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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 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.

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.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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