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  (Source: BBC)
Two separate experiments at the Large Hadron Collider bring scientists closer to elusive building block of Universe

For a week, anticipation has been building for the press conference held this morning by scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Speculation abounded that they would announce evidence of the misnamed "God particle," the Higgs boson, which gives all matter mass.

So, now that 8 a.m. ET on December 13, 2011 has passed, are we any closer to finding the so-called God particle? Well, maybe.

According to the BBC, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland say that two experiments there may have resulted in glimpses of the Higgs boson. However, they do not have enough evidence yet to make a solid claim.

So why all the fuss? 

"The Higgs is the final piece of the Standard Model of Particle Physics which is, itself, the crowning achievement of subatomic physics. Called the 'God Particle' by some, the Higgs is responsible for giving all the other flecks of matter in this Universe the remarkable property we think of as mass. Physicists have been hunting the Higgs for decades," explains Adam Frank at NPR's 13.7 blog.

Evidence of the Higgs would be one of the most significant scientific advances in 60 years. 

The two separate experiments at the LHC — Atlas and CMS — have been searching for the basic building block of the Universe independently. "Because the Standard Model does not predict an exact mass for the Higgs, physicists have to use particle accelerators like the LHC to systematically look for it across a broad search area," the BBC reports.

Both experiments have reportedly seen a data "spike" around a mass of 125 Gigaelectronvolts. While this isn't enough to confirm the Higgs' discovery, it is enough to generate mass excitement (pun definitely intended) in scientific circles.

Perhaps now all the citizens CERN recruited to help find the Higgs can go back to their day jobs.

Sources: BBC, NPR



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RE: Woohoo
By KrayLoN on 12/13/2011 10:04:12 AM , Rating: 5
That is because the government was too busy giving away our tax dollars to companies that were destined to fail and go bankrupt. I hope for the day that we can have a government that puts priority to education and research rather than the agenda of big business and the wealthy.


RE: Woohoo
By yomamafor1 on 12/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 12:51:54 PM , Rating: 4
Oh get a life. The reason the SSC was cancelled was because of budget overruns and constant, repeated bloat of the bottom line. It rose from 4.4 billion to over 12 billion and was eventually canned as a result of several factors, primarily being budget and mis-management.

Quit trying to cry the sky is falling. Religious groups have as much to gain as the rest of the world through the discoveries that science may reveal--including the higgs boson.

With that said, it's a darn shame the SSC was cancelled at the time. However, when you think about it--we've come a long way in computational power since then so I have doubts if we'd have been able to fully harness the capabilities of it until years later. Either way, it was a big loss to the scientific community. I wish upon wish that more Americans would become emboldened by the sciences and pursue them--but alas, the lust for that nasty thing known as money draws them to far less useful areas of our society.


RE: Woohoo
By retrospooty on 12/13/2011 1:00:28 PM , Rating: 1
"The reason the SSC was cancelled was because of budget overruns and constant, repeated bloat of the bottom line."

Since when did budget overrun and bottom line bloat ever close any govt. dept? Off the top of my head, I cant think of a govt. program that isnt operating that way.


RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 1:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, and that is the real crime here. They flush science routinely down the drain in our Government, only to pay for big bailouts, lavish planes and "social" programs (Ahem... Acorn) instead of the important things.

Our Government is a joke. :(


RE: Woohoo
By yomamafor1 on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 3
Are you seriously lumping all religious groups into the "fundamentalist" category? If you are, your perception of religion is falsely skewed and you really should take a look at reality again as it has fallen from the grasp of your fingertips. You accused the project of failing due to Religious reasons yet in another post, admit to the weak initial four billion dollar budget being a big reason.

Make up your mind man, you aren't making any sense here.

Yes, real world data is the only definite way to be used in science (as that is a major part of the scientific method)--the only reason I even mentioned computers was not due to theoretical modelling but instead, raw analysis of the outpouring data from the collder itself (which on its own is a massive undertaking computationally speaking).


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
The religious response to the discovery of yet another piece of scientific evidence pointing to the universe as something govered by the laws of physics rather than the laws of a deity, is usually followed by the predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something and that something is the Deity who governs everything.


RE: Woohoo
By JediJeb on 12/14/2011 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
predicatable but incorrect reponse that the particle had to be created by something


Devil's Advocate: What created it?


