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Blogger Frank Wilczek wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 15:34 GMT
This is a cross-post from FQXi’s partner: NOVA’s Nature of Reality Blog.

CERN’s July 4 declaration of victory in the quest to find the Higgs particle (or something very much like it) is a many-splendored triumph. It confirms, as it completes, the Standard Model of fundamental physics. It hints at the splendid new prospect of supersymmetry while debunking rival speculations. Most...

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Zeeya wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 15:51 GMT
Thank you to NOVA for letting us cross-post this. Some of FQXi's dollars have gone towards setting up their Nature of Reality blog, and it is well worth a visit.

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 15:57 GMT
Frank Wilczek wrote: "These particles should travel at the speed of light in empty space, but in reality, some of them - like quarks, leptons, and W and Z bosons - travel more slowly. What is slowing them down? Our Standard Model comes equipped with a Standard Reconciliation: Space is never empty! Space is filled with a material that resists the motion of those particles."

Could the Hubble redshift be regarded as evidence that something in "empty" space is slowing photons down?,9171,757145

Monday, Dec. 14, 1936: "Other causes for the redshift were suggested, such as cosmic dust or a change in the nature of light over great stretches of space. Two years ago Dr. Hubble admitted that the expanding universe might be an illusion, but implied that this was a cautious and colorless view. Last week it was apparent that he had shifted his position even further away from a literal interpretation of the redshift, that he now regards the expanding universe as more improbable than a non-expanding one."

Pentcho Valev

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Azzam AlMosallami replied on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 18:07 GMT
Pentcho Valev

Regarded to your question "Could the Hubble redshift be regarded as evidence that something in "empty" space is slowing photons down?"

I used this principle in order to solve the unsolved problem inphysics of the Pioneer anomaly depending on the Hubble's laws and the modified General relativity. I got an exact solution. see

My solution to Pioneer anomaly is agreed with your comment. Hubble redshift could be regarded as evidence that something in "empty" space is slowing photons down, that thing in my solution is the gravitational field produced by the mass density of the universe. After that reveiw my paper

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James A Putnam replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 04:55 GMT
I see on the news that the Higg's particle has been found. I see in various other statements that victory has been declared. Yet, what I read about what has been achieved, I don't see the Higgs particle being seen. I see reports of particles that are taken as indications that the Higg's particle must have existed without observation of it itself. In other words, the Higg's particle was not found. What was found were end particles that fit the prediction of a theory that includes the Higg's particle? This message is not meant to say that the Higg's particle does not exist. It is actually a questioning message. Is the existence of the Higg's particle assumed?


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Fred Diether replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 05:28 GMT
Hi James,

Yes, the existence of the Higgs boson is assumed since it can't really be seen directly. Same with many elementary particles. Ya can't ever see a quark or gluon but we have detectable effects that we attribute to the quarks and gluons. You can't really even see an electron directly but we can see tracks it leaves in bubble chambers, etc. So we know it was there. But the Higgs being neutral, would never leave tracks like an electron does so we have to rely on detecting its decay products. That was part of the big problem in discovering it; detecting the proper decay products that could only come from the decay of a Higgs boson.

Happy Independence Day and Higgs Day to all!



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Neil Bates wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 18:09 GMT
This is a great day for physics! Detective "Higgsy Callahan", AKA "Dirty Higgsy" (remember the Clint Eastwood character of similar name?), has been on the trail of this perpicle for years and had a few things to say about the search:

Making sure the perpicles couldn't get away:

Higgsy: We're not just going to let you walk out of here.

Particles: Who's "we", sucker?

Higgsy: ATLAS, CMS and me.

As the trail got warmer, he thought it was chancy:

"I know what you're thinking: "Did we find five sigma, or only four?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is the LHC, the most powerful collider in the world, and would blow our mind clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well do ya, punk?"

And as he closed in for the "arrest", Dirty Higgsy said:

"Go ahead, make my day!"

Well, the Higgs did - today is the day! Congratulations to all the theorists, workers; and especially to you, Dr. Peter Higgs!

*However, things may be even more interesting, there are hints this isn't the fully expected standard Higgs. Ahh, keep feeling lucky, perps (and Stephen Hawking ...)

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jul. 4, 2012 @ 20:10 GMT
Dear Frank Wilczek,

Thanks for a most informative thread. I am curious about the decay path from W to Higgs to bottom-anti-bottom quarks. How does this differ from charmonium, the production of charm-anti-charm quarks. As far as I know the existence of charmonium was not taken as proof that a Higgs existed. What is different about bottomonium?

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 00:14 GMT
Dear Frank Wilczek,

Pardon my naivete! If as you say “The Higgs particle is "The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance."” what makes it a “particle”? And if “Space is never empty! Space is filled with a material that resists the motion of those particles.” is this “material” that fills space 'continuous'? And if it is not 'continuous' but is made up of discrete units, what exists between these discrete units? Empty space again?

