve right now--and that is the question of "What is nothing?"

We don't know what nothing is. If I open my clenched fist and you look at it, what do you see?

Most people would answer--I see what is in your hand. So, assuming there isn't anything in my hand, they reply, "I see nothing in your hand." So then you ask them, "So you see nothing, well, classify that nothing, what is it?"

Most people would look at you with a blank face and blink their eyes. Some might attempt to satisfy you muse with the next obvious retort, "Well, there's air!" Assuming, of course, you open your hand in our atmosphere. Air isn't nothing, right? So pushing the air aside and say you open your clenched palm in a vacuum, you then pose the query to which they reply, "Well, there's electromagnetic radiation that we cannot see," so you take it a step further and place your clenched palm in an isolated booth devoid of all external forces, being a complete vacuum, no stray radiation, none of the fundamental forces acting upon that vapid space, so you ask it once more after releasing your held fingers.

They reply, "Well, there's nothing there because well, nothing is nothing!" Well, that's where things break down. How do you define and classify that nothing? What is it? It has to be something because spacetime is something. Our universe does not allow for "nothing" per our psychological sense to exist given the propensity for accelerative expansion about a brane centered upon a figurative axis of origination, ergo the "big bang" which, for all intents and purposes, is a theory with evidence, i.e. cosmic background radiation but beyond that, the point of witness for it can not be had.

So when they reply with that answer, I pose yet another question, "How can you be so sure?"

Well, we can't! We can't be sure. There is no certainty of it, at least, right now since the scientific community can not even wrap their hands around such a seemingly simple concept and provide an intelligent, accurate answer. They can't.

Thus, it remains unsolved and until we understand this concept, we understand little about everything else as "nothing" is essentially the broadest, most abundant "thing" about us all. Some might say it is dark matter or dark energy but I say it goes deeper down the hole than that, boiling in the vat of our very own fabric, spacetime itself.

The question has to be asked because it has to be answered. You can't help but not analyze philosophy when addressing the master of all masters of the unseen.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2012 3:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You see, philosphy governs our perception of things


I disagree. Philosophy QUESTIONS our perceptions on the things around us. But our perceptions of reality aren't governed by it.

quote:
We don't know what nothing is. If I open my clenched fist and you look at it, what do you see? Most people would answer--I see what is in your hand. So, assuming there isn't anything in my hand, they reply, "I see nothing in your hand." So then you ask them, "So you see nothing, well, classify that nothing, what is it?" Most people would look at you with a blank face and blink their eyes.


I don't think that's philosophy more than it is a silly mind game or thought exercise. And yes, a tree falling in the woods DOES make a sound even if nobody is there to hear it :)

quote:
Well, we can't! We can't be sure. There is no certainty of it, at least, right now since the scientific community can not even wrap their hands around such a seemingly simple concept and provide an intelligent, accurate answer. They can't.


Not following to be honest. The fact that we cannot always quantify something or explain how it works, doesn't change it's reality. That's a typically arrogant human way of looking at things.

We know space exists, and we can be sure of that. This is obvious. The fact that all it's secrets haven't been revealed is irrelevant to the philosophical discussion here imo.

If space isn't real, than obviously, neither are we. At which point I guess this discussion is moot lol.


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/5/2012 8:17:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I disagree. Philosophy QUESTIONS our perceptions on the things around us. But our perceptions of reality aren't governed by it.


Philosophy is simply a fancy word to describe abstract thought processes. It can be as mundane as trying to understand why people are the way they are, or it can be expanded to something like trying to understand existence.

Our perceptions of reality are just that - perceptions. A perception doesn't make something real. We choose to acknowledge something as being real.

I said this before...but I'll repeat it. Imagine you are holding a cup of coffee in your hand, about to drink it. It's real, right? You feel the cup in your hand and you smell the coffee. That's your perception of the scenario.

Now, at the very same moment you are holding that cup of coffee, imagine looking down on yourself from a third party view and then imagine that your vantage point is 1:1 with the size of an atom. What do you see?

