Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Big Physics news!

With "big" having two connotations in this context:
1. It's Big News!
2. It's Big Physics - particle accelerators and all that other useless paraphernalia the U.S. has de-funded.

Anyway, here's the news:
Elusive Higgs Boson Particle Closer Than Ever, Scientists Say
By Clara Moskowitz |
7 March 2012
New evidence makes it more likely than ever that 2012 will be the year physicists finally find the long-sought Higgs boson particle.

The particle has been predicted as the explanation for why all other particles have mass. It has earned the nickname the "God Particle," largely from the popular media, though scientists haven't warmed to the name.

Yet despite years of searching, scientists have yet to detect the Higgs boson directly.

Now physicists at the Tevatron particle accelerator at Illinois' Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory report hints in their data that suggest the particle may exist with a mass between 115 to 135 giga-electron volts, or GeV (for comparison, a proton has a mass of about 0.938 GeV).

"We see a distinct Higgs-like signature that cannot be easily explained without the presence of something new," physicist Wade Fisher of Michigan State University said in a statement. "If what we're seeing really is the Higgs boson, it will be a major milestone for the world physics community and will place the keystone in the most successful particle physics theory in history."
Okay - I don't even pretend to understand any of this. I always figured stuff has mass because of Twinkies.

On the down side: I'm guessing the GOP presidential field will embrace this news immediately, framing it as:
Physicists Prove Existence of God

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