RE: Woohoo
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2011 11:18:48 AM , Rating: 3
While I was firmly against any and all the bailouts, they are not our biggest problem. Our problem is around $2T a year in entitlement spending. We don't have a billion or so to run a particle accelerator or $5B or so to run NASA adequately. But damn it we have to find funding for the National Endowment of the Arts. And we need hundreds of billions to make sure people don't have to go back to work for 3 years.

My mom is a manager at a specialty pharmacy and her hourly workers, who are quite well paid considering what they're doing, have the attitude that they deserve everything for free. And most aren't afraid to lose their job because then they get to sit at home and still get paid 60% of their wages for the foreseeable future.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
The $161 million annual budget of the National Endowment of the Arts comes out to 0.01% of the roughly $2 trillion in entitlement spending. You really nailed the problem there genius. It's the same amount that social security will grow in TWO DAYS, but hey, thats the problem right? Now go back to looking for faries in your garden.


RE: Woohoo
By ebakke on 12/13/2011 8:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
If you're advocating abolishing the current social security program (of which I'm sure you're not), I'm right there with you man!! And to FIT's point that you conveniently ignored. We could certainly stop the bleeding on the $434 billion we've already spent on unemployment benefits. http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/05/news/economy/unemp...


RE: Woohoo
By Paj on 12/14/2011 7:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
Dont forget your military budget - the highest in the world, 6 times that of China. I'm sure there's a few hundred billion in there that could be put to good use.


RE: Woohoo
By Mint on 12/14/2011 3:13:50 PM , Rating: 1
What work?

After four years, are you still so blind to the realities of today's economy that you think employers have a shortage of hourly workers to choose from? Are you insane?

Let me try to explain this to you one step at a time. If we reduce entitlement spending, the lower classes lose spending power. They spend a greater percent of their income on goods/services than other classes. The result, then, is lower demand for goods and more job losses. It doesn't matter whether you want to extend age for SS benefits, reduce welfare, or reduce gov't workforce (the payroll of which is only 5% of the budget, BTW). You get lower demand for goods, which is the biggest problem companies are facing right now.

Whenever the economy is bad, you can boil it down to one thing: People with money aren't spending enough to create jobs for those without it. Sure, there are other factors like outsourcing and automation, but that's reality (and they would be good things in a society that knows how to use them properly). We escaped it in the years before 2008 with debt-financed consumption, without which half of today's problems would have gradually appeared anyway, but that well is dry now. So you have two choices right now: force democratically chosen spending via the gov't, or let human labor idle when the free market has no need for it.

I just don't like how we are burdening future generations right now by waffling on the decision by pretending the economy will get better. We need to either raise taxes -especially on companies and the rich, who are so adverse to buying goods/services to create jobs that they would rather buy bonds that don't even cover inflation - or cut entitlements and suffer higher unemployment, a poorer lower/middle class, and all-round shittier society. I actually wouldn't mind the latter choice, if only to teach America a lesson.

We can't go back to 2005 or 1999 or whatever. The free market has spoken, and it has no use for more general labor.


RE: Woohoo
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2011 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 5
And what we really need is the federal government to get OUT of public education and let the states handle it. The department of education is a complete and utter failure. Spending per student has skyrocketed in recent years with students even less prepared for college as the result.


RE: Woohoo
By arazok on 12/13/2011 11:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
So true.

Canada leaves education to the provinces, and while our education system is a mess with all the typical union/politicaly correct BS you have, it costs far less per student to run, with better results.

The US to too large a country to administer health or education at the federal level. You'd be better off mandating it federally, and leaving the states to run it. Better still, get out of it entirely, and privatize. Just write people checks to guarantee universal access.


RE: Woohoo
By ebakke on 12/13/2011 8:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just write people checks to guarantee universal access.
Or let people bear the responsibility for having children. Why should I have to subsidize someone else's choice to procreate? If I want kids, I'll pay for their education.


RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 12:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And what we really need is the federal government to get OUT of public education and let the states handle it.


For sure. No Child Left Behind is an utter failure and has done nothing but harm our school systems. Also, the increased reliance on standardized testing and ever increasing requirements for homework has damaged our future generations severely.

Good luck trying to get our younger generations to think these days--they aren't taught such a basic skill anymore in the schools. The States truly need the Federal Government out of their hair as it has done little that is positive to help them.


RE: Woohoo
By lagomorpha on 12/13/2011 1:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
The much larger issue is continuing to mix motivated students with behavioral problem children, putting 30 of them in a room with a teacher that doesn't understand even elementary level math and science at a reasonably fundamental level, and expecting to see any improvement.

