Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Higgs Boson is found, we can move on to another question.


 Science to me is another way of not hearing about who slept with who or trivial news and sometimes science concepts are are a little hard to grasp but thats half the fun.
Its like when you prize open a pistachio nut, it seems to be welded shut, though you try without the aid of a nut cracker. Until you bite down on it with your molar teeth at the risk of breaking those fillings and you have that nutty goodness. I was trying to ignore the whole news section on Cern and the hunt for the Higgs boson particle because its one of those hard Pistachio nuts that I was saving  as I haven't quite exposed the nutty center.
Its certainly no subject I could drop in casual conversation when talking to the ladies if I did it would be awkward and more likely cause a opposite effect then attraction. But still its a subject that I like to read up from time to time. Every time Cern is mentioned, its like a long lost favorite uncle who writes a christmas card or hear rumors about. I think back to the time when the worlds largest Hadron collider was a concept in the 90's. I was more concerned about getting my drink on and basically colliding beer bottles rather then Atom smashing.

It took ten years to build and lies in 27 kilometers (17 miles) of tunnel, as deep as 175 meter beneath the franco swiss boarder near Geneva, Switzerland. It was built in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.
On 10th of september 2008 proton beams were successfully circulated in the main ring of the Large Hadron Collider, though 9 days later operations had halted due to a magnetic quench. As I understand it it was a contact fault which heated and a Helium gas explosion  damaged 50 superconducting magnets and their mountings contained in the vacuum pipe. Repairs began soon after but it wasn't until 20th November 2009 when Protons were circulating again. On 30th March 2010 they set the world record for highest energy man made particle collision between two  3.5 TeV beams.

Only now looking at the confirmations I see the search is over with the mass of the Higgs Boson Particle at 125.3  6 plus or minus 0.6 GeV which basically means the standard model of particles is complete. This confirms that particles controlling strong or weak forces, like electric charge or gluing the particles of matter together. all seem to have a particle responsible including Gravity. It doesn't make much conversation for a lads night out but I am glad that I can see a little bit clearer on the details of the Universe.
There is of course skeptics who say more data needs to rule out any doubts and that if it looks like the predictable model and follows the specs. Who is to say there might be another particle if we haven't explored the full search area, which was right up to 140 Gev.

Its hard to say the practical applications form this news, I like to think experiments that looked into find the specs for each particle will allow us to replicate subatomic particles. But why build a particle replicator?. in theory generating gravity would allow a gravitational field to be generated for a fusion reactor. Most toroidal shaped fusion reactors are unstable and squeezing a plasma field with electromagnets have proven difficult.
Gravity is the main reason why our sun holds together so why not hold a mini version of the sun?. I can't be sure if technology will provide fusion reactors. Just that theoretical physics has become much clearer and we can now ask another question about Our Universe...

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