The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

This week, the XXV International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics (better known as Neutrino 2012) is taking place in Japan, and a number of announcements have been made in association with the meeting. Neutrinos have some fascinating properties (which we’ll discuss at length this weekend), but it’s now clear there is one exceptional feature they lack: the ability to go faster than light. Even the detector that originally reported this finding now agrees that the results were an artifact. Faster-than-light neutrino findings really, thoroughly dead

quantumaniac:

Peter Higgs
Born on May 29th, 1929 - Peter Higgs is best known for his proposal of the Higgs mechanism. Currently he serves as Professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.
Higgs’ proposal says that particles were massless when the universe began, and acquired mass a fraction of a second later when interacting with the so-called Higgs field. He postulated that this field permeates all of space, and gives all elementary subatomic particles that interact with it their mass. The Higgs field is thought to interact and cause all of the mass in quarks and leptons, but only causes a tiny portion of the masses of other subatomic particles, such as protons and neutrons. In these larger particles, gluons that bind the quarks together to form them create most of the mass.

quantumaniac:

Peter Higgs

Born on May 29th, 1929 - Peter Higgs is best known for his proposal of the Higgs mechanism. Currently he serves as Professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.

Higgs’ proposal says that particles were massless when the universe began, and acquired mass a fraction of a second later when interacting with the so-called Higgs field. He postulated that this field permeates all of space, and gives all elementary subatomic particles that interact with it their mass. The Higgs field is thought to interact and cause all of the mass in quarks and leptons, but only causes a tiny portion of the masses of other subatomic particles, such as protons and neutrons. In these larger particles, gluons that bind the quarks together to form them create most of the mass.

(via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)

In short, though scientists, with their typical hesitation, are saying nothing has been proven, it’s another step closer to knowing that the Higgs boson is real. It’s the last undiscovered particle in the Standard Model, the theory reputed to explain the behavior of particles, which has led to the media to dubbing it the “God particle,” even though scientists resent the name. “I hate that “God particle’ term,” one member of the CERN team in Europe said last December. “The Higgs is not endowed with any religious meaning. It is ridiculous to call it that. Higgs Boson May Be Real, Just Don’t Call It the ‘God Particle’ - Technology - The Atlantic Wire (via fritfilter)

(via jayaprada)

ATLAS and CMS experiments present Higgs search status | CERN Press Release

13 December 2011. In a seminar held at CERN1 today, the ATLAS2 and CMS3 experiments presented the status of their searches for the Standard Model Higgs boson. Their results are based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs. The main conclusion is that the Standard Model Higgs boson, if it exists, is most likely to have a mass constrained to the range 116-130 GeV by the ATLAS experiment, and 115-127 GeV by CMS. Tantalising hints have been seen by both experiments in this mass region, but these are not yet strong enough to claim a discovery.

Higgs bosons, if they exist, are very short lived and can decay in many different ways. Discovery relies on observing the particles they decay into rather than the Higgs itself. Both ATLAS and CMS have analysed several decay channels, and the experiments see small excesses in the low mass region that has not yet been excluded.

Taken individually, none of these excesses is any more statistically significant than rolling a die and coming up with two sixes in a row. What is interesting is that there are multiple independent measurements pointing to the region of 124 to 126 GeV. It’s far too early to say whether ATLAS and CMS have discovered the Higgs boson, but these updated results are generating a lot of interest in the particle physics community.

“We have restricted the most likely mass region for the Higgs boson to 116-130 GeV, and over the last few weeks we have started to see an intriguing excess of events in the mass range around 125 GeV,” explained ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti."This excess may be due to a fluctuation, but it could also be something more interesting. We cannot conclude anything at this stage. We need more study and more data. Given the outstanding performance of the LHC this year, we will not need to wait long for enough data and can look forward to resolving this puzzle in 2012."

"We cannot exclude the presence of the Standard Model Higgs between 115 and 127 GeV because of a modest excess of events in this mass region that appears, quite consistently, in five independent channels," explained CMS experiment Spokesperson, Guido Tonelli. “The excess is most compatible with a Standard Model Higgs in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below but the statistical significance is not large enough to say anything conclusive. As of today what we see is consistent either with a background fluctuation or with the presence of the boson. Refined analyses and additional data delivered in 2012 by this magnificent machine will definitely give an answer.”

