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posted by martyb on Thursday May 01 2014, @08:52PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the now-you-don't-see-them-and-now-you-don't dept.

Some physicists are surprised that two relatively recent discoveries in their field have captured so much widespread attention: cosmic inflation, the ballooning expansion of the baby universe, and the Higgs boson, which endows other particles with mass. These are heady and interesting concepts, but, in one sense, what's new about them is downright boring. These discoveries suggest that so far, our prevailing theories governing large and small the Big Bang and the Standard Model of subatomic particles and forces are accurate, good to go.

But both cosmic inflation and the Higgs boson fall short of unifying these phenomena and explaining the deepest cosmic questions. "The Standard Model, as it stands, has no good explanation for why the Universe has anything in it at all," says Mark Messier, physics professor at Indiana University and spokesman for an under-construction particle detector.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by cosurgi on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:05PM

    by cosurgi (272) on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:05PM (#38650) Journal

    Yes, neutrinos are the key. And also proton radius with muon on its orbit [www.psi.ch]. Maybe also the giant resonance [wikipedia.org]. Who knows, maybe it will all get explained by some very interesting application of GR. Like this one [wikipedia.org], for example.

    --
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    #\ @ ? [adom.de] Colonize Mars [kozicki.pl]
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    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:42PM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 01 2014, @09:42PM (#38661) Journal

      cosurgi wrote:

      Yes, neutrinos are the key. And also proton radius with muon on its orbit [www.psi.ch]. Maybe also the giant resonance [wikipedia.org]. Who knows, maybe it will all get explained by some very interesting application of GR. Like this one [wikipedia.org], for example.

      Fascinating material -- thanks for the links!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday May 03 2014, @07:45AM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Saturday May 03 2014, @07:45AM (#39179) Homepage
      "Muons behave a lot like electrons, except for their mass: muons are 200 times heavier than electrons. The atomic orbit of the muon is therefore much closer to the proton than the electron&#226;&#8364;&#8482;s orbit in a regular hydrogen atom."

      Uranus behaves a lot like mercury, except for its mass: uranus is 200 times heaver than mercury. The orbit of uranus is therefore much closer to the sun than mercury's orbit.

      I'm guessing that there's something else apart from just mass which is deciding the orbit. In which case, they shouldn't explain it as being just because of mass.
      --
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  • (Score: 1) by islisis on Thursday May 01 2014, @11:38PM

    by islisis (2901) on Thursday May 01 2014, @11:38PM (#38690) Homepage

    forgetting, what popular science culture does best. sure, the standard model is boring if you lack the attention span to consider what it proposes and has successfully predicted through time, like the existence of the higgs boson in the first place. but i bet most people could spend more than a lifetime seeing beauty in this field if they changed their diet of headline spam

    • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Friday May 02 2014, @12:35AM

      by stormwyrm (717) on Friday May 02 2014, @12:35AM (#38700) Journal

      So what's new? Doesn't science thrive on new discoveries? What's the point of science if we're so fixated on what we do know at the expense of what we don't know and need to discover?

      The point is that the Standard Model, elegant as it is, is incomplete. If that's all there is, then it predicts that there should be nothing in the universe (matter and antimatter exactly cancelling each other out), which is obviously false. And to go back on topic, the Standard Model also predicts that neutrinos should have no mass at all, and yet they do have mass, and in a way that is impossible to explain with the Standard Model's Higgs mechanism.

      Neutrinos are perhaps the easiest within reach physics beyond the Standard Model. The energies at which hypothesized Grand Unification occurs (perhaps illustrating symmetry violations that would result in more matter being produced in the early universe than antimatter) would require us to build an accelerator the size of the Solar System, and quantum gravity is in a whole other ballpark beyond that.

      --
      Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
      • (Score: 1) by islisis on Saturday May 03 2014, @12:11AM

        by islisis (2901) on Saturday May 03 2014, @12:11AM (#39124) Homepage

        so, forget the SM and forget updating it and forget tests for Majorana particles, and forget funding when your once new research has been cited for too long when applying for your next grant as the public has been played to a catchier tune

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02 2014, @07:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02 2014, @07:17AM (#38779)

    "The Standard Model, as it stands, has no good explanation for why the Universe has anything in it at all,"

    Maybe we'll figure out some shallow "why" but will it ever be possible to have a Physics model/theory that will provide a full explanation for the "real" _why_ the Universe has anything in it at all? That the Universe itself exists in the first place?

    To me it would be like creatures in a computer game trying to use the game's own physics to have an explanation on why the game and stuff in it exists.

    We'd only have a chance if there were "Game Designer(s)" AND they told us or dropped us some hints. Otherwise there may be no real why at all.

    Takes faith to be sure of either scenario.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02 2014, @08:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02 2014, @08:07PM (#39059)

    Yes.. revenge of Aristotelian physics, FTW! Over two thousand years of scientific confusion wrapping itself up back were it started quite nicely. Now they just need to toss Newton's adaptive algorithm of Gravity and sort Buoyancy and Levity proper in light of the now measurable neutrino aether and we'll be set to explore the universe. Socrates was the man.. and Plato had it sorted- they should have just listened to Aristotle in 300 BC instead of nit picking our enlightened understanding of the physical universe apart. The biggest flaw in the scientific method is the dependency on the quality of measuring instruments. Better late than never I guess, and the scenic route wasn't all bad.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03 2014, @01:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03 2014, @01:03AM (#39138)

    ""The Standard Model, as it stands, has no good explanation for why the Universe has anything in it at all,"
    so in other words: throwing a shoe over your left shoulder with your right hand, while holding your nose with the other and standing on one leg doesn't explain anything ...

    then again a "heavy-electron" (muon) creator + kinetic.accelerator and subsequent random impulse generator (collider) sounds like the first experiment that will yield practical real world applications, like muon induced fusion and "xeon-ion" drive-like rocket engine but based on muons?
    but probably not 'cause we have to suppress the bridge-link between gravity/mass and magnetism-electricity.