“[S]cience is not a consumption good to be expanded in good times and restricted in bad times. The doing of science as well as the supporting of science is an expression of faith in the future. It would have been possible to have told Newton and Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein, Bohr and Heisenberg that, given … Read moreWhy does Particle Physics matter?
“It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.” -Enrico Fermi As you probably know, the Large Hadron Collider — site of discovery of the last fundamental particle in the Standard Model, the Higgs Boson — is the most energetic particle accelerator in the history of … Read moreThe Physicist's Dream Machine
“All our sweetest hours fly the fastest.” –Virgil If you’ve been around the block once or twice, you know that the speed of light in a vacuum — 299,792,458 meters-per-second — is the absolute maximum speed that any form of energy in the Universe can travel at. In shorthand, this speed is known as c to … Read moreThe Cosmic Speed Limit
“If you’re a reporter, the easiest thing in the world is to get a story. The hardest thing is to verify. The old sins were about getting something wrong, that was a cardinal sin. The new sin is to be boring.” –David Halberstam It was only a few months ago that both collaborations at the … Read moreWhy is it a big deal that the new LHC particle is verified as the Higgs?
“Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.” –Craig Ferguson Earlier this week, evidence was presented measuring a very rare decay rate — albeit not incredibly precisely — which point towards the Standard Model being it as far as new particles accessible to colliders (such as the LHC) go. … Read moreSo just what is out there beyond the Standard Model?
“This is evidently a discovery of a new particle. If anybody claims otherwise you can tell them they have lost connection with reality.” –Tommaso Dorigo You’ve probably heard the news by now: the Higgs boson — the last undiscovered fundamental particle of nature — has been found. Indeed the news reports just keep rolling in; … Read moreHow the Higgs gives Mass to the Universe
“…the publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing.” –Leon Lederman, author of The God Particle The Higgs Boson: you know the deal. It’s the last undiscovered particle in our current picture of all the fundamental … Read moreWhy Haven't We Discovered the Higgs yet?