Do still you see yourself sitting there? Do you see or smell the coffee anymore? If you are the size of an atom, all you would see (maybe) is a cluster of atoms in an apparent "chaotic" state.

If we did the same thing but scaled upwards until the sun is the size of an atom relative to us, meaning we are larger, how would the universe appear to us? Would we see intricate stars and galaxies or would it be very similar to the above?

quote:
I don't think that's philosophy more than it is a silly mind game or thought exercise. And yes, a tree falling in the woods DOES make a sound even if nobody is there to hear it :)


It's just an attempt to explain a way of looking at things from a different perspective.

quote:
Not following to be honest. The fact that we cannot always quantify something or explain how it works, doesn't change it's reality. That's a typically arrogant human way of looking at things.


Reality is a human invention...perhaps not deliberate, but what you're referring to as reality isn't actually there on any vantage point aside from your own.

quote:
We know space exists, and we can be sure of that. This is obvious. The fact that all it's secrets haven't been revealed is irrelevant to the philosophical discussion here imo.


How do we know space exists? We assume it does because we're assuming that we're "inside a universe". People are not looking at it from the top down, they're looking at it from within and yet they want to understand what it is.

quote:
If space isn't real, than obviously, neither are we. At which point I guess this discussion is moot lol.


Why must we be real or not? If, at the fundamental level, everything and nothing can coexist eternally then we simply are...but due to peoples' egos, they expect a more profound explanation.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2012 8:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
Abstract thought is all well and good, but you've crossed completely over to the other side. You actually BELIEVE this crap.

I can't discuss this any further if you actually think "reality is a human invention". I understand the concepts you're tripping out on, but you're going just way too far with them.


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/6/2012 3:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
OK, then humor us and respond to the questions about viewing yourself from two different perspectives simultaneously as I wrote in the previous comment.

Perspective 1 is your own, and you see yourself holding a cup of coffee about to drink it.

Perspective 2 is the same "scene" as above, except the vantage point is from that of an atom.

If reality is as absolute as you believe it to be, shouldn't your perceptions of both 1 and 2 be identical?


RE: I beg to differ
By Jereb on 7/8/2012 5:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhhh, no?? Why would they be the same?

On one hand your large enough to actually smell the coffee, that being the hydrocarbons(Help me out scientists) can be registered by your olfactory senses.
On the other the scene hasn't changed at all, your just a lot smaller. You're making the assumption that if you scale down the size of you body and get really close to an atom all you'll see is a cluster of chaotic particles. That hasn't changed anything about the scene at all, why would anything change at all, of course it's the same. The coffee is still there, you're still wacthing yourself(?) smell and look at the coffee.

And just an FYI on a previous comment, reality isn't a human invention, it's a human description.


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/8/2012 6:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Uhhhh, no?? Why would they be the same?


By saying this you're essentially agreeing with me that reality is entirely based upon our perception, and that is not an absolute.

quote:
On the other the scene hasn't changed at all, your just a lot smaller.


You're right so far...

quote:
You're making the assumption that if you scale down the size of you body and get really close to an atom all you'll see is a cluster of chaotic particles. That hasn't changed anything about the scene at all, why would anything change at all, of course it's the same. The coffee is still there, you're still wacthing yourself(?) smell and look at the coffee.


This is where you're getting tripped up...the scene IS identical and nothing is changing per se, however depending on your vantage point the scene is vastly different in both appearance AND physical characteristics.

Reclaimer was saying that reality is absolute, meaning that regardless of what we believe or think, reality is a constant that doesn't change. My point is that reality is simply and illusion because the very same cubic meter of "space" could be anything depending on your perspective.

We're not even talking about other dimensions here...yet if you are at the perspective of an atom vs your "normal" perspective as a human, the very same scene is vastly different in appearance and physical properties.

On your human perspective, the smell of coffee is your body perceiving molecules being emitted into the air from the coffee, but what are molecules?