Has the Higgs Been Discovered? Physicists Gear Up for Watershed Announcement | Scientific American

The physics buzz reached a frenzy in the past few days over the announcement that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is planning to release [on Dec. 13th] what is widely expected to be tantalizing—although not conclusive—evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle hypothesized to be the origin of the mass of all matter.
Many physicists have already swung into action, swapping rumors about the contents of the announcement and proposing grand ideas about what those rumors would mean, if true. “It’s impossible to be excited enough,” says Gordon Kane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
The spokespersons of the collaborations using the cathedral-size ATLAS and CMS detectors to search for the Higgs boson and other phenomena at the 27-kilometer-circumference proton accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), are scheduled to present updates December 13 based on analyses of the data collected to date. “There won’t be a discovery announcement, but it does promise to be interesting,” says James Gillies, spokesperson for CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), which hosts the LHC.

Has the Higgs Been Discovered? Physicists Gear Up for Watershed Announcement | Scientific American

The physics buzz reached a frenzy in the past few days over the announcement that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is planning to release [on Dec. 13th] what is widely expected to be tantalizing—although not conclusive—evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, the elementary particle hypothesized to be the origin of the mass of all matter.

Many physicists have already swung into action, swapping rumors about the contents of the announcement and proposing grand ideas about what those rumors would mean, if true. “It’s impossible to be excited enough,” says Gordon Kane, a theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The spokespersons of the collaborations using the cathedral-size ATLAS and CMS detectors to search for the Higgs boson and other phenomena at the 27-kilometer-circumference proton accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), are scheduled to present updates December 13 based on analyses of the data collected to date. “There won’t be a discovery announcement, but it does promise to be interesting,” says James Gillies, spokesperson for CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), which hosts the LHC.

politeyeti:

jtotheizzoe:

DEEP BREATH. In. Out. Be calm.
You might have heard some news about something called a “neutrino” that might have moved faster than the speed of light. This news is out of CERN, in Europe, and like Ron Burgundy, it’s kind of a big deal.
Remember Einstein’s E=mc² equation? Well, that wouldn’t exactly be ruined, but relativity would need to be seriously adjusted. As Phil Plait put it, it would turn so much of physics upside-down that it’s like saying “… that gravity pushes, not pulls.” So what did they observe?
A neutrino is a particular subatomic particle, like an uncharged electron. They travel, well, very fast, and can go through matter. Photons are light, and they travel at (wait for it) the speed of light. According to what we know up to now, neutrinos should travel fast, but according to the laws of physics not as fast as light. That’s where the CERN experiment comes in.
The scientists at CERN set up a detector at a very exact distance away from a source of photons and neutrinos. When I say exact I mean exact. Like so precise that they could be within a meter or so of error at a distance of 730 km apart. They know how fast light travels, and it should have taken about 2.43 milliseconds for the light to reach the detector in Italy from CERN. According to the scientists, the neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds before the light.
The Swiss are impeccable time-keepers.
They report that their error is within 10 nanoseconds, so it’s a significant result. But there are a couple of problems. Not problems that for sure disprove it, but certainly give reason for caution.
It’s very hard to know exactly when neutrinos are created in whatever source you are shooting them from. So the “start” point is a little fuzzy.
As noted at Bad Astronomy, a supernova called 1987a throws some more cold water on this. See, that supernova was 160,000 light years away. So if neutrinos traveled faster than light by the same ratio as above, we would have seen the 1987a neutrinos about four years before the light. And that didn’t happen.
Neutrinos are pesky little things, and very hard to control and measure, being as they flow right through planets and the like.
The scientists had a webcast from CERN today, and they are being very careful to say that this needs to be checked and über-checked, and then repeated again after that. They also claim no theoretical re-writes of history. The problem is that the press is not being nearly so cautious.
So take a deep breath, relax, let their fellow scientists and the skeptics have at it for a while, and don’t be sad if this turns out to not be as big a deal as thought. Of course, it might be true, but when it comes to extraordinary claims, you have to provide extraordinary proof.


Thanks.

politeyeti:

jtotheizzoe:

DEEP BREATH. In. Out. Be calm.

You might have heard some news about something called a “neutrino” that might have moved faster than the speed of light. This news is out of CERN, in Europe, and like Ron Burgundy, it’s kind of a big deal.

Remember Einstein’s E=mc² equation? Well, that wouldn’t exactly be ruined, but relativity would need to be seriously adjusted. As Phil Plait put it, it would turn so much of physics upside-down that it’s like saying “… that gravity pushes, not pulls.” So what did they observe?

A neutrino is a particular subatomic particle, like an uncharged electron. They travel, well, very fast, and can go through matter. Photons are light, and they travel at (wait for it) the speed of light. According to what we know up to now, neutrinos should travel fast, but according to the laws of physics not as fast as light. That’s where the CERN experiment comes in.

