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The Engineer
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Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 9:13 AM

After the Higgs Boson, perhaps the biggest discovery of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is that it hasn't discovered any other major predicted particles. This has called into question several long-established theoretical conjectures, such as Super Symmetry. Essentially LHC has been systematically erasing 30 years of theorists work off the chalkboard.

The remaining blank slate is a bit alarming. Where is the explanation for dark energy, or dark matter? Why is there a matter-antimatter asymmetry? It seems we are no closer to the answer to these and other questions than we were decades ago. Career's worth of work has been disproven in the last 5 years. It's hard to overstate the carnage LHC has produced in the particle physics world, by simply not finding stuff.

It goes to show that in Physics, sometimes no result is interesting. The search for particles continues on. Check out this article to see what the LHC is up to now:

https://atlas.cern/updates/physics-briefing/searching-forces-beyond-standard-model

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Guru
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#1

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 9:42 AM

You make a point that hadn't occurred to me -- that LHC isn't finding pieces of the Standard Model because they don't exist. I figured they needed higher energies or a different experimental protocol or some such. No results, or negative results, are results nonetheless. Good post.

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The Engineer
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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 1:40 PM

The Standard Model is good. It's just all the extensions of it that are getting ruled out by the LHC. Though it will likely be a decade or more before these theories are fully ruled out.

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#13
In reply to #1

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 5:48 AM

I've discovered many things that don't exist, I was going to write a paper on them but matron took my crayons away.

Bazzer

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#2

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 1:10 PM

I'm certain some of the other predicted but undetected particles were predicted if the Higgs Boson did not exist. Looking for these particles and not finding them is also a form of validation to discovering the Higgs Boson.

If my memory is correct, super symmetry started as one such theory that did not have a Higgs Boson or its symmetric opposite as a predicted particle.

Maybe the asymmetry of matter vs. anti-matter should've been a hint that our universe is asymmetric in many ways.

Hmm, it might be interesting for a science historian to look back at the number of competing and incorrect theories (e.g. plogiston) use to exist before better models were codified. My guess is that we are just repeating this process but now in particle physics instead of basic redox reactions.

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The Engineer
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#6
In reply to #2

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 1:44 PM

I agree about looking back 50 years from now at all these theories. I know some, such as Supersymmetry, has found applications in materials science and other fields. Funny how if the math works, it ends up being useful somewhere, even if it's not what they intended.

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/17/2018 10:57 AM

"Funny how if the math works, it ends up being useful somewhere, even if it's not what they intended."

Science is like that. We still teach Newtonian Physics in school, even though it's been superseded by Einsteinian Physics. We know the results aren't 'correct'/'perfect,' but they're close enough for an insignificant subset of the universe: being on a rocky ball with sufficient mas to produce a gravitational acceleration of around 9.8 metres/second, and deep enough in the surrounding gasses to produce about 1 atmosphere of pressure.

Or it can be like using a value of 3.140000 as the value of pi when designing furniture or archetecture. that value is a 'lie,' but it's a 'lie' that is easy to work with.

Or dealing with combining multiple signals, if the amplitude ratio between two signals is 10:1 or greater, the smaller signal is typically ignored in the calculations. This was drilled into me during my senior year for my BSEET degree; the instructor had an in-class project where we were adding two vectors, the first at an angle of 0 degrees with an amplitude of 10, the second was rotating, measured at 0, 90, 180. and 270 degrees, and had an amplitude of 1. comparing the resulting vectors to the o degree, magnitude 10 vector showed very little difference between the two. the greatest difference , of course was the 0 and 180 degrees, where the result vector had a magnitude of 11 or 9, but from 90 or 270 degrees, it was so close to 10 as made no difference.

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#14
In reply to #10

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 11:15 AM

You are describing the difference between truth and government work. Don't forget that at one time Texas legislated the value of pi to be 3.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 11:47 AM

Are you serious about Texas and pi? I'm agog.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 11:56 AM

I was not aware of an "agog" ethnic background. Where is your homeland?

Regarding Texas and 3, it appears to be an urban legend that also has been also attributed to Indiana.

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 1:16 PM

Oops, I mistyped my homeland. It's not agao; it's east Tennessee, although I've lived in Yankeeland far longer than I lived in TN.

I can believe that of a Texas legislature (and those of a few other states) but not Indiana. Who needs those pesky numbers after the decimal point anyway?

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#21
In reply to #15

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 5:33 PM

The Bible also came up with a value of 3 for Pi, but I think that was a case of rounding during the writing/translation.

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#19
In reply to #14

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 3:36 PM

I said nothing about Truth, I am an Engineer, I deal in Facts. If you are looking for Truth, talk to the philosophers and priests.

You may also find that the Truths offered may not always mesh well with the Facts of direct observation, or that of Established Science.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 3:46 PM

I agree that truth and facts often have little to do with reality. Truth and facts are usually constructed of a thin tissue of empirical observations which are then rounded to the least significant digit and referred to as training.

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 9:15 PM

Eliminating incorrect theories is progress, like pruning deadwood out of the trees.

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/17/2018 4:21 PM

It would appear the ratio of incorrect theories to competing theories approaches unity. It might be that the thing keeping it from being at unity is just that the previous truth is unseated with a new hopeful ready to take the spot light.

George E.P. Box said, "Essentially, all models are wrong. Some are useful."

....though considering the odds, that model too might not be more than useful.

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#3

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 1:16 PM

Problem is, they found Higgs-Boson quite quickly... and raised the expectations of other discoveries time table.

I never known research to be expedient.

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The Engineer
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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/16/2018 1:41 PM

That's true. It will likely be decades before we can really say definitively these extensions to the Standard Model are disproven. The Higgs did sort of set expectations pretty high.

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#8

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/17/2018 9:14 AM

I have a couple of opinions, and one of them is that we haven't hit on the correct theory yet. It is my opinionation that the correct theory could be called "elegant." Further, that the present theories are overly complex, with too many exceptions; when we come up with the correct theory it will be relatively simple--if Einstein's relativity can be called simple!

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#9
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Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/17/2018 9:58 AM

I wholeheartedly agree that we have yet to codify the "correct" theory. I disagree that it must be elegant or simple. The universe is chaotic and baffling. A theory to explain it will likely also be chaotic and baffling.

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#11

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/17/2018 4:13 PM

I wonder where Ruth is?

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#17
In reply to #11

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 12:45 PM

Thanks for the chuckle.

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#22
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Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/18/2018 7:01 PM

And her Baby too.

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#24
In reply to #22

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/21/2018 1:46 PM

You've never heard of Baby Ruth?

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#23
In reply to #11

Re: Large Hadron Collider Ruthlessly Continues Its Work

05/21/2018 1:40 PM

I've heard that Ruth is out there.

I'm sorry.

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