If you are the size of an atom, you will be much smaller than a molecule and therefore would not be able to inhale one. In fact, you would not be able to breath because you'd be smaller than air molecules themselves.

If your entire existence was from the perspective of an atom, what would lead you to believe that the apparently chaotic cluster of atoms is also a person holding a cup of coffee?

For all we know, our perspective as humans in this universe is no different. If we could enlarge ourselves to be a million times larger than a star, we may discover that the universe is actually a cup of coffee someone is about to drink. :) But from our current perspective nobody has any reason to even consider that as a possibility.

What points am I trying to make here?

- Space does not exist because there is no "smallest possible unit of existence". Meaning you can be infinitely large or small, and therefore there is an unlimited amount of apparent "space".

- Time does not exist because time implies change and nothing ever changes within existence fundamentally. Change is a perception, and perception is an illusion.

- For any given "unit" of measure ANYTHING is possible and ANYTHING can exist at any given moment.

- Our perspective determines reality, not just appearance but also the physics of our existence. This is the best way to understand our existence on a fundamental level.

If science wants to find a way to control this, it would need to discover a way for us to change our perspective of existence...but we are physically bound to our current scale (as stated above, we as humans could not exist at the scale of an atom because, for one thing, we could not breath).

Funny how the answer to everything is right in front of us and is remarkably simplistic, but we really can't do anything about it...yet. :)


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 10:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I disagree. Philosophy QUESTIONS our perceptions on the things around us. But our perceptions of reality aren't governed by it.


Not at all. We see what we want to see and nothing more. If I expect to see a rainbow in the sky, I will keep looking until I see one and once I do, I will say to myself, "Ah, it is there, just as I expected." People do this all the time and not only that, scientists do it to whether they will admit it or not.

This is why understanding philosophy, and any researcher's philosophy is paramount to fully interpreting any data they collect and any hypotheses and inferences they derive from it.

quote:
I don't think that's philosophy more than it is a silly mind game or thought exercise. And yes, a tree falling in the woods DOES make a sound even if nobody is there to hear it :)


It's not a mind game at all. It is asking the ultimate question in science right now. One we have no answer for.

quote:
The fact that we cannot always quantify something or explain how it works, doesn't change it's reality.


Once again, our perceptions of reality are distorted by our philosophies. In the Salem, when bad things happen, their philosophies influenced them to burn women at stakes. It wasn't logical at all but they figured it must be the source of their problems. Scientists seek to clear the air with fact and figures but deep inside they have core beliefs that deeply influence their findings. Only the noblest and most committed ever manage to break through this barrier and they are quite rare.

Thus, for the majority, understanding philosophy and how it ties into things lets the reader better come to a conclusion of the results far more objectively.


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/5/2012 7:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
Blastman seems to be picking up what I'm putting down. :)

I can't explain true "nothingness" and it is a paradox if we think of it in terms of absolutes. Even if there was some kind of void with "nothing" in it, the fact that it is a void with nothing in it is something in itself.

The infinite number line example makes it easier to understand why we are "nothing" or at least zero. If you are standing on a number line that extends infinitely in either direction, no matter how far you travel in either direct you never move from point zero. You're always in the "middle"...despite never changing position or changing anything you can move.

Now expand the idea of number line to a coordinate graph with infinite axis. We can understand 3D space, and it's the same thing...no matter were we go within that graph we're always at point zero.

I think that is how existence works on a fundamental level. It's really just nothing, but since nothing can also be anything simultaneously we get to exist as just one of an infinite number of somethings.

What we end up perceiving is what we want to see. We can't understand the concept of infinity, but we can understand that point 0 and point 5 are 5 spaces apart. That limitation is being created by us, it's not a limitation created by something or someone else and it's not actually there. On an infinite number line point 5 IS point 0 and counting their relative positions is basically irrelevant...in fact, numbering the line is a limitation in itself being created by us.