The scientists at CERN set up a detector at a very exact distance away from a source of photons and neutrinos. When I say exact I mean exact. Like so precise that they could be within a meter or so of error at a distance of 730 km apart. They know how fast light travels, and it should have taken about 2.43 milliseconds for the light to reach the detector in Italy from CERN. According to the scientists, the neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds before the light.

The Swiss are impeccable time-keepers.

They report that their error is within 10 nanoseconds, so it’s a significant result. But there are a couple of problems. Not problems that for sure disprove it, but certainly give reason for caution.

  1. It’s very hard to know exactly when neutrinos are created in whatever source you are shooting them from. So the “start” point is a little fuzzy.
  2. As noted at Bad Astronomy, a supernova called 1987a throws some more cold water on this. See, that supernova was 160,000 light years away. So if neutrinos traveled faster than light by the same ratio as above, we would have seen the 1987a neutrinos about four years before the light. And that didn’t happen.
  3. Neutrinos are pesky little things, and very hard to control and measure, being as they flow right through planets and the like.

The scientists had a webcast from CERN today, and they are being very careful to say that this needs to be checked and über-checked, and then repeated again after that. They also claim no theoretical re-writes of history. The problem is that the press is not being nearly so cautious.

So take a deep breath, relax, let their fellow scientists and the skeptics have at it for a while, and don’t be sad if this turns out to not be as big a deal as thought. Of course, it might be true, but when it comes to extraordinary claims, you have to provide extraordinary proof.


Thanks.

(Source: jtotheizzoe, via randomactsofchaos)

Neutrino particle traveling faster than light? Two ways it could rewrite physics.

metamorphoseandbodhi:

The globe of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, is seen illuminated outside Geneva, Switzerland.

Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) say they have measured tiny subatomic particles traveling faster than light.

The difference in speeds is tiny – some 60 billionths of a second over a distance of 454 miles. Even so, if other labs can reproduce the effect, physicists envision one of two far-reaching outcomes.

In one, the CERN team’s results could bolster quantum theories of gravity – the last of nature’s four fundamental forces scientists are trying to fit under the umbrella of quantum physics. Theories of quantum gravity suggest that at sufficiently high energies, particles can appear to travel faster than light because they traverse extra dimensions of space.

One example is string theory, which posits a universe of many more dimensions than the four humans experience.

“If you have a theory in which there is more than one way to get from A to B, maybe you can have a shortcut and have the appearance of traveling faster than the speed of light,” says Stephen Parke, who heads the theoretical physics department at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.

The alternative? A pillar of modern physics – Einstein’s theory of special relativity, in which the speed of light is a particle’s absolute speed limit – could take its first serious hit. Perhaps not flat wrong, but only a piece of a more complete picture.

The CERN team’s observation “is a pretty revolutionary result. There will be a lot of people who are skeptical about it in the community, and rightfully so,” Dr. Parke says. “Other people need to redo this experiment and see whether they get similar results.”

Click the link to read the full article.

Endgame for the Higgs Boson

“We are now entering a very exciting phase in the hunt for the Higgs boson,” Sharma said. “If the Higgs boson exists between 114-145 GeV, we should start seeing statistically significant excesses over estimated backgrounds, and if it does not then we hope to rule it out over the entire mass range. One way or the other we are poised for a major discovery, likely by the end of this year.”

(Source: sigma-x)

The task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees. Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, Nobel Prize laureate (1887-1961)

(Source: amiquote, via echtra)

crookedindifference:

According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, a clock that’s traveling fast will appear to run slowly from the perspective of someone standing still. Satellites move at about 9,000 mph—enough to make their onboard clocks slow down by 8 microseconds per day from the perspective of a GPS gadget and totally screw up the location data. To counter this effect, the GPS system adjusts the time it gets from the satellites by using the equation here.

crookedindifference:

According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, a clock that’s traveling fast will appear to run slowly from the perspective of someone standing still. Satellites move at about 9,000 mph—enough to make their onboard clocks slow down by 8 microseconds per day from the perspective of a GPS gadget and totally screw up the location data. To counter this effect, the GPS system adjusts the time it gets from the satellites by using the equation here.

(via proofmathisbeautiful)

NASA Announces Results of Epic Space-Time Experiment - NASA Science

May 4, 2011: Einstein was right again. There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Researchers confirmed these points at a press conference today at NASA headquarters where they announced the long-awaited results of Gravity Probe B (GP-B).

"The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts," says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission.