Sunday, September 18, 2011

Science Iyush (Loss of Hope)

Not only losing hope with Moshiach, science is in the same boat! They are looking for the God Particle while we look for Hashem and His Moshiach!

The Ramchal says before the Geulah one Malchus will not infringe upon another. Hence: Malchus Yavan falls (science) Malchus Yisroel rises (Moshiach)...a Chanuka Geulah Shleima, Beis HaMikdash Shlishi dedication? Everyone and everything is in place.

The Higgs Boson, the elusive particle underpinning physicists' theory of all matter, is running out of places to hide -- "if it exists" -- U.S. scientists say.

Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, including a number from the University of California, San Diego, have experimentally eliminated most of the range of masses the Higgs could have, leaving just a narrow range where the elusive particle might be found.

"If it exists, it has to be there," UCSD physicist Vivek Sharma said. "And if it's not there, it will be known to be science fiction by December."

Scientists are using the LHC to accelerate protons to almost the speed of light and smash them together, briefly recreating conditions that existed when the universe began.

It's at that instant that the Higgs boson, if it exists, should show itself and then quickly decay into more familiar particles and instruments record the collisions.

The scientists have ramped up the rate of collisions to gather more data.

"We are now entering a very exciting phase in the hunt for the Higgs boson," Sharma said. "One way or the other we are poised for a major discovery, likely by the end of this year."

There's probably no God (particle)

Don’t panic, we’re just talking about the Higgs boson


Published on September 12, 2011

During the International Europhysics Conference on High Energy Physics hosted in late-July at Grenoble, the latest data from the world’s most powerful particle accelerator was presented. After years of waiting for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to be built and brought up to operational levels, and after numerous frustrating technical setbacks, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was ready to present its first tenuous conclusions about the Higgs boson. It was there that they dropped the bombshell: CERN had effectively ruled out its probable existence with a 95 per cent certainty rate.

The Higgs boson, popularly known as the “god particle” because of its supposed role in endowing all everything in the universe with mass, has been furiously searched for since the postulation of its existence in 1964. The Standard Model predicts a menagerie of subatomic particles, of these, the Higgs boson is the only one yet to be confirmed. As a scientific theory, the Standard Model is the most thoroughly tested in all of human history. It successfully unites electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force that keeps atomic nuclei together, and the weak nuclear force that controls radioactive decay under one theoretical framework.

The Standard Model essentially says that all matter in the universe is composed of varying combinations of fundamental units called fermions of which there are two types: quarks and leptons. There are six flavours of quarks and leptons respectively, with antiparticles for each. The combination of these 24 different fermions is what gives rise to the matter in the universe. Particles such as protons are composite particles; those made from different quark combinations are collectively referred to as “hadrons”.

Another important part of the Standard Model is the idea that all of the forces we are familiar with, such as the electromagnetic radiation that makes up visible light and enables wireless internet, arise as the result of interactions between “force-carrying” bosons. This is where the Higgs boson fits into the picture: it is supposed to be the force carrying particle that “brings” mass into being.

Much of the theoretical work that goes into the Standard Model entails predicting the characteristics of these bosons. However, for any scientific prediction to be considered valid, it must survive the process of experimental verification. For the Standard Model, this requires that we demonstrate the existence of these theoretical particles. For most of these particles, under normal conditions, evidence of their existence cannot be observed. However, by providing high amounts of energy, these exotic particles can be created in a laboratory.

Unfortunately for Standard Model experimentalists, this requires building ever-larger and more expensive particle accelerators, which smash together hadrons at the speed of light. The LHC is the latest and greatest particle accelerator to date, and uses $100,000 worth of electricity to get beams of atoms moving one way or another around the 27 kilometer track just about 3 meters per second shy of the speed of light. These two beams are then smashed together, and scientists sort through the resulting hadron debris to figure out which particles were generated in conditions that have not existed since microseconds after the big bang. For the LHC, there are about 40,000 individual collisions per second, which makes for an awful lot of data to sift through.

Over the course of the past three years, the LHC created billions of collisions, each of which generates thousands of particles. The sheer volume of the data generated is daunting, to say the least. Even with the most sophisticated detectors ever created, it is extremely difficult to distinguish what is a true hadron detection and to do so requires thousands of hours of computation. The scientists at CERN have even started the LHC@home project, which uses the processing power of personal computers around the world to assist with these calculations.

Even with all that data generation and processing, the successful identification of an as-yet-undiscovered particle such as the Higgs boson can require years of continuous collisions, to allow the signal to rise up above the noise. For a new particle to be considered confirmed, it must pass the so called “5-sigma” rule, demonstrating a 99.99995 per cent likelihood that the observed results are not more easily explained by background noise.

Even with this commitment to statistical rigour, sometimes there can be anomalous signals within this noise. Earlier this year, a leak from CERN showed data that matched exactly what the Higgs boson would look like. However, as more data was collected, those promising conclusions faded into statistical insignificance.

It is in this conservative experimental context that the significance of the conference’s summaries can be fully appreciated. Discovering with 95 per cent confidence that the Higgs boson probably does not exist is practically the raison d’etre of the LHC, because after nearly 50 years of waiting, scientists finally had the ability to test a central tenet of the Standard Model against reality. Even though the Standard Model is the most viable theory thus far, new discoveries such as this show us that our fundamental understanding of the universe is incomplete.