Going on a bit of a tangent, consider that it is impossible for a perfect curve, circle or sphere to exist within our universe. Even if it appears round, when examined at the appropriate scale its edge will always be "stepped". Kind of odd that the only shapes that can truly exist are straight lines and angles, while anything curved is simply an illusion. I wonder if this has any significance.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2012 8:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
Matter is simply large pockets of "nothing" loosely, or densely, held together by molecules. It's really not THAT hard to comprehend that outer space is a much more vast area of pockets of "nothing" interspersed with dense galaxies, radiation, and other molecules. Space is actually not a true vacuum, there's about 2 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter of space on average. So it's not "nothing".

This philosophical trip you're on, at some point, needs to acknowledge that there IS an actual reality on which we exist.

quote:
I think that is how existence works on a fundamental level. It's really just nothing, but since nothing can also be anything simultaneously we get to exist as just one of an infinite number of somethings.


I think it's time to cut down on the LSD.


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 10:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Matter is simply large pockets of "nothing" loosely, or densely, held together by molecules. It's really not THAT hard to comprehend that outer space is a much more vast area of pockets of "nothing" interspersed with dense galaxies, radiation, and other molecules. Space is actually not a true vacuum, there's about 2 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter of space on average. So it's not "nothing".


You're missing it though. There might be two hydrogen atoms per cubic meter but within that vast meter (to a hydrogen atom it is quite vast), what is between them? What is that "nothing" that segments them?

We can't define it. At best we can say it is "spacetime" and per the poster of this particular thread whom wrote a book, has a marvelous equation which sums it up nicely with simplicity, g=tc^2, if you plot the curvature and its subsequent ripples and folds, the correlation is quite obvious. But graphing it doesn't solve it. It helps us visualize something. Something intangible that at first glance must just be a simple brane (or medium) but after great thought, as incomprehensible as it might be, is far from insignificant.

This "nothing" manipulates, defines and influences all of us completely. Yet, despite this massive contribution to not just entropy but also perceived order (and do not forget the statistical chaos in the smallest of the small that is merely quantifiable but neigh observable), we still don't know what it is.

Until we do, everything else we do is moot and subject to great change. If you ask any physicist I'm sure they'll tell you the same thing.

We have to understand what this "nothing" is. It is as I see it, the key to everything around us that we can see, hold, imagine... or even beyond our wildest comprehension.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/5/2012 10:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
The "nothing" is dark matter and dark energy. Forming a "cosmic scaffold" that holds spacetime, the Universe, together.

Just because we perceive it as "nothing", doesn't make it so.


RE: I beg to differ
By MrBlastman on 7/6/2012 1:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
How you can you be so sure? Heck, we don't even know what dark matter and energy are. They serve as nothing more than terminology placeholders to fill a gap that we have zero explanation for. We have theorized they exist but beyond that it is a mystery. We know the universe is accelerating in its expansion and rather than use the cosmological constant which itself was another placeholder than Einstein himself used to make his equations "work" regarding a stationary universe--we've created stubs.

quote:
Just because we perceive it as "nothing", doesn't make it so.


That is correct and that is why we must solve it.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/6/2012 1:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
Because we can observe it's effects. It might not be a perfect theory, but that's the best we have. And when more evidence comes into play, theories will be revised and further understanding begins.

That's how science works. You and Eric can philosophize all you want, but that kind of thinking doesn't really get us anywhere.

quote:
That is correct and that is why we must solve it.


Well I don't know what to tell ya, people are working on it. :)


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/6/2012 3:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's how science works. You and Eric can philosophize all you want, but that kind of thinking doesn't really get us anywhere.


On the contrary; being unwilling or unable to look at things from a perspective other than your own ensures that many mysteries will remain mysteries.

We're talking about things that scientists are spending a lot of time and money trying to figure out, but due to the abstract nature of the subject matter and the general unwillingness of most scientists to truly think (rather than to simply observe) holds progress back.

Performing a scientific experiment is like asking a question - you need to be able to think this way to determine the optimal questions (experiments) to ask.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/6/2012 4:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On the contrary; being unwilling or unable to look at things from a perspective other than your own ensures that many mysteries will remain mysteries.


