Simon wrote:Ok...so the world (well the science world) is generally abuzz with the discovery of the Higgs Bosun particle...basically the "thing" that holds the Universe together, fantastic, but what does that mean to us mere mortals?
Are we going to see giant leaps forward in medicine...new energy sources...new propulsion systems?
I am interested in the thoughts of others that are far more knowledgeable than me on matters of physics.
I'm very interested in it, for a multitude of reasons. And while it's technically under the physics 'umbrella,' it's actually a matter of -- believe it or not -- quantum mechanics.
Higgs-Boson is a misnomer. 'The Higgs boson' is more correct; a boson is a type of particle that allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state.
Now that alone should blow the mind. By strict definition, we just touched on a cornerstone of multiple alternate universes and/or realities. The other is why an electron cannot be captured on film in a static state, but we'll leave that aside for now.
Firstly, a small correction .. the Hb particle is not thought to hold the universe together; the Hb particle is a search to find a better mathematical answer as to why the "Big Bang" took place (and can elements of it be recreated, which is what bothers some people). The kicker is, there is no true proof a 'big bang' ever took place. This is what scientists in the most current day are theorizing, it's pretty hot news.
Many peeps think that's what CERN is about, and it's not. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva concerns a multitude of experiments, not just the Higgs boson.
We think we know what holds the universe together, and have long thought so: that would be a combo of matter and dark matter. However, this too is subject to cutting-edge data, as seen by the discovery last year by the Voyager space probe of a very interesting thing we didn't know existed: Space Fluff!
A brief explanation by Dr. Michio Kaku:
Another reason the Hb is such a stir goes back to the 'alternate universes' topic, and that's "M Theory," which evolved to current-day "String Theory." I'll spare you the fine details, but here is a basic difference: Those who supported M Theory passionately argue(d) that my 2nd & 3rd paragraphs actually lead to mathematical proof that there are ten alternate universes. More recently (and in larger numbers), supporters of String Theory believe, with even greater passion, that they've now successfully proven the number of alternative universes is precisely eleven.
A smaller group believe the former group's data is flawed, and that the number of alternate universes is actually indefinite.
And remember, most of these scientists don't argue or discuss these matters over years; these topics are championed over decades and lifetimes, in many cases.
If anyone heard the news a few days ago (or only saw the headlines), you may think they recently discovered the Higgs boson. And you'd be wrong.
"At present as of 2012, a particle has been detected but not yet tested fully to show if it is a Higgs boson."
What they think is that there are fields
of Higgs bosons, and many different kinds
of Hbs as well.
And for the record yes, I've been a complete fan of The Big Bang Theory
on CBS since it's first year.
FYI, the scientists REALLY don't like it to be called the "God particle," and it ranges from 'dislike' to outright hatred. (A lotta creationists are genuinely peeved by it too, naturally.) That term came about when Leon Lederman wrote a book on this topic in 1993 [The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?].
PS-- Simon I highly doubt I'm "more knowledgeable" than you -- you just happened to pick a topic area I'm keenly interested in