Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-04-2012, 11:53 AM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I have to rant.

Let's face it, this particle is a big jobs project for physicists (full disclosure: I am a member of the American Institute of Physics).

There is no known benefit to mankind to knowing anything about this particle. This is just filling in a number in a table. Period. It will keep some high energy physicists employed, but there are better ways to keep people employed. ....

So I just want real reasons why this is important at all. Really. Thanks. It sure seems like an Emperor's New Clothes story to me.

And while you are at it, tell me what causes gravity and how it works.
Interesting contrarian view. I don't know enough to say one way or the other. As you say later, basic research is important, but it probably does not hold that all basic research is important. Maybe this one is a waste? I dunno.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
antmary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Posts: 542
What I want to know is where and how matter joins to life joins to thought joins to spirit joins to creator.
__________________

__________________
antmary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:11 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Granted, it can sound very pointless to discover yet another subatomic particle that couldn't possibly have any benefit to us....but when an entire industry hasn't even been created - much less imagined - it can be difficult to predict how it would ultimately be utilized. And remember, the Higgs Boson isn't just one of dozens subatomic particles: many physicists believe it will help explain how particles obtain mass.

Here's a fairly good concise article on Bloomberg.
Imagine if you could understand the process of how subatomic particles 'gain' their mass. Could it be possible to then utilize/manipulate that field with larger particles? Perhaps. Or perhaps there are countless other future applications that await.

I actually would place things like deep sea exploration and particle physics research far ahead of manned (and some satellite) space exploration in the "importance" list, given the billions of $ that just a single satellite can cost. And seriously - while it's really neat to discover planets orbiting other stars, how utterly useless is that? Why not wait 100 years to do that research when you might actually be able to travel farther than the moon with reliability? Why make all these discoveries hundreds and thousands of light years away when it is impossible to use any bit of that information for the foreseeable future - compared to thousands of species that await discovery at the bottom of the oceans, and ways to harness different forms of energy on our own planet?


When JJ Thompson, et. al. discovered the electron in the 1890s, many thought similar ideas: "how utterly useless is this??" Unless you think early inventions like the Cathode Ray Tube were utterly useless (besides countless others), I suppose people back then were correct. And the funny thing is, people had applied the concept of electricity and were harnessing electricity decades before Thompson actually isolated the electron and was able to study it and understand its properties. But look at how our entire world has changed by our understanding and harnessing of how electrons work after its discovery.

It took about 35 years after the discovery of the electron to discover the neutron (early 1930s). Incidentally, controlling the release of neutrons in nuclear fission is the main reason we have nuclear fission reactors/weapons (among other applications of the neutron)


It can be hard to predict what direct applications a Higgs Boson would allow, but think of how 'useless' radio/x-rays were seen when they were discovered. Or the photon. Or a host of other elementary laws/particles.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 12:34 PM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,980
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I have to rant.

Let's face it, this particle is a big jobs project for physicists (full disclosure: I am a member of the American Institute of Physics).

There is no known benefit yet to mankind to knowing anything about this particle. .
let me fix that for you
__________________
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Screw mankind - thirty years of Space Program(taxpayer funded) got my ER pension at 55.

Now the Higgs Boson?

heh heh heh - Snarky or what? I love taxpayers. I understand Higgs was in the audience.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #26
Full time employment: Posting here.
Koogie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: GTA
Posts: 845
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
CERN is where the World Wide Web was conceived. Think that made a difference?
really ? Al Gore lived in Switzerland ?
__________________
Koogie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,672
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
C'mon, airplanes and rockets had practical value from the get-go. I am not saying that basic science has no place in the world. I am a scientist. Most scientists have learned to justify what they do by how it benefits mankind even if only in a peripheral way. They would not get the money to do what they if they could not write a justification. These Higgs boson folks have not done that at all.

NPR has a Q&A with this:
A counter-counter point: is the money spent on the LHC really wasted? Didn't it provide smart people with useful jobs? Won't that money just be quickly recycled back into the community to flow into other perhaps more tangible activities -- supermarkets, retailers, equipment manufacturers, etc?

I suspect that the people being paid from this project are spending a high percentage of their salaries as opposed to just investing.

Perhaps our economic models are even murkier then the physics models.
__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
A counter-counter point: is the money spent on the LHC really wasted? Didn't it provide smart people with useful jobs? Won't that money just be quickly recycled back into the community to flow into other perhaps more tangible activities -- supermarkets, retailers, equipment manufacturers, etc?

I suspect that the people being paid from this project are spending a high percentage of their salaries as opposed to just investing.

Perhaps our economic models are even murkier then the physics models.
Yes, I alluded to this already: "(I realize there is a trickle-down jobs effect: construction workers, administrateive assistants, journalists, advertising agencies, etc)."

I do sit on a scientific advisory committee for a large-physics project. I must say that this project would get no money if the physicists simply said, "It's important." Instead, they have to demonstrate ahead of time that the results have a high probability of leading to better treatment of human afflictions and diseases.

It does gall me that we get reports like this from NPR:

Quote:
Scientists have discovered a new subatomic particle with profound implications for understanding our universe.
with absolutely no support for such a statement. C'mon, if this stuff is really important they should be able to come up with something. So far though: Nothing.

