Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Suck it, end-timers

The LHC is on, it's working, and we're still here.

4 comments:

I'm Not Ned said...

Umm, yeah. About that...

They've only circulated particles around the 17 mile machine. The head on "Universe ending" collisions won't start for several months.

Nothing to worry about.

I will take personal responsibility for any black holes they may generate. See me right after the effects are documented for a full refund.

(I do love when the non-understanding crowd scares themselves silly with their lack of understanding. Sheesh!)

drmagoo said...

I'm not worried either way. We're not creating a big bang or a black hole or anything like that. There's not nearly enough energy. On the other hand, finding the friggin' Higgs would make me a happy camper.

schmidlap said...

Doc, now's your chance to explain to us in 100 words or less what the Higgs is, and why we should care.

Oh, and write it for 10 year olds to understand.

BTW, saw a tee shirt that says "Particle physics gives me a hadron." You've probably heard that one.

drmagoo said...

The only way to make the equations work in the currently accepted models is to treat all fundamental particles as having zero mass. We know that's not true, so there's something missing. In a simple picture, the Higgs creates a field around each particle which causes it to respond as if it has a mass, fixing the problem.

It really is a quite beautiful theory, but explaining it can be a little tricky. The best book on the Higgs I've read is "The God Particle", by Leon Lederman.