Eric, shut up. Science cannot work under your philosophical proclamations. Because if "reality is a human invention", and we're just making up everything we perceive, then the truth is simply what we imagine it to be. In which case things like science, proof, facts, and truth are subjective in the extreme.

I'm glad you got your Liberal Arts Major degree, but when it comes to science, your opinions are useless and actually dangerous.


RE: I beg to differ
By EricMartello on 7/6/2012 11:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because if "reality is a human invention", and we're just making up everything we perceive, then the truth is simply what we imagine it to be. In which case things like science, proof, facts, and truth are subjective in the extreme.


Much like a video game has rules, and to win at the game you play by those rules, so does our particular niche of existence. Regardless of whether the rules are fabricated by our minds or by some external force, they exist as far as we're concerned and we have not found a way to transcend them.

Science, the way it is practiced today, may enable us to gain more mastery over our little niche (i.e. the game world and its pre-defined ruleset) but it has little chance of going beyond that much in the same way your in-game avatar could not exist outside of the game even if it was aware that it was an avatar within a game (remember, the avatar doesn't really exist; it's just an illusion).

I noticed that you still haven't answered my other question about viewing yourself drinking coffee on the scale of an atom. Why not? You're not going to even take a stab at it?

If I am an atom and I see an apparently chaotic cluster of atoms and other particles, explain to me why the "absolute, indisputable reality" I should accept is you drinking a cup of coffee.


RE: I beg to differ
By Jereb on 7/8/2012 7:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
Are you trying to say that if I look at only a single atom of the coffee mug scene, that all i'm going to understand is that there is only a single atom (that's what i observed). Where as if I step back and look at the big picture i'll go "gee whiz, there is a whole lot more to this than I thought".

Wow, you are truly a Davinci of our modern era. Nobody, has heard of this concept prior these postings. How naive and ignorant of you to suggest that others haven't contemplated this also.

Also your game analogy is bit bogus, yeah the avatar exists, it exists within the box as 1 & 0's resulting in pixels etc.

The infinite line thought, did you fail math?? Yeah if you setup an infinite line it goes on forever, but if you move in one direction for a while, you are most definately not in the same spot you just where. It's called relativity, when you set an axis no matter the extremity's of the axis you have a set/start point, and resolution. When you compare any other point you are always comparing it to another set point. If you travel along the x axis, then yeah, delta x, if you are travelling along the y axis, delta y. You can make a far out claim that, you are still in the same place because infinity imposes this proof upon us. Well guess what, singularities also exist in maths', they often mean, an error has occured, we lack the capability to describe it with that concept of mathematics. It's exactly why the whole field of imaginary numbers where created.


RE: I beg to differ
By Reclaimer77 on 7/4/2012 7:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Imagine if we had access to $10 billion (the cost of the LHC) and thousands of physicist and engineers working on propulsion physics rather than particle physics, what we could do, and where we could go?


10 billion these days? Unfortunately that doesn't go as far as you might think. Especially if a Government organization or quasi-public committee is in charge of the funds lol.


RE: I beg to differ
By DennisB on 7/5/2012 6:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
>First, the massless formula for gravitational acceleration g = tc^2. Isn’t anyone surprised that such an equation exists?

Something is not right here.
Acceleration is defined as force over mass or velocity over time. So it is not without mass.
rewriting it
g = tau s a = tau s F/m

If g didn't have mass in its formula you wouldn't be able to apply it to mass and calculate the weight. Or is there a new kind of math?
Please unwrap the mystery for this amateur such as myself.


Yea but...
By SlyNine on 7/4/2012 4:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
Did this particle exist before we were looking for it??




RE: Yea but...
By Jackthegreen on 7/4/2012 6:05:56 PM , Rating: 3
If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes.


