Category Archives: Physics

Mad Scientist Syndrome

I got an e-mail from a friend today. It contained a link to a New York Times article along with the following commentary: Mind=Blown.

The article is about a theory being put forth by two respected particle physicists that says that we have not discovered the Higgs boson because of interference from the future. Their thesis – and I must stress that this is not hyperbole, but as South Park might say, THIS IS WHAT THESE PHSICISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE– is that the Higgs Boson “is so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one”

You should read the full article. It’s a doozy. I’ll wait.

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Gold for Light

The Nobel Prize in Physics was announced this morning, and it was awarded for discoveries leading to fibre optics and CCD’s – two inventions responsible for modern communications technology and the explosion in the ranks of amateur photographers. They have also enabled big science; observational astronomy/cosmology and particle physics could not exist in the 21st century without these contributions. The massive quantity of data produced in collisions at the LHC is transmitted around the world via light pulses in glass tubes for analysis. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDDS) uses thirty CCD chips to capture light from distant stars and galaxies.

Predicting the winner(s) of the Nobel Prize is notoriously difficult. I thought that this year’s prize might have been awarded to the KEK and SNO collaborations for providing the definitive evidence of neutrino oscillation. Physics has fragmented at an increasing rate in the last fifty years, and it must be difficult for the Nobel Committee to choose among the many sub-fields. As my research is focussed on theoretical topics, it’s easy to forget that science continues to shape the fabric of modern society – in this case, transforming the way people interact.

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