If you want to see vast improvement in education you would abandon the current grading model for a proficiency model. Students would work in small groups of similar skill and advance to the next topic once they have demonstrated proficiency in their current topic. This way you avoid students getting lost in a class by missing one fundamental topic that the rest rely on and you keep the motivated students from being held back by unmotivated students.


RE: Woohoo
By ebakke on 12/13/2011 8:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to see vast improvement in education you would abandon the current grading model for a proficiency model. Students would work in small groups of similar skill and advance to the next topic once they have demonstrated proficiency in their current topic.
Oh my god, YES! It's particularly bad in my local school district as we have lots of immigrants that come from countries with no educational systems at all. But the kid is age 10 so he gets stuck in a 5th grade classroom here. Can't speak English, let alone write it. Doesn't understand arithmetic. Has never done homework in his life. Kid doesn't stand a chance. Give it 5 years and now he's a problematic high schooler who's still not learning anything, but is now a constant disruption in class.


RE: Woohoo
By lagomorpha on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Woohoo
By MrBlastman on 12/13/2011 2:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and that is very sad, indeed. I've always thought religion should be addressed in schools, but through a philosophy class or world history classes. It can only help broaden a student's perspective on the world. Including it in Biology, though, is ridiculous as it has nothing to do with science.


RE: Woohoo
By lagomorpha on 12/13/2011 2:28:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Including it in Biology, though, is ridiculous as it has nothing to do with science.


The trouble with religious people is that they actually believe their beliefs correspond with reality and that revelation supersedes reason. From their perspective, the Bible/Quran is science.


RE: Woohoo
By lamerz4391 on 12/13/2011 3:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
Holy crap. Nice generalizations, tool. That post is just FULL of ignorance if you think that all "religious people" think exactly alike.

Grow the hell up and realize that there are different shades of what people choose to believe. Until then, you just look like an idiot.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 4:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes there are different shades. There are 2.1bn people who think the Chrisitan god exists. There are 1.5bn who think the 2.1bn are completely wrong and are going to hell for being Christian. There are another 1.5bn people who think the 2.1bn and 1.5bn are wrong and that people get reincarnated. You get the picture.

Although the thinking and belifs are different there are several common traits that bind them together. First, they cannot offer any meaningful evidence that support their core assertions (heaven, hell, god, reincarnation). Second, they have fought, killed, and died by the thousands in the name of their beliefs.


RE: Woohoo
By FITCamaro on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Woohoo
By lagomorpha on 12/13/2011 2:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Either way, how biology works is still the same.


Explain antibiotic resistance in bacteria in terms of creationism. Teaching it in some sort of philosophy class is one thing, teaching it as actual biology is another.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Did you spend as much time learning about the Islam version of Creation? How about the Buddhist version? How about Lord of the Rings? If you are going to choose to teach one fairy tale over another, then what is the criteria for selection? With science it's pretty straight forward, it's the amount of evidence or proof. I still dont know what the rational criteria for teaching any religion or fairy tale at school on a regular basis is. Probably because there is none. In some places they teach kids that if you kill Americans you go to heaven. Are you sure there is no danger?


RE: Woohoo
By lamerz4391 on 12/13/2011 3:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ah the old "fairy tale" dismissal. A true sign of brilliance. I don't believe that science should be replaced in school, but damn if I don't laugh every time I see that tactic.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 4:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think anybody suggested that science should be replaced in school. This is about whether it's ok to teach religion along side science even if it has about as much substance as a fairy tale. My point was that under the guise of religion, kids in the some parts of the middle east are being taught it's good to kill Americans. The going to heaven and getting 47 virgin thing has no more or less substance than a old guy with white hair in the sky or dude with horns underground. If you think this is so funny why dont you offer some evidence, any evidence, that any religion is more than a fairy tale?


RE: Woohoo
By SlyNine on 12/15/2011 12:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
I call straw man. He had more points there then calling it a "fairy tale", but You chose to misrepresent his argument and only attack his weakest link.

Let me ask you something, give me a SHRED of evidence that ANY religion is true that DOESN'T involve circular logic.


RE: Woohoo
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2011 11:12:59 PM , Rating: 1
Well when believers in the One Ring form a nation, they can teach about it in schools all they want. In the meantime, America is a nation formed by men of the Christian faith who had absolutely no problem with it being taught in schools. I supposed BS classes like "diversity awareness" are far more educational to students....

Hell these days we have groups who want to get rid of higher math and science courses because they're "unfair" to minorities who tend to do poorly at them.


