The Higgs Boson aka the “God Particle” is the talk of the popular science community now because billions and billions of Euros were spend on the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) so that it might be discovered.  But maybe more elusive in a way is the search for the source of dark matter.  Dark matter is the “missing” matter that is theorized to account for 80% of the extra gravitational effects physicists observe in the universe.  One class of particles that is thought to impart these massive gravitational effects are called WIMPS (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles).  The problem is that while these particles are theorized to be relatively large they interact very little with other forms of matter, for example they have no electromagnetic interaction with other particles, that they cannot be detected directly.

Experiments to find these WIMPS all occur deep under ground to minimize the effect of other types of radiation.  WIMPs even they they are relatively large are thought to pass right through the earth without any resistance but physicists have developed exotic detectors to discern the presence of WIMPs.

Physicists think they might have kind of detected these WIMPS in an ongoing experiment.

Experiment Detects Particles of Dark Matter, Maybe

by Ron Cowen

Analyzing results of an experiment in a northern Minnesota mine, physicists report the possible detection of particles of dark matter — the proposed invisible material believed to account for about 80 percent of the mass of the universe. The physicists caution, however, that there’s about a one in four chance that ordinary subatomic particles, rather than dark matter, could account for the signals.

The experiment, called the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search, relies on 30 detectors made of germanium and silicon crystals cooled to just above absolute zero. The detectors record tiny vibrations imparted by a proposed type of dark matter called weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. WIMPs streaming in from space would very rarely jostle the germanium nuclei, some 800 meters underground in the Soudan mine, generating a tiny amount of heat and slightly altering the charge on the detectors in a characteristic pattern.

About the only thing I promised myself this New Year is that I would spend more time going back to my scientific roots.  So expect at least one article a week that is science related.

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Keramos
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There was an article within the last six months – I believe it may have been in Scientific American or their sister publication the SA Mind – wherein the human mind was said to contain material similar to the dark matter found throughout the universe. I cannot find the actual citation but if even if I’m wrong, this might still be an entertaining bit of scribbling.

What is interesting to me is if true, this would further cement our human ties to the universe as a whole. There has been a lot of development in the quantum realm of physics and, as I understand it, some physicists believe that there are as many as eleven – 11 – actual dimensions. If we take time to be our fourth dimension, that leaves 7 more that we might exist in in one form or another.

One of the interesting aspects of quantum physics is that time “cancels out” of the equations at this level. Objects can now appear in two places at one time and the very act of measuring the instantaneous location of a particle causes the measurement to become inaccurate (I don’t understand this one myself). The way this happens is when the particle is at least partially in some of the other dimensions.

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity allows one to calculate that time travel would be extraordinarily consumptive of energy, among other problems, and very hard to achieve. We can accept that in the framework that most of us use to view and understand the universe. What happens in the other 7 dimensions?

For that matter, what exactly is the nature of time travel? Consider prophetic dreams or that sense of deja vu that we’ve all probably felt at some time or another. What if we’ve actually traveled in time and observed a future event? Can this not be a possible explanation for
these occurrences?

Time does not flow in a liner fashion, instead, it folds back on itself. Now, here’s a big leap, the human brain also contains many folds and its workings are not well understood. If we are connected to the universe via dark matter in our brain and we know that physical items can indeed be in two places simultaneously, is it unreasonable to conjecture that our dreaming can actually be considered a form of time travel? Perhaps the universe itself is a great big brain? Weird? Perhaps. However, it is fun to contemplate some aspects of physics that might relate more to the human condition instead of the conditions of and positions of quirky quarks.

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abby4ever
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KQ: I am over here on your Dark Matter thread, I came over here to tell you that I’ve never understood why a theory must be falsifiable to be any good, that I just Googled that and found this:

From Yuksel.org, on Popper’s theory of falsifiability:

“FALSIFIABILITY. A scientific hypothesis must provide a logical possibility to be refuted by a probable true observation statement. Therefore, according to Popper, falsifiability is a required characteristic for a scientific theory. Science evolves by shedding its falsified theories. Popper’s falsification model is similar to the notion of “natural selection”. The best theory survives…

“Falsificationism encourages all kind of speculative theories, as long as they are stated clearly and precisely. The inadequate or the unfitting ones will be tossed away by examinations. A scientific theory can never be said that it is true, but it can be said that it is closer to the truth than its predecessors.”

http://www.yuksel.org/e/philosophy/falsifiability.htm

and what I want to know is whether what I found, above, is correct. You are the scientist around here, are you not? The thing is, the above still does not explain why a theory’s being falsifiable would make the theory itself any good. Weeding out false theories is one thing, and good; but suggesting that being able to be false is an essential property of any theory with any claim to power, is something else entirely.