RE: Yea but...
By SlyNine on 7/5/2012 2:49:55 PM , Rating: 2
Prove it :P


RE: Yea but...
By Azethoth on 7/4/2012 6:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
The only way it did not exist is if reality is a simulation, and the simulators added the code just before we started up the Tevatron and later LHC.

However this is a triumph of science, not philosophy. If you need a philosophical hit, go read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_demon


RE: Yea but...
By Camikazi on 7/4/2012 7:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
So we are just a bunch of Sims in a giant game? Sounds interesting, could explain some of the weird decisions that some people make :P


RE: Yea but...
By TSS on 7/5/2012 8:24:16 AM , Rating: 2
.... I'm pretty sure i already had mass atleast a month ago so yeah. I think it existed.

Though if you really want to get technical, no, it didn't. Cause you see, that was a month ago. A month ago doesn't exist now. Ergo, me from a month ago doesn't have mass *now*, thus those higgs-bosons no longer exist, and the question of wether they ever existed will remain unawsnered, as at that time, it was still impossible to be sure about the higgs and at this time, it's impossible to be sure about the higgs in the past.

Mass might've been figured out (mostly) now, but we still haven't got a clue about time, dark matter or dark energy. There's plenty of stuff left to dream about ^^.


RE: Yea but...
By SlyNine on 7/5/2012 2:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm talking about Schrodinger's cat. Like how the universe changes if its being viewed or not.

Maybe we willed this particle in to existence... Not that I believe that rubbish, But some of the evidence is pretty interesting.


RE: Yea but...
By Starcub on 7/5/2012 10:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
Does the spoon really exist?

If the spoon really exists, then why baptise it?


RE: Yea but...
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 1:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
Is your spoon too big or are you really a banana? Maybe we all live in a giant bucket?


By phattyboombatty on 7/5/2012 1:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
What I haven't seen in any of the news releases for this discovery is what evidence is there to claim that the newly-discovered particle is a Higgs boson? Can somebody fill me in on the details here?

From what I've seen, the researchers have found a new particle. Great. But why do they think it is a Higgs boson?




RE: What makes this new particle a Higgs boson?
By MrBlastman on 7/5/2012 2:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, they think it could be the Higgs Boson based on the GeV reading (giga electron volt) which through mass energy equivalency is the mass reading of said boson predicted through composite mathematical modelling.

In reality, they discovered "something" with that mass reading and for all intents and purposes, the only thing theorized right now at that mass level is the higgs boson.

Beyond that, we know little. They know little. There's still much more to be found out! Stay tuned. :)


By Moishe on 7/5/2012 5:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. "Higgs Boson" is a label.

They reached into the middle of a dark semi-truck of mice without looking and for a second felt what might be a gerbil. Could be. They'll have to reach in a few times, and maybe turn on a light and put on some goggles to really be sure what it is.

It's a big deal, but like most of the cool stuff, all we get is an idea and the application of that idea comes later.


By Odysseus145 on 7/5/2012 3:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
They found the signal in the region they expected to find it, and they found it through the decay products they expected it to exhibit. It may not be the Higgs, but signs point to yes.


This article headline is wrong
By CSammy on 7/4/2012 6:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
This is an announcement of a "Higgs-like" particle, NOT an official discovery announcement of the Higgs Boson. BIG difference.

The actual discovery announcement won't be made until further validation beyond 5 sigma is made (which has always been the standard requirement in physics for any new particle announcement).

It was expected that some news organizations would get the headline wrong. I suggest Daily Tech make the correction, in the meantime here is a more clear article of the announcement.

http://www.universetoday.com/96132/higgs-like-part...




RE: This article headline is wrong
By Odysseus145 on 7/5/2012 3:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
The CMS and ATLAS data combine for a sigma of 6.02. It's probably not ready for publication in a peer-reviewed journal yet, but it's more than enough proof for the interested public.


