Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Experimental theologists near finding the God particle

Imagine Margaret Thatcher in her prime as Prime Minister wandering through a Conservative cocktail party, attracting hangers-on keen to hear her every utterance and be seen with someone so powerful.

That's how the winning entry in the 1990s's contest "describe the boson theory on a single side of paper" explained how matter gets its mass, the Times Online reports.

In 1964 Professor Peter Higgs proposed a solution to a big question in physics: How does matter have mass? His model says the universe is permeated with an invisible field of particles called bosons, that consist of nothing but mass. As other particles move through the boson field, bosons stick to some of the particles, giving them mass. Other particles, like photons, do not pick up these boson hangers-on, and thus, have no mass.

Higgs, now 78 years old, thinks the reality of bosons — long called "the God particle" — will be proven when a new atom-smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, goes online later this year.

The boson, it is theorized, exists only at super-high energy levels, such as those present immediately after the Big Bang. The new LHC will get close to those levels, firing protons that will traverse the 17-mile long particle accelerator 11,245 times a second before smashing into each other at 0.999997828 times the speed of light.

That's even faster than Margaret Thatcher could work a room.

Image: Oops. That was boson, not bison, right?

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10 comments:

  1. Thanks to Ted Nugent for this song.

    Well, listen everybody,
    To what I got to say.
    There's hope for tomorrow,
    Ooh,we're workin' on today.

    Well,it happened long time ago,
    In the new magic land.
    The Indian and the buffalo,
    They existed hand in hand....

    The Indian needed food,
    He needed skins for a roof.
    But he only took what they needed,baby.
    Millions of buffalo were the proof.

    Yeah,its all right.

    But then came the white man,
    With his thick and empty head.
    He couldnt see past the billfold,
    He wanted all the buffalo dead.

    It was sad...It was sad.
    Oh yeah...yes indeed.

    Oh yes,
    It happened a long time ago,baby.
    In the new magic land.
    See,the Indian and the buffalo,
    They existed hand in hand.

    The Indians,they needed some food,
    And some skins for a roof.
    They only took what they needed,baby.
    Millions of buffalo were the proof,yeah.

    But then came the white dogs,
    With their thick and empty heads.
    They couldnt see past the billfold.
    They wanted all the buffalo dead.

    Everything was SO sad.

    When I looked above the canyon wall,
    Some strong eyes did I see.
    I think it's somebody comin' around
    To save my ass,baby.

    I think...I think he's comin' around
    To save you and me.

    Boys......


    I said, above the canyon wall...
    Strong eyes did glow.
    It was the leader of the land,baby.

    OH MY GOD,THE GREAT WHITE BUFFALO.....
    LOOK OUT!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!!!!


    Well,he got the battered herd.
    He led em cross the land.
    With the Great White Buffalo,
    They gonna make a final stand.

    The Great White Buffalo,
    Comin'around to make a final stand.
    Well,look out here he comes.
    The great white buffalo,baby.

    The Great White Buffalo....
    Look out,here he comes.
    He's doin'all right.
    Makin'everything all right.

    Yeah,yeah,yeah....

    ReplyDelete
  2. The motor citty madman!
    love it!

    Never before have I turned on you
    You look too good to me
    Your beady eyes, they could cut me in two
    And i just can't let you be
    Well, it's a free for all, and I heard it said
    You can bet your life
    Stakes are high and so am I
    It's in the air tonight

    See you there with your cheshire grin
    I got my eyes on you
    Shake yout tail feather in my face and there's no tell in what I'll do
    Well looky here, you sweet young thing: the magic's in my hands
    When in doubt, I'll whip it out. I got me in a rock'n'roll band
    It's a free for all

    Here we go ! Look out below ! I'm on the prowl tonight
    When it's said and done, I'll have my fun. I can chew anything I bite
    Come on, come all, to a midnight ball. The invitation's there
    Come alone and I'll drive it home. I'll help you, I do declare
    It's a free for all

    Never before have I turned on you
    Well you look too good to me
    Your beady eyes, they could cut me in two
    And i just can't let you be
    Well, it's a free for all, and I heard it said
    You can bet your life
    Stakes are high and so am I
    It's in the air tonight
    Suck IT,It's a free for all

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't help but think that the Boson solution seems a little egregious. Masonry teaches us to keep an open mind but also teaches us the value of proof in geometry, the study of which surely teaches us the value of symmetry and balance. The Boson theory just doesn't seem elegant or balanced. Coming up with the solution: "Oh, well, it's something invisible--advances in science will prove me right" seems pretty weak. I can prove this, by the way .... I mean, I'll be able to prove it ... in a couple of years ... when science finally catches up with me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Peter Higgs told journalists in Geneva he doesn't like the term "God particle" because it might offend believers -- even though he is not one himself. More on the Reuters religion blog FaithWorld at http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/04/09/is-god-particle-the-right-term-for-massive-mystery-in-physics/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for using the symbol of the White Buffalo, as their recent births are a very important part of our cosmology and prophecy. You can read about them here.
    Here is a statement from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota nations about two recent "virgin" buffalo births and what they mean for all of us.
    Thank you,
    Sandy Frost

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  6. OK, I should have taken physics instead of beer-guzzling. How can matter not have mass? Why does it need to get it from some unique substance? Ignoramus that I am, I thought that mass is a part-and-parcel of all matter. Glad I tuned it tonight.

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  7. Thank you Sandy for the links. I enjoyed reading them and learning more about Native beliefs

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sandy,

    I also thank you for the links to the white buffalo stories. I have followed these births off and on through the years. I am also pleased that you included the information on other animals as well.

    When I was very young local hunters killed a white deer. The hunters brought the deer to the school to show the children. I remember looking at this beautiful creature with a mixture of horror and fascination, the horror of killing such a magnificent animal accompanied with the fascination of being so close to something that, even in death, had a power that was hard to describe.

    The bright red blood on the stark white fur is an image that will always be burned into my memory. Even as a child. the symbolism was very powerful.

    I am sure many would simply explain these animals as a genetic anomalies, I prefer to think of them as spiritual anomalies myself, one has only to experience their power first hand to believe.

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  9. SQ,
    Interestingly, one of the links refers to the Egyptian Book of the Dead that says in Chapter 84:
    "And when she promised to return again, she made some prophesies at that time. One of those prophesies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world."
    Here's an intersting thought.
    What if we're all spiritual anomalies?
    Thanks,
    Sandy

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  10. Sandy,

    I like the idea that we are individual spirtual anomiles, thanks for the insight.

    I am sure you know wild, white majestic animals have been venerated by various cultures though many millennia.

    My own Irish background is rife with the "White Stag" imagery from Celtic lore that tells of a white stag appearing to one in the act of wrong doing, sort of like an ancient Jiminy Cricket! The white stag also appears in Arthurian myths leading the great king to spiritual enlightenment.

    The appearance of one of the oldest constellations, Taurus the Bull, marked the beginning of spring for the ancient Druids

    I find the link with the varied cultures their totemic myths fascinating. Christians are symbolicly "washed in the blood of the lamb" which is tradtionally held to be white.

    It could be said that the Crucifix is the ultimate Christian totem.

    ReplyDelete

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