I am not sure, at all, that he is saying that but if he isn’t, what is he saying?

abby

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Keramos
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It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Arthur Conan Doyle

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/arthur_conan_doyle.html#ixzz1IkRhXDe3

I’ve been working on a new product development where we’ve had some interesting preliminary results. We decide to push all the major comparative test work to some independent laboratories because of our perceived advantages of this product relative to the one we’re competing with. Why, to avoid missing something via attacking the critical product parameters relative to the application. To achieve this, we took preliminary data to select customers and had them review and suggest changes to the testing program. In so many words, we revamped our testing program to intentionally disprove the original results. That has been a good decision.

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kesmarn
Admin

KQuark, finally I just got a chance to read your fine article on dark matter. Like many others I have little background in physics, but I find these ideas fascinating. The thing that always amazes me is the sheer power of imagination that one needs to have to be a physicist. I mean–you have to first imagine and hypothesize that such a thing as dark matter (which is totally counter-intuitive in our perception of the world) EXISTS. Then you have to develop instruments that can measure the tiniest vibrations (how do they DO that?) and set up conditions (underground??) that are right for the experiment. It boggles the mind.

Finally–as our resident specialist in the “asking dumb questions” department, I have to ask: Is there any such thing as “dark energy”?

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Pepe Lepew
Member

Yes.

And it’s not the same as dark matter.

I think I got that right.

But maybe not.

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kesmarn
Admin

LOL, Pepe…you’ve got your bases (or something) covered on that one!

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nottoolate
Member

Yes, Kesmarn, there is a dark energy. Its name is Republican. But in the realm you’re talking about, try this Wiki. I don’t understand a word of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy

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kesmarn
Admin

nottoolate! I think its name is Rove, but it is, more accurately, “dark lack of energy.”

Or perhaps just “Black Hole.” Sucking everything into extinction.

Thanks for the link, BTW!

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nottoolate
Member

I am thinking of buying a Higgs-Boson to drive across the country, but am concerned about its rumored tendency to arrive in black holes. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Nobel physicist Leon Lederman coined the term God particle, he says because his publisher would not permit him to call his book the God-damned particle. This is the endlessly fascinating and frustrating challenge of scientific exploration. Sir Arthur Eddington wrote in 1935:

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abby4ever
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kq: don’t take my horsing around on this thread as evidence of my not taking your article seriously, as my belittling the importance of scientific inquiry, or, most especially, of my making fun of your beliefs in any way.

I know next to nothing about dark matter and I much appreciate anyone trying to explain it to me.

That said, I do get a little impatient with scientists and astonomers who belittle religious statements and then make scientific ones that, in form, anyway, are just like them.

It could be said that scientists know for certain no more about dark matter than Christians know for certain about God, yet, like Christians, they talk as if they were there at the foundation of the world…in their case, the universe. It does amaze me how tolerant they are of their own speculative statements, often making them as if they are the proven fact of the day, and, at the same time, how intolerant they are of religious statements.

I believe it was the analytic philosopher A.J. Ayer who, in a vicious attack on religious statements, was the first to call them ‘meaningless’. In my view, some of these scientists are just like him. Wanting to call meaningless anything that doesn’t fit in with their own, it has to be said, purely theoretical statements. Once a scientist gets into an area where he can’t prove the existence of something because of the unique nature of that something, be it dark matter or something else, he is in a very strange area indeed. For a scientist.

Once there, and in my view, he loses his right to belittle others who can

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whatsthatsound
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That’s it! I’ve decided I’m going to apply for a grant to prove that fairies are real! I can’t be sure (because I don’t have the VERRRRRRYY expensive equipment to verify it) but my research thus far indicates that they are composed of two types of particles, called “Tinkers” (Tiny Invisible Non-Kinetic Electron Repellers) and “Bells” (Boson Emitting Luminous Loops).