RE: This article headline is wrong
By CSammy on 7/5/2012 6:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
Each independent data set needs to be greater than 5 sigma, not combined. No one from CERN is calling this a discovery of the Higgs boson, it's a discovery of a new particle that is "Higgs like", and will require further validation. Not sure which interested public sees this as "more than enough proof", but the scientific community certainly doesn't consider this "more than enough proof", and why every headline reads that way (including Daily Tech's own headline correction!).

It will probably be another 3-4 years of higher energy collisions (according to a CERN rep) before an "official discovery" can be definitively announced.


ok
By Ammohunt on 7/4/2012 8:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
So what is a Higgs Boson made out of? Satan Particles?




RE: ok
By Moishe on 7/5/2012 5:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think so, but that'd be mixing religion into it and that's a big no-no here at Dailytech.... unless it's Tiffany's global warming religion that is.


RE: ok
By Ammohunt on 7/7/2012 9:23:36 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed; Its a secular world except when its inconvenient to the eco-facists.


5 sigma?
By kjboughton on 7/4/2012 4:58:20 PM , Rating: 1
Five (5) sigma does not equate with a "99.999%..." (or whatever) confidence factor.

I remain unconvinced.




RE: 5 sigma?
By Jackthegreen on 7/4/2012 6:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Given the process at http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ConfidenceInterval.ht... shows it's effectively 99.9999994%, I'd call that pretty darn good. It's nice to think about of course, but it'll be even nicer when it can be put to practical applications.


RE: 5 sigma?
By Odysseus145 on 7/5/2012 3:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually 5 sigma corresponds to 99.99994%, which is still pretty darn confident and is the gold standard for announcing a discovery of this magnitude. When data from the two detectors is combined, you get a sigma of 6.02. This is a confidence of 99.9999998%. There is without a doubt something there. Whether or not this is the Higgs is something that the LHC scientists will now attempt to figure out.


Funny....
By Moishe on 7/5/2012 4:39:52 PM , Rating: 2
*finds first Higgs Boson ever*
quote:
We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found.


alright captain obvious. :) It's also the lightest boson, and the most purple boson ever found.




RE: Funny....
By johnsonx on 7/6/2012 5:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
don't comment on things you don't understand. there are other bosons. the one discovered is the heaviest found so far, and is about the right size for the predicted Higgs Boson.


For the laymens...
By UsernameX on 7/5/2012 9:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
If this was truly the higgs boson, what type of inventions would we see? How would this improve the world around us? Thanks!




What if GOD does exist?
By hiscross on 7/7/2012 3:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
Then some people have a real problem they won't be able to fix. Yes, DT I am back =)




Crying Wolf
By EricMartello on 7/4/12, Rating: -1
RE: Crying Wolf
By Ramstark on 7/4/2012 5:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
So...you are going to keep posting until someone bites and starts the same philosophical debate that you had here http://www.dailytech.com/CERN+Invites+Citizens+to+... ?
Gimme a break...


RE: Crying Wolf
By Ringold on 7/4/2012 5:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
by doing it this way they are treading into the territory of those man made global warming pseudo scientists who present the results first, supporting facts never.


Especially when they say they've done so with 5 sigma confidence. They found something, absolutely. But what if they study it more and it's at a slightly different energy, or a different hitherto unknown particle? Makes the 99.999..% statement look like a joke, makes scientists look less credible, etc.

Would've been better to wait just a little bit longer and had more complete data at hand. Not really a huge criticism, they're human beings after all, but it would've been a safer way to go.


RE: Crying Wolf
By EricMartello on 7/4/2012 11:47:00 PM , Rating: 1
LOL @ 5-sigma confidence. Sounds like some kind of self-help validation for salespeople. I am a fan of "The Office".

Bottom line is that this is a maybe and with this kind of science "maybe" really doesn't cut it. When they're sure that it is what they think it is, THEN they can tap mainstream media.

Look, it's not helping them to issue these kind of half-a55ed statements because big media doesn't really like anything remotely thought provoking in the first place. I'm sure tomorrow they're going to follow up with a story that is a detailed analysis of the Bieb's new fragrance, Wino Balldrop.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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