(OK, MooreBonds has added some context which is more than any journalist has done. That Bloomberg article linked is more of the "It's important because it's important" genre. Such an argument would result in loss-of-funding for the projects I am involved in.)

Also this from BBC News:

Quote:
The CMS team claimed they had seen a "bump" in their data corresponding to a particle weighing in at 125.3 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) - about 133 times heavier than the protons that lie at the heart of every atom.


The BBC's George Alagiah explains the Higgs boson
They claimed that by combining two data sets, they had attained a confidence level just at the "five-sigma" point - about a one-in-3.5 million chance that the signal they see would appear if there were no Higgs particle.

However, a full combination of the CMS data brings that number just back to 4.9 sigma - a one-in-two million chance.
Oh, look! If they ignore some data, they get 5 sigma. If they include all the data, "back to 4.9 sigma". What's up with that?
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
I don't think any discovery is unimportant, whether it's immediately significant or long range. I'm interested in the "god" particle and if it can explain the beginning of the universe and whether it involves God or not. This could be an interesting outcome. I'll have to admit that I know nothing about this physics discovery but I want to learn. Maybe it's just like the space program. I can't believe all I learned because of the space program and maybe this could be a sequel.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
I have to rant.

Let's face it, this particle is a big jobs project for physicists (full disclosure: I am a member of the American Institute of Physics)....
This is the sort of thing that separates the spirit associated with science from the spirit of an engineer.

You sound like an engineer. I mean this as a complement. I agree that one should I question the cost / benefit ratio of this relative to other scientific research. I am glad that you did it and not me!
__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,615
Lame-o attempt of importance: God, Money, Significance And Discovering The Higgs : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 05:44 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
That Bloomberg article linked is more of the "It's important because it's important" genre. Such an argument would result in loss-of-funding for the projects I am involved in.)
You really don't think the article details why it's important?
Quote:
(from the aforementioned linked article, emphasis mine)
Physicist Peter Higgs proposed what we now call the Higgs field, and hypothesized that it spreads through the universe. All particles would acquire mass by interacting with this field. As is the case with the other interactions, at a quantum level this Higgs interaction predicts that we should be able to produce and detect the boson associated with it, or the Higgs boson.
Mass of the particles would be the result of interaction with the Higgs field, and this interaction produces a Higgs boson. Because the boson is predicted by the field, finding the Higgs boson would be evidence that the Higgs field exists.
It's looking like there's a field that permeates the entire universe, and this special field gives everything the property of mass....and, as a physicist, you don't understand the potential significance? Would you have the same opinion today of a fundamental, universal field that controls how particles with certain charges behave and interact with things in the universe?

Imagine if, someday, we learn how to tap into, divert, or learn to otherwise interact with the Higgs field...just as we have since learned to harness and utilize other 'fields' that have been discovered in the past:

Quote:
Much of modern technology has been developed from the basic principles of electromagnetism formulated by Maxwell. The field of electronics, including the telephone, radio, television, and radar, stem from his discoveries and formulations. While Maxwell relied heavily on previous discoveries about electricity and magnetism, he also made a significant leap in unifying the theories of magnetism, electricity, and light. His revolutionary work lead to the development of quantum physics in the early 1900's and to Einstein's theory of relativity.
Imagine if we could somehow alter an object's mass through its interaction with the Higgs field? Or interact with the Higgs field in some other way, just as thousands of technologies interact and utilize the properties of electromagnetic waves/light?

Remember that oft-cited equation of E=mc^2? Starting to see how things might one day be impacted by, perhaps, altering an object's effective mass?

When something helps create a true theory (such as when Maxwell united magnetism, electricity and light), you can then use those theories and equations to predict how things will act in certain situations. And when you can do that, you can then figure out how to harness that knowledge to create new things. As you might have noticed from some of the inventions over the past 100 years - some of them taking a full century before technology was able to reach the stage of being able to advance an idea to experimentation.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,667
I smell entanglement, all your thoughts are really out there.


“Out beyond the world of ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”
Rumi
__________________
For me experiences are not good or bad, just different
grasshopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2012, 06:15 PM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,883
Watched a mention of this on the evening news.

Got excited when a physicists was mentioning the possibilty of multi-universes. Then I started thinking, in another universe there's probably a me still plugging away at his j*b and not FIRE'd...Made the thought not so exciting...
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:06 AM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,633
Well, this Scientific American piece purports to answer LOL's question but really just seems to say it is important because it is important:
What It Means to Find (a Higgs Boson).
MooreBonds should have been queried, he gives a better answer.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:28 AM   #36
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Higgs boson explained:

Higgs boson explained by cartoon - CBS News

FWIW - ...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 09:18 AM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Lsbcal's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: west coast, hi there!
Posts: 5,672
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Higgs boson explained:

Higgs boson explained by cartoon - CBS News

FWIW - ...
I enjoyed this 7 minute video. Thanks!
__________________
Lsbcal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2012, 08:40 PM   #38
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
The Higgs Boson walks into a church.
The Priest says "We don't allow Higgs Bosons in here."
The Higgs Boson says "But without Me, how can you have Mass?"
__________________

__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:35 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.