In terms of the underlying physics involved, this non-discovery lends credence to other so-called “Higgsless” models. These theories include the idea of technicolour, which creates mass through a different (and more complicated) method than the Higgs boson. Other alternative theories include the possibility of inducing mass through an interaction with a fourth spatial dimension, or even a theory called “loop-quantum gravity”, which posits all of space-time as being made up of tiny quantized, interwoven, fuzzy loops, with the interaction of these loops giving rise to all the phenomenon in the universe, including mass.

Although this is an exciting discovery for physics, it is understandable if the enthusiasm is not contagious. To many, a project of this scale is simply a waste of resources. However, disproving the Higgs boson is equally as important as giving evidence for its existence. This new discovery opens the door to other untested and novel theories of the nature of the universe. Although these studies are admittedly esoteric, their findings have far-reaching consequences. The thing to keep in mind about pure research, such as this, is that it’s always unpredictable. The technology behind MRIs arose from research not intended for practical use; its existence was only made possible through pure, esoteric, scientific inquiry.

As we move into the future, the words of Socrates come to mind: “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” For all of its successes, the Standard Model is completely incompatible with general relativity, which accurately describes the structure of the universe at its largest scale. Even current “theories of everything” such as String Theory (which has the Standard Model built into it) are incapable of accounting for astronomically observed realities like dark matter and dark energy. The sea of our ignorance is vast; but with each discovery such as this, the shores of our limited knowledge expand ever so slightly.

There is an answer! its called Torah and Kabbalah!


duvid pesach said...

More than 300 scientists working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, where the LHC is based, are meeting in Brussels to discuss their research to date.
But they have begun to indicate that hopes of finding the highly sought after Higgs boson are fading.
Guido Tonelli, spokesman for the Compact Muon Solenoid detector group, insisted that it would be a major scientific development whether the existence of the missing particle is included or excluded.
He said that if the particle could not be found, the very concept of nature would be turned on its head.
“If the (LHC) continues to make such beautiful progress as is happening in the last few months we will be able to find the Higgs boson, which will be major,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

duvid pesach said...

and now Erev Rav...I mean Israel...

Israel has become an associate member of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), opening the way for full membership in 2013, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

“The association agreement, valid for two years, was signed on Friday by the director general of CERN, Rolf Heuer, and the ambassador of Israel to the United Nations agencies in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar,” spokesman Jonathan Rosenzweig told AFP.

Israel previously held special observer status at the organization, which is best known for its “atom-smasher,” the so-called Large Hadron Collider which lies in a tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border.

It first joined the organization in 1991 as an observer state, and became a special observer state in 2009, gaining the right to attend restricted sessions discussing the Large Hadron Collider.

During the next two years, a team of experts will prepare recommendations for Israel to become a full member of CERN, which will need the approval of all 20 member countries.

Full membership will allow Israeli companies to bid in all CERN tenders. At present they may only bid for projects valued at up to $600,000 (435,000 euros).

Israeli media have reported in the past that Israel has faced several hurdles in its bid for membership, including French fears that Israeli access to CERN tenders could harm France’s own hi-tech industry.

duvid pesach said...

I like the clay feet reference...keeping up with the torah parallelisms...this is a bigger imminent collapse than the dollar. shviras ha kelim in many ways, even literal being that we are speaking about the geneva collider.

“You have to be sufficiently in love with your theory in order to pursue it, but if you’re too in love with them, you won’t see that they are wrong, which they usually are,” Mr. Boyle said.

To follow this romantic analogy, senior researcher John Moffat is a divorce lawyer, mopping up after love gone bad. With his dogged criticism of common wisdom in physics, he styles himself as the ultimate buzzkill, the aged, skeptical sage to Mr. Boyle’s youthful idealist. For example, he has invented a new theory of gravity that does not require the strange, unproven concepts of Dark Energy and Dark Matter.

His skepticism is most acute, however, in his thoughts on the God Particle, otherwise known as the Higgs boson, which was proposed almost 50 years ago as the final piece of the Standard Model of particle physics. In essence, the Higgs is a hypothesis for why all the other particles have mass. It is called a particle, but usually exists as a wave, and when other particles pass through it, the Higgs slows them down like a fly in honey. To find it, though, scientists must create the actual particle, and the only way to do that is to slam a bunch of other particles together at extremely high speeds.

As a theory with buzz, the God Particle is hard to beat, and not just because of the catchy nickname. It inspired the construction of the Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, the world’s biggest particle accelerator, and the careers of a generation of physicists depend on its discovery, which has seemed imminent since the LHC was switched on last year. But it has not happened yet, and as Mr. Moffat puts it, the “window is closing.”

“There’s a depression setting in. They can’t see it,” Mr. Moffat said. “They’re gearing up for the statement that there is no Higgs… It’s becoming quite serious. This god has clay feet.”

The death of the God Particle would be a big blow to buzz, and the impact would be measured in political and financial support for future big experiments. But it would be an opportunity for Perimeter to realize its goal of guiding future experimenters toward real, era-defining discovery. Fail, and Perimeter will still be a neat place to learn and teach. Succeed, and $100-million will seem like a bargain.

National Post

Klishlishi said...

The whole basis of modern science may turn out to be be wrong and in the future will be shown to be based on Torah & Chazal.

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