Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scientific discovery means different things to different people

To most of the world, at least those who like to know why we aren't all traveling around at the speed of light with no mass, the discovery of the Higgs boson confirming that a Higgs field exists, is important in our progress in understanding how the universe works. To others it is a strange message in typography.

Here is a video explanation of the Higgs field. It may be easier to understand than the typography argument.

I guess I should add that scientists are certain that they found a particle. Now, with more experimentation, they will determine how similar the behavior of it is to the predicted Higgs particle.


Big Myk said...

To the smartest man in the world: quelle bore.
A Moment for Particle Physics: The End of a 40-Year Story?
"At some level I’m actually a little disappointed. I’ve made no secret—even to Peter Higgs—that I’ve never especially liked the Higgs mechanism. It’s always seemed like a hack. And I’ve always hoped that in the end there’d be something more elegant and deep responsible for something as fundamental as the masses of particles. But it appears that nature is just picking what seems like a pedestrian solution to the problem: the Higgs mechanism in the Standard Model."

Big Myk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James R said...

That is not a bad article. I'm not sure if Stephen Wolfram is the smartest, but he certainly is in the running for most self-absorbed. Here is another entry of his blog which I had previously read. I was reminded of the This American Life episode where a sad, strange little man makes a diary out of his most mundane events in his life. He records his trips to the corner store, saves his receipts, notes what he eats, and the like.

I was struck by either Wolfram's triviality or his Ozymandias complex. Do you really need a time plot of all your emails to know that you like to work late or, in the summer of 2009, you went on a trip to Europe? Wolfram calls it his effort in self awareness. Yes, now he is self-aware that he types more keystrokes between 10 PM and 2 AM than other times during the day. He was not self aware of that before he captured and plotted the keystroke data?

Even more surprising was that all the commenters to his blog thought this was quite fascinating—and not is a sarcastic or morbid way.