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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the God-(damned)-article dept.

Open4D writes:

"Peter Higgs recently collected his Nobel Prize in Physics. He gave an interview for BBC radio, which can be heard here (30 mins). The headline of the resulting article focuses on how he may have just missed out on realizing how the Higgs Mechanism could link in with the Standard Model, but there are various other insights for anyone interested in a long life lived in Physics academia."

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  • (Score: 1) by isostatic on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:20PM

    by isostatic (365) on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:20PM (#4935) Journal

    Of course the content of what you wrote is mostly wrong as well.

    There's no "Wrong" mod as you're supposed to reply with why the person is wrong.

    The AC (who claims to be the type "killal -9 bash []") put time into writing something that's fairly interesting to the layman, it's not a copy-and-paste job, so the correct way is to explain why he's wrong.

    The original post, sure that was flamebait. I personally didn't see the longer post as flamebait though.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by maxwell demon on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:57PM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:57PM (#4968) Journal

    OK, on what is wrong: If you actually look up the original article by Peter Higgs in Physical Review Letters (yes, I did — and BTW at that time I found that they switched to a horrible new site design which indeed reminds me very much of Slashdot beta ), you'll find not a single word about cosmology or inflation. Yes, you won't find anything about Z and W particles either (as he says himself in the interview linked from the summary, this association was done by Weinberg, not him), indeed he mentions solid state physis alongside particle physics.

    And symmetry breaking has nothing to do with FTL. A typical symmetry breaking process is if you put a pencil on its tip (a very symmetric situation, no horizontal direction is preferred), and it inevitably falls (to a very asymmetric situation, the pencil points to a specific direction; however it could point at any). What the symmetry breaking does in the case of the Higgs field is to make the field in the ground state (i.e. the vacuum) non-vanishing. Note that this is not a violation of Lorentz invariance because the field is scalar.

    What is true is that the Higgs field is considered as a possible(!) candidate for the inflaton field which is supposed to have driven the inflation. However that's not the problem it originally was intended to solve.

    Moreover, he's wrong even about the FTL in the inflation model: General relativity very decidedly does allow the distance between different points of space to grow faster than the speed of light (indeed, the distance to us of every single point beyond the cosmic horizon grows with superluminal "speed"). What is not allowed is that two objects at the same place more relative to each other faster than light in vacuum (that is, no object can leave its future light cone).

    Anyway, whatever force the Higgs field(!) carries (if it does actually carry a force; after all, its relation to the Higgs field is a bit more complex than for the normal force fields, but I'm not a particle physicist) would have to be extremely short-ranged (because the Higgs particle is extremely massive). Anyway the claim that every boson has to have an associated force IMHO is at least questionable the Helium atom is a boson, but what is the corresponding force?

    His points 1 and 2 of the standard model predictions are true. But the point 3 is simplified to the point of being misleading. There is much more done than to look which particles are generated in the decay, also their energies and momenta are determined. And from that you can determine the mass of the original particle which decayed. And what they observed at the LHC is clearly a mass which doesn't fit any of the existing particles, but is in the range of the possible Higgs masses. In the mean time it has been confirmed to also have the other properties of the Higgs boson, so it is very likely they indeed found the Higgs boson.

    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:59PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday February 22 2014, @09:59PM (#4969) Journal

      Oops ... "doesn't fit any of the existing particles" should have been "doesn't fit any of the known particles" of course.

      (And Soylent News programmers, please remove that restriction which doesn't let me post that correction immediately.)

      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.