RE: Woohoo
By ClownPuncher on 12/14/2011 1:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Public school teachers have the right to teach history of religion in history classes. My senior year we had speakers from several organized religions offering perspective and background on their religions. There was no proselytizing, a fair account of each was given.

The deistic majority of the Founders also wanted a separation of church and state - yet many schools in their time were offered by local churches, not usually the state government.

You also have the right to attend a private school of your chosen religion.


RE: Woohoo
By SlyNine on 12/15/2011 12:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
But what does any of that matter.

The argument is about whether religion should be taught like science, As a fact kind of thing.

How would you teach creationism, because the only way I can think of would be using a lot of circular logic (its true because I say it doesn't make sense any other way)

Religious people use just about every logical fallacy in the book to make their points. How are you going to teach it with out doing so?? Give me an example of evidence supporting creationism that doesn't involve faith or that stands up to the same demands that teaching a science would have to live up to.


RE: Woohoo
By fredgiblet on 12/13/2011 3:05:35 PM , Rating: 2
A. Religion doesn't belong in a science classroom.

B. The goal of the creationism movement is to REPLACE science with creationism. Getting creationism into the textbooks is just step 1.

C. The creationism that is being pushed into textbooks is usually factually incorrect or intentionally deceiving.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 4:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Creationism in itself is a fallacy.
You cant argue that everything was created by god but be unwilling to accept that god was created from something else.
That would be like scientists arguing that man evolved from monkeys, but the monkeys were always here, before the dinosaurs, before the universe, etc.


RE: Woohoo
By FITCamaro on 12/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Woohoo
By Paj on 12/14/2011 7:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In what way does it seek to replace science? Creationism doesn't try to disprove the laws of physics, how cells convert food to energy, how the brain works, quantum physics, etc.


Literal creationism does all of these things.

How could the earth have been created 6000 years ago, considering what is known and proven concerning radioisotope decay?

How could a volume of water exist in the atmosphere sufficient to cover the entire surface of the earth to the depth of Mt Everest? Any animal with lungs would have died.

I agree that learning about religion is fascinating, but it should be taught as philosophy, not theology. Personally I am agnostic - I cannot prove or disprove the existence of a god, as a simply do not have the means to do so.


RE: Woohoo
By Just Tom on 12/16/2011 8:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How could the earth have been created 6000 years ago, considering what is known and proven concerning radioisotope decay?


I am an atheist but that is fairly easy to explain. Surely, if some being had the capability to create an entire universe that same being would be able to create an universe that appeared older than it was. Maybe as some sort of subtle cosmic prank.


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/13/2011 2:23:37 PM , Rating: 1
What an idea! Lets save $70bn by completely eliminating the Department of Education. That will really help our $1,300bn budget shortfall. So what ideas do you have for the other 95% or $1,230 hole that needs to be filled genius?


RE: Woohoo
By SPOOFE on 12/13/2011 7:03:00 PM , Rating: 3
I love it; we've been nickel'd and dime'd to death, and you're yelling at a guy for suggesting we stop spending a nickel or a dime.


RE: Woohoo
By ebakke on 12/13/2011 8:46:38 PM , Rating: 3
Feel free to offer suggestions instead of just attacking the man who does. (...douche)


RE: Woohoo
By KaTaR on 12/14/2011 12:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
1. Increase the top marginal tax rate back (currently near historical lows). Current effective rates being paid by the top 5% is 20% which is a mere 8% points higher than the bottom 50%. Increasing the rate back to historical norm will add a few hundred billion in revenue.
2. Eliminated corporate tax loopholes so the nomial tax rate = the effective tax rate. AAPL paying 25%, GOOG paying 20%, MSFT paying 17% despite the the corporate tax rate being 35% is the result of loopholes and offshoring. Add 100bn.
3. Cut defense spending. Its $900bn now (including discretionary) which is greater than the rest of the world combined. Needs to come down by a couple of hundred on bn.
4. Increase the retirement age. Our life expectancy has been increaseing, the retirement age needs to increase comensurate. Each year adds a hundred bn.

Sounds drastic but doing a combination of all of this is the only way we can fill a decent portion of the 1.3 trillion budget hole. Despite all the whining by pundits, debates, etc all of these steps will happen to some degree because they HAVE to. If we dont our budget situation continues to get worse and we will be foreced to.


RE: Woohoo
By SlyNine on 12/15/2011 12:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I personally think going on a national sales tax is the answers. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me that if taxes were paid through sales tax, the more you make the more you pay. Simple. You could exempt things like food tax.

I'm sure its not a perfect solution.


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