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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 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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