We can say “something” has been found! But what we understand of what this “something” is, is a different question. Don't you think?


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Fred Diether replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 05:47 GMT
The Higgs particle is an excitation of the Higgs field just like an electron is an excitation of a Dirac field. The Higgs field only resists changes in motion (acceleration) otherwise particles would come to a stop wrt the field. Of course that can't be otherwise the Higgs field would violate Lorentz invariance. Well... since they most likely have discovered the Higgs, that means that space is filled with both a Higgs field and a Dirac field. It begs the question that why can't the Dirac field also resist changes in motion? I think it can.



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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 14:22 GMT
"wrt the [Higgs] field." Doesn't this qualify it as preferred ubiquitous frame of reference?


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Anonymous replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 16:54 GMT
Dear Fred,

Your interesting comments raise more fundamental questions.

1)What can excite the Higgs field to produce the Higgs boson?

2)Mustn't there be a 'medium' for a 'field' to exist? So what is the physical medium for the Higgs field? The Higgs bosons that the Higgs field produces when it gets excited? Isn't this like 'God creating Himself'? I think we have a paradox here!

3)Can the Higgs field and the Dirac field coexist and simultaneously fill physical space? Or these are two different manifestations of the same underlying substance? Can this substance be 'ether'?

4)Is this oversimplification fair? “Higgs for momentum, Dirac for energy”.

Thanks in advance for your thought provoking comments …


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Vijay Mohan Gupta wrote on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 14:52 GMT
That is how; these experimental findings can be integrated in 5-Dimensional model of Universe.

Frank Wilczek in NOVA’s Nature of Reality Blog. has described in a separate post, Higgs Bosons as a constituent of standard model of physics. It brings out clearly the thought process behind Higgs Bosons. In his words;

'The Higgs particle is The Quantum of Ubiquitous Resistance. I’m...

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Vijay Mohan Gupta replied on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 14:58 GMT
That is how; these experimental findings can be integrated in 5-Dimensional model of Universe. The intuition 'Space contains Energy' represent nature with 5-Dimensions. The five dimensions include 3 dimensions of space (3-D infinite continuum), and 2 dimensions of matter (Energy and time of 2-D Matter). The dimension time is mapped to one dimension (drift direction of particle. Higgs Boson’s are complimentary particles to Neutrinos.

The differences and similarities from Picophysics (with 5-Dimensional Universe) are;

1. Similarity: None of the particles from this class carries matter.

2. Similarity: Speed of light does not have relevance as limitation on observed speed

3. Difference: The energy flow is reverse than neutrino. In Neutrino energy flows along with displacement, for Higgs Boson it flows opposite to displacement

4. Difference: For same energy carrying capacity, the size of Higgs Boson is much larger than that of neutrino

5. Generation: Higgs Boson can only be generated when particles in motion collapse to a single point. Neutrino are generated inside the nucleus.

It is just a quick application of picophysics concepts to discovery of Higgs Bosons.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 8, 2012 @ 22:37 GMT

5 , 7 or 8 dimensions or 12, dear extradiemsnionalists, you must be ok with your number of dimensions :)

In fact, they try with god now


7 ,8 ,5 after 12 and what after ...doors for the irrational ????


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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Jul. 5, 2012 @ 15:54 GMT
Some physicists are as happy as if they have found the EATHER.

The essential particle has not been found, only the residues.


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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jul. 6, 2012 @ 08:46 GMT
"God on the other hand deserves full credit, or blame."? Winterberg was perhaps not mocking too much when he argued that God is "impossible in Minkowski spacetime". I see God as well as spacetime something outside science, something that can neither be proved nor disproved.

Incidentally, my radio told me: The expression "God particle" originates from "this goddamned particle" in a paper which was modified by an editor.


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Roy Johnstone wrote on Jul. 8, 2012 @ 03:34 GMT

One aspect of the Standard Model is that photons don't couple to the Higgs field at all, that is why they remain massless. I don't think the SM contains anything like a photon/Higgs interaction which would affect the photon's energy either, so I don't see how the Higgs condensate can have anything to do with Hubble redshift?

The effect of gravitational fields, dust, etc, certainly do redshift light by decreasing the photon energy, but remember, the photons themselves do *not* slow down. The only other way we know of that wavelength can be increased is by the expansion of space.

In quantum gravity research, the test for energy dependant arrival times of photons is based on the possibility of *dispersion* of high energy (gamma) photons, not of their "slowing down".

A global gravitational effect, which you seem to hint at Azzam, could produce a global redshift but would seem to necessitate also a global preferred frame. Would that violate Lorentz symmetry? But I must read your paper Azzam!


