Tag Archives: Discovery

Higgs Boson & American Science

So that happened. After decades of research and about nine billion in funds, scientists are pretty damn sure that Higgs Bosons exist. Two teams conducted experiments (ATLAS and CMS) that returned generally the same results, independently from each other I might add. While this is probably one of if not the greatest scientific discovery of our generation, there is still a lot of information to pour through, especially in determining if the discovery is THE Higgs Boson. The particle itself wasn’t observed but rather decay paths that point very convincingly at the Higgs.

“We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson.”

Confidence is high among the scientists, but it might be too early to really say. It is the heaviest Boson found and it is still too early to say that it fits The Standard Model of particle physics completely, we’ll have to wait and see.

So why is this important?

Well this might explain why things have mass, which goes hand in hand with explaining how the universe works and how it was created. We only know about roughly 4% of the universe, everything else is still hidden to us. Things like Dark Matter and Dark Energy still elude us, but with this discovery we are one step closer.

I am not really sure how and if this will impact our lives in the immediate sense, if at all. Such valuable discoveries tend to have a large impact on our lives as the implications are rolled out. I would list the vast number of life changers we enjoy but really all you need to do is look around your house. How is that electricity treating you?

So that Superconducting Super Collider that was axed in 1993, I bet some people are looking embarrassed right about now. This discovery could have been an American discovery, but short-sighted politicians and the belief that America no longer needed to prove its science eliteness to the world after the Cold War resulted in Europe having one. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

While I understand the clinching of assholes at the funding it would take for scientific breakthroughs, cutting science funding is a step backwards just waiting in the future. Sometimes the greatest discoveries and ventures for humanity need massive amounts of money, effectively being  suicide trip businesses. Luckily for us governments can place a large amount of money into projects that later have countless benefits. What better example than the Space Race? Look at the many medical and technological benefits from that endeavor that have enhanced not only America but humanity as a whole, not to mention the various industries it boosted. Now we have commercial space rockets docking to the International Space Station and very serious plans to mine asteroids. This is all possible from the massive groundwork paved by the government and the massive money sink it burdened.

That sense of wonder has faded considerably from the minds of many Americans. I can’t help but feel concerned for the future as other countries start catching up, pushing to pass our once might lead. Before long countries won’t be asking if they can work with us, but rather if we can work with them, like how we hitch rides to the ISS from Russians.

 

If you want to read more, check these out.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/04/tech/physics-higgs-particle/index.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18702455

http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Higgs+boson+announcement+greeted+with+cheers+ovations+CERN/6881706/story.html

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_Boson

 

 

 

 

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