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Turning up the power at the Large Hadron Collider, in last ditch effort to find God particle

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They hate it when we call it the God particle.

From “CERN scientists crank up the power on Large Hadron Collider to try to find Higgs boson” (Reuters, Feb 13, 2012), we learn,

GENEVA — Scientists hunting the Higgs boson, the sub-atomic particle believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe, decided on Monday to turn up the power in their Large Hadron Collider to try to prove its existence this year.

The CERN research centre near Geneva wants to prove or disprove the existence of an invisible ’Higgs’ field permeating the universe quickly, before the giant LHC machine is shut down for a long-term upgrade in late 2012.

“This means more Higgs, more quickly,” said CERN spokesman James Gillies. The existence of the particle was postulated by British physicist Peter Higgs in 1964 but has never been proved.

If they don’t find it, they will turn to the super-powered Higgs, to start up in 2014.

They’re just not satisfied with a God who isn’t there. 😉

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7 Replies to “Turning up the power at the Large Hadron Collider, in last ditch effort to find God particle

  1. 1
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Last ditch? Who says? All the news I’ve heard says they’ve already got data supporting the Higgs with a substantial number of sigmas, presumably they just want more data to get more sigmas.

    Or maybe it’s just a form of sport around here to portray science in the worst light possible.

  2. 2
    woodford says:

    Perhaps scientists hate calling it the God particle in the same way that many ID proponents hate it when people say ID is religiously inspired.

    Yes, it does seem a sport around here to dismiss legitimate scientific research. Personally I find the cynical and sarcastic tone of many of the News articles disappointing and ultimately unhelpful. Where are the positive stories about ID’s progress? It’s easy to throw rocks at other people’s research, but where are the stories about ID research?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Nick seems to hold far more optimism than the LHC has thus far supplied for any standing models:

    SUSY Still in Hiding – Prof. Peter Woit – Columbia University
    Excerpt: The LHC has done an impressive job of investigating and leaving in tatters the SUSY/extra-dimensional speculative universe that has dominated particle theory for much of the last thirty years, and this is likely to be one of its main legacies. These fields will undoubtedly continue to play a large role in particle theory, no matter how bad the experimental situation gets, as their advocates argue “Never, never, never give up!”, but fewer and fewer people will take them seriously.
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ss/?p=4437

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Nick also states:

    Or maybe it’s just a form of sport around here to portray science in the worst light possible.

    How come I get the distinct impression that what you mean by ‘science’, and what ‘science’ actually means in reality are two completely different things?,,, Nick, perhaps you have overlooked this point that has been oft repeated on UD, but do you realize that your atheistic/materialistic worldview cannot even ground the practice of ‘science’ in the first place?

    notes to that effect:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Last powerpoint of the video states:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Why should the human mind be able to comprehend reality so deeply? – referenced article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qGvbg_212biTtvMschSGZ_9kYSqhooRN4OUW_Pw-w0E/edit

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

    Music and Verse:

    Mercyme – All Of Creation –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkdniYsUrM8

    1 Corinthians 3:19
    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;

  5. 5

    Briefly,
    Leon Lederman, a high energy particle theorist of the sort that gets funding from CERN, named it the “God Particle” in his 1993 popularizing book. So whether they hate it or not, they did it to themselves. Sometimes the desire for publicity pushes scientists over the edge, and Lederman, a secular Jew, certainly did no one any favors with that book title, least of all a religion which doesn’t even like to write the word lest it violate the 3rd commandment.

    And secondly, the Terabyte data set from a years worth of collisions is “mined” for evidence of the Higgs boson, which is currently is somewhere near 3.5 sigma, where sigma usually means one standard deviation. The difficulty is knowing what the error bars are, and historically these are always underestimated, making “sigma” always too small. Arbitrarily picking a factor of 2 to account for this error (see the Nov 2011 article on “false positives”) this result is likely to be 1.5 sigma. That is hardly worth writing home about, since it means you are only about 85% certain it wasn’t just a fluke. That’s the reason for upping the power and looking for more data that would be incontrovertible. But Denyse is right, it is a religious motivation on the part of theorists who just can’t let it go. I liken it to Titus Lucretius Carus’ description of magnetism in De Rerum Natura circa 50BC, who just had to explain attraction in terms of repulsive particles. THe Higgs is an attempt to explain the attractive force of gravity despite repulsive particle exchange. Same metaphysics, same solution, same fervor.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Dr. Sheldon, ,,, A bit more detail on ‘sigma’ is here:

    This Week’s Rumor – Prof. Peter Woit – January 2012
    ,,,This week’s rumor is that the full CMS Higgs to gamma-gamma analysis is showing a stronger signal than the preliminary version. The bump has moved up a bit, from 123.5 GeV to 124 GeV, and the local significance is up from 2.3 to 3 sigma, with look elsewhere effect up from .8 sigma to 2.0 sigma. This strengthens a bit the evidence for a Higgs around 125 GeV. However, the best fit size of the bump is, as with ATLAS, about twice what the SM predicts. The errors are large, so quite possibly both experiments just got a bit lucky, in which case the first few months of 2012 data may not quickly add much to the significance of the signal.

    For detailed discussion of issues surrounding the Higgs analyses, see this week’s workshop in Zurich: Higgs search confronts theory.
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ss/?p=4377

  7. 7
    kuartus says:

    @Robert Sheldon,

    I thought the higgs was posited to explain mass or inertia not gravity.
    Am I missing something here?

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