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Pentcho Valev replied on Jul. 8, 2012 @ 13:35 GMT
Photons do slow down or speed up in a gravitational field. According to Newton's emission theory of light, the acceleration of photons and cannonballs is the same. According to general relativity, the acceleration of photons is twice the acceleration of cannonballs:

Steve Carlip: "It is well known that the deflection of light is twice that predicted by Newtonian theory; in this sense, at least, light falls with twice the acceleration of ordinary "slow" matter."

"Einstein wrote this paper in 1911 in German. (...) will find in section 3 of that paper Einstein's derivation of the variable speed of light in a gravitational potential, eqn (3). The result is: c'=c0(1+phi/c^2) where phi is the gravitational potential relative to the point where the speed of light co is measured. (...) You can find a more sophisticated derivation later by Einstein (1955) from the full theory of general relativity in the weak field approximation. (...) Namely the 1955 approximation shows a variation in km/sec twice as much as first predicted in 1911."

"Specifically, Einstein wrote in 1911 that the speed of light at a place with the gravitational potential phi would be c(1+phi/c^2), where c is the nominal speed of light in the absence of gravity. In geometrical units we define c=1, so Einstein's 1911 formula can be written simply as c'=1+phi. However, this formula for the speed of light (not to mention this whole approach to gravity) turned out to be incorrect, as Einstein realized during the years leading up to 1915 and the completion of the general theory. (...) ...we have c_r =1+2phi, which corresponds to Einstein's 1911 equation, except that we have a factor of 2 instead of 1 on the potential term."

Pentcho Valev

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jul. 8, 2012 @ 22:29 GMT
Hi all,

Interesting News.

Still a belgian :) we are not bad for sciences, second :)

the bosons the real ask is so ...but what is the ultim system.Fusion or a binar system ?

The bosons ....spheres

The fermions....spheres

The fermions polarise the bosons in a simplistic vue.

The real ask is , binar of fusioned the spheres and their encodings of evolution....?

Me personaly I prefer an unique sphere like central code.....see that the volumes are relevant considering the serie of uniqueness !!!

This serie is finite like the cosmoliogical fractal of spheres!!!

In all case, the sciences evolve in a deterministic way and it is well like that.I am happy that it is a belgian who is recognized for his works about these bosons !

So come all in Belgium ! You are welcome dear deterministic thinkers ! Not the irrational thinkers, no, the real rationalists ! third :)

Congratulation Belgium.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 13:53 GMT
Now of course , the higgs bosons are totally different. In fact they are just a fantasy from a team for an explaination of God.

The Bosons are the bosons and they are numerous ! The higgs bosons are not a door for informations conming from the infinite light. The physicality has its laws and all particules are from this God like you say. So the name, god particule, is just a publicity for the second part of the sciences community.Mr Higgs is not the probelm, the teams around him, yes.

Can we speak about sciences without always this business from the businessmen.They cause the chaos on this earth !!!

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Helmut Cerncic wrote on Aug. 18, 2012 @ 05:13 GMT
The “Higgs Particle” And Some Reflections...Yeah, Lederman called it the “God-Particle” but ‘Why’?

The “Higgs” has mass, namely 125.3 GeV. Therefore it is “MASSIVE”; if anyone contends that it is the particle of the “Origin of Mass” then what is the origin of the “Higgs”?

It seems by far more reasonable and logical to stipulate that mass less particles, or waves of light (eg. Photons) and some other wavicles (eg. Electrons and Positrons) account for the Origin of Mass of the Universe and its “contents”, eg. Galaxies, stars, and all other phenomena that can be seen, measured and so on and so forth.

It appears in hindsight that none other than Isaac Newton misled the world into materialism and atheism; because in his day, 1663 to 1669 Natural Philosophy (a.k.a., Physics) considered “Matter” (defined by its mass) to be the primary ingredient of the Universe.

Thru the work of Albert Einstein a concept emerged, the equivalence of Mass and Energy expressed by ‘S – T’. In addition, Einstein’s first paper in 1905 was a question:

“Does the inertia of a body depend on its Energy Content?”

Furthermore, Einstein’s original formula was, M = L / v2 which tell us where “Matter” or mass comes from, the more Light quanta is available, divided by the Speed of Light (now “ c2 ” ) the more mass (matter made of atoms) can be created...

A hundred years after Einstein the whole conception of physics, vis-a-vis the Universe has further changed. It is now recognized within the framework of Quantum Field Theory that the primary ingredient of the Universe is Space; with atomistic matter arising from space, which is not, and never was “empty”.

Science proves the “creation” without the need for the “Higgs Particle”, which is therefore better considered as a public-relations-exercise in procrastination.

H. Cerncic, M.A. Hons. (Qualif.)

PS: The author of this article acknowledges his debt to Nobel Laureate Prof. F. WILCZEK,and to Sir Roger Penrose and several other experts in the field. Many thanks!

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