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T H Ray: on 7/5/12 at 10:02am UTC, wrote Yes, I did listen to that interview. I have great admiration for those who...

amrit: on 7/5/12 at 8:09am UTC, wrote mass can also be result of diminished energy density of quantum vacuum...

Zeeya: on 7/4/12 at 17:48pm UTC, wrote Hi Tom, Hiranya's great, isn't she? I don't know if you had a chance to...

Zeeya Merali: on 7/4/12 at 8:28am UTC, wrote So excited, I forgot the alphabet and couldn't work out the spam filter!

Zeeya Merali: on 7/4/12 at 8:27am UTC, wrote CERN Press Release:...

Fred Diether: on 7/4/12 at 0:54am UTC, wrote Hi James, The Higgs mechanism is required by the the Standard Model of...

James Putnam: on 7/3/12 at 23:55pm UTC, wrote If there is a Higg's particle then I am finished because I don't need one....

TH Ray: on 7/3/12 at 21:52pm UTC, wrote Zeeya (and Brendan), just getting caught up -- thanks for the introduction...


Georgina Woodward: "It might also be difficult in some circumstances to separate rationalizing..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Joe, thanks for replying. It is not possible for us to observe far..." in Collapsing Physics: Q&A...

Georgina Woodward: "Don, association is a relevant concept to the making of choices. Particular..." in Physics of the Observer -...

John Cox: "Gads, Do you really think that posting comments to any public feedback..." in New Podcast: A MICROSCOPE...

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Joe Fisher: "Infinite surface is not measurable. Joe Fisher, Realist" in Collapsing Physics: Q&A...

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Collapsing Physics: Q&A with Catalina Oana Curceanu
Tests of a rival to quantum theory, taking place in the belly of the Gran Sasso d'Italia mountain, could reveal how the fuzzy subatomic realm of possibilities comes into sharp macroscopic focus.

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CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Higgs and Pieces [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Jul. 3, 2012 @ 16:25 GMT
We’re a little behind in setting up a thread about tomorrow’s Higgs announcement by CERN, and yesterday’s announcement by Fermilab. (But then, I think the Higgs is receiving enough attention elsewhere to make up for that oversight.) I’ve seen comments on other threads, but here’s a place to collect them all together. You can also visit our partners at NOVA to watch the live webcast from 3am ET on July 4, 2012!

In other news, the latest edition of the podcast went up over the weekend. We chat to Hiranya Peiris and Stephen Feeney about their FQXi-funded search for topological defects, known as cosmic textures (“knots in space”), and to one-time particle physicist Geoffrey West about complexity theory and predicting the “end of (socioeconomic) time.” There’s also a word from Ken Olum, who was awarded a large grant to look into the prospects of time travel. We’ve tried to keep Higgsteria to a minimum--we’ll save that for the next edition when there’ll be less speculation and more meat--but Feeney does talk about the meaning of a Higgs discovery to cosmologists.

Here’s the link:

Finally, you’ve probably noticed posts disappearing at a faster rate than usual! The process for reviewing posts has changed: Now, as soon as a post is reported it is automatically removed pending review. Apologies to those whose posts have been wrongly reported, but this does mean that potentially offensive posts are removed from view quickly. After review, if the post turns out to be fine, it will be re-instated.

(Edited on 4 July 2012 to include press release from CERN:)

CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson

Geneva, 4 July 2012. At a seminar held at CERN1 today as a curtain raiser to the year’s major particle physics conference, ICHEP2012 in Melbourne, the ATLAS and CMS experiments presented their latest preliminary results in the search for the long sought Higgs particle. Both experiments observe a new particle in the mass region around 125-126 GeV.

“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”

"The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks."

“It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “ We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we’re seeing in the data.”

The results presented today are labelled preliminary. They are based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis. Publication of the analyses shown today is expected around the end of July. A more complete picture of today’s observations will emerge later this year after the LHC provides the experiments with more data.

The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic? The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure.

“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”

Positive identification of the new particle’s characteristics will take considerable time and data. But whatever form the Higgs particle takes, our knowledge of the fundamental structure of matter is about to take a major step forward.

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T H Ray wrote on Jul. 3, 2012 @ 16:56 GMT
Thanks, Zeeya! The recent improvements to this site are fast making it my fsvorite for timely science news, superior to the commercial sites that cram advertising into every available space, and often fill editorial space with unnecessary commentary.


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Zeeya replied on Jul. 3, 2012 @ 17:53 GMT
Thank you Tom. I should add that much credit for the site's success should be given to our faithful vistors who come back each day and comment regularly and make this a real community -- so a big thank you to you too!

And also thanks to those working behind the scenes to think up and implement improvements too.

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TH Ray wrote on Jul. 3, 2012 @ 21:52 GMT
Zeeya (and Brendan), just getting caught up -- thanks for the introduction to Hiranya Peires. This generation is producing some great new thinkers!


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Zeeya replied on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 17:48 GMT
Hi Tom,

Hiranya's great, isn't she? I don't know if you had a chance to listen to her extended interview, but she really takes time to clearly explain what the CMB is and how they use the measurements to work out all those properties of the universe quoted in the main podcast.

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T H Ray replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 10:02 GMT
Yes, I did listen to that interview. I have great admiration for those who are able to so clearly articulate complicated technical details. Nice job!


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James Putnam wrote on Jul. 3, 2012 @ 23:55 GMT
If there is a Higg's particle then I am finished because I don't need one. :) I believe that I once said that whatever they find, regardless of energy or mass content, will be just another photon. I guess I will hold out for awhile until results become facts rather than conjecture. For me facts aren't theory, they are confirmed empirical evidence in the form of patterns in changes of velocity of observable objects. I think that anything proposed to be existing between a particle of cause and a particle of effect is pure theory. That makes even my reliance on photons theoretical, but, it does not make use of multiple theoretical crutches. One inexplicable nature of cause is all that I am willnig to tolerate. Still, I wonder what I will learn tomorrow!


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Fred Diether replied on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 00:54 GMT
Hi James,

The Higgs mechanism is required by the the Standard Model of particle physics to at least give mass to the heavy gauge bosons, W's and Z, and to have a massless photon. There is no doubt about the existence and masses of the W's and Z bosons. Without the heavy gauge bosons, muons and pions would have no decay channel. Believe me, you need the Higgs or life as we know it would very different indeed. But you didn't really mention why you don't need one. :-)

The big question I have is; does the Higgs also give mass to the fermions? I don't think it does because as a spin 0 elementary particle, it is just too simple.



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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 08:27 GMT
CERN Press Release:

I've copied the text into the post above.

Yay Higgs!

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 08:28 GMT
So excited, I forgot the alphabet and couldn't work out the spam filter!

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amrit wrote on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 08:09 GMT
mass can also be result of diminished energy density of quantum vacuum caused by massive body or particle

see article on file attached

yours amrit

attachments: Mass_originates_from_the_energy_density_of_quantum_vacuum.pdf

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