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Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:38 pm
Okay so without knowing if any of you take an interest in physics this may not have been a great idea but anyway
The tevatron has apparently discovered a new particle just a few weeks before it is due to shut down. I find it mildly amusing that the LHC didnt find it but anyway i digress. Many theorists are confused with the new discovery as it points towards there being a new fundamental force that physics has not yet accounted for (the reason being many particle physicists assume the new particle to be a guage boson [i.e. a force carrying particle, like the photon being the carrier for the electromagnetic force]), so i ask this, is it time to completely rethink our understanding of the world around us, or should we continue to modify our current knowledge to suit the picture we see?
Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:01 pm
Ashy wrote:is it time to completely rethink our understanding of the world around us, or should we continue to modify our current knowledge to suit the picture we see?
Given emerging evidence and adherence to the scientific method is there really a choice? The answer must be both?
Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:24 pm
Excuse the semi wall of text
Yet the majority of the scientific community is bemused by the new discovery as hardly any theorists predicted this occurance,
Basically a run down of some physics for you all (if any of this is wrong, then apologies, damn me and my undergraduate physics knowledge). Basically the reason things have mass is due to something called the higgs field, whose guage boson (force carrying particle) is called the higgs boson. Particles interact with the higgs field and it gives them mass, how heavy they are depends on how much they react with the higgs field.
The LHC predicts a lower mass of the higgs boson to be around 150 Gev/c^2 (its how physicits measure mass, dont read into it that much). Yet the new particle discovered has been ruled out to be the higgs boson. Some theorists belive that it is a the guage boson of a new fundamental force (there are 4 fundamental forces: gravity, strong, weak and electromagnetic). They call this the technicolour force, which from my understanding acts just like the strong force as in it binds quarks and nuceli together, but at much higher energies. What is interesting is that the force also gives rise to things having mass, making the higgs boson redundant.
This may prove a theory wrong that physicists have believed true for over 30 years. Surely this means that our understanding is not what we thought? Even looking back at older physics, namely the unification of the 4 fundamental forces, we are still unable to unify gravity with any of the others. Does this mean that our current theory of gravity is wrong? or is our current knowledge of how the forces interact with each other insufficient?
The way i currently see the scientific world is, is that theories and equations are tailored to phenomena that we see, with much of the maths being fudged to obtain the answers that we desire. Is this the wrong thing to do? or should we still keep adjusting things we have if we already know that they dont truly represent what we want?
P.s sorry if this makes no sense what so ever, its late and im tired :)
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:50 am
This is a fascinating subject.
Recent developments in cosmology have made me think that we are on the cusp of something that may cause us to remodel some of our fundamental assumptions about general relativity. I mean 'dark energy' lol. 'dark matter' lolol. It seems more realistic to me to assume that a higher order but so far unrealized fundamental force may be involved.
Although this deals with the macro, the micro - 'sub nuclear' particle you mention seems indicative of our general ignorance on that end of the scale as well. Has this find been replicated somewhere?
The accepted scientific model doesn't make the sort of evolutionary jumps we're talking about here unless the current model can no longer be contorted to fit the observable data. That's what I mean about being on the 'cusp' : I suspect we've bent things about as far as we can go using our current cosmological theories.
I giggle my ass off nearly every other week as I see the new headline reading something like : 'Scientists baffled by new observation of unexplained whatsis'. I mean, build a bigger X-ray scope and whammo! All the galaxies are seen zooming away from each other and ACCELLERATING as they go FFS! So we just make up some new bizarre 'dark' goodies to splain' it all away. Horse feathers if you ask me.
Here's a funner thought: what if 'universal' constants like the speed of light, or planks, or the gravitational aren't really constant at all? Maybe they vary by proximity to the cosmic core or some such. All that BS that we glibly try to extend throughout the universe goes right out the window.
Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:29 am
This has yet to be replicated at any other collider (there are only 2 that are worth mentioning, one being the tevatron and the other the LHC) however the event has been observer nearly 300 times so its hardly a fluke occurance. My opinion is that the current standard model has leant on for too long, there are so many other alternatives yet the majority of the scientific community have decided to put their faith in a higgs universe. If the recent event is anything to go by, this could possibly be wrong.
So here is another question, particle physics and all that is probably THE frontier of physics, yet everything is damn near impossible to measure and find experimentally (yet all of it has been proven mathematically and i have seen the calculations and they are in a strange way beautiful [yes i did just call maths beautiful]) so should we work on a variety of "solutions" until there is hope of proving them experimentally?
I think that the reason so many physicists were confused by the findings is because many of them had presumed the higgs model of the universe to be the be all and end all and as such had not thought about any other possibilities. I guess the future of physics lies with the work the LHC is doing withing the next 1-2 years.
That thought isn't that strange an idea, many scientists do believe that the universal constants are not actually universal and have changed as the universe evolved over time, albeit by a small amount over 13 billion years. The gravitational constant G is probably a prime example, with our current understanding of physics we are yet to be able to explain the very start of the universe, how did it expand like it did? etc. Maybe the gravitational constant was not the same as it was today and so it expanded faster. Maybe there is no dark energy or dark matter (not likely if you believe in a super symmetric model) and the gravitational constant is localised to spacetime regions, theres a thought :)