Their “dust”, actually minute particles of energy left over from the Big Bang, accounts for either everything known to exist, or the stuff that gathers in the corners of your bedroom.

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Emerald1943
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Hey WTS! I finally got around to reading posts that appeared before I logged on this morning. I have to tell you that your comment actually had me laughing out loud! Good one!

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boomer1949
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whats,

Creatively cute 🙂

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abby4ever
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What a riot, you are talented, what’s. I really mean that.

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whatsthatsound
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Why, thank you Abby!

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whatsthatsound
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Here’s a stumper for you all.
If you don’t believe in God Particles, does that make you an atheist or just an agnostic?

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escribacat
Member

How about a neutron?

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whatsthatsound
Member

I like it. And if you’re convinced they’re real, you are of course a positron.

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abby4ever
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You won’t know if it makes you either one until you define ‘God Particle’. You have to know what that is, or is supposed to be, before you can decide.

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Pepe Lepew
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We aren’t meant to know!!!! 😀

[Boy, am I gonna get it!]

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abby4ever
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Yes you are, Pepe, and here it comes.

Compare:

“Astronomers and cosmologists know that dark matter exists but as yet do not know what it is composed of, or how much of it there actually is…”
(AstronomyToday)

“Theologians and lesser Christians know that God exists but as yet do not know what He is composed of, or how much of Him there actually is…”
(AbbyToday)

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist!

:]

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whatsthatsound
Member

Meet the new High Priests, same as the old High Priests.

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abby4ever
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whatsthatsound
Member

God Particles move in mysterious ways.

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abby4ever
Guest

…Their wonders to perform…

(William Cowper, Jr.)

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whatsthatsound
Member

Personally, I think we’re all God Particles.

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escribacat
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Pepe Lepew
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PatsyT
Member

I was thinking that God Particle would make a great name for a band
and found this..

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Pepe Lepew
Member

The embedding was “disabled by request.”

See, I’m telling you! We aren’t meant to know!!!! 🙂

The Higgs Boson makes this stuff happen!!!!

[I’m so gonna get it.]

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PatsyT
Member

Well =God Particle= still makes a great name for a band
so does =Dark Matter=
for that matter.
I think God and Science just have not met yet.
They have not been properly introduced.
I hope you guys get some answers by morning.
I am turning in.
Have fun….

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escribacat
Member

Patsy, they would make great names for a book too.

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escribacat
Member

LOL. I’m looking for Pablum here. I’ll read that tomorrow … it’s after midnight, my brain is asleep already. Thanks, Pepe.

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abby4ever
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What a neat way of putting it. Pablum.

Pablum Physics.

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escribacat
Member

Can anyone explain in layman’s terms What is a God Particle and why they call it that?

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abby4ever
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Wish I understood what you guys are talking about. (I always perk up when I see the word or name ‘God’.) If I tried to join in I would not know what I am talking about.

I’m on another topic with Emerald…although, to be honest, I don’t know what I’m talking about with that , either.

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Pepe Lepew
Member

I dunno, but it takes a staggering amount of power in a collider so big that they had to put it in two countries and the atoms are going near the speed of light when they smash together and they smash together so hard that they’re re-creating conditions like the first nanoseconds of the universe.

It sounds all so tragically cool.

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PatsyT
Member

Abby, you are a sweetie! I think we can only admit that we all have so much to learn and will never know it all.
The journey of discovery is fascinating.

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abby4ever
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From AstronomyToday:

http://www.astronomytoday.com/cosmology/darkmatter.html

“Dark matter is non-luminous matter, that cannot be directly detected by observing any form of electromagnetic radiation (light), but whose existence is suggested because of the effects of its gravity on the rotation rate of galaxies and the presence of clusters of galaxies…

“Astronomers and cosmologists know that dark matter exists but as yet do not know what it is composed of, or how much of it there actually is…”
___________________________________________________

Ok. on the one hand, its existence is only suggested; on the other, it is known. (To exist.)

Make up your mind. I don’t mean you Patsy, I mean the guy who wrote this.

This is early-stage theory, and, like all early-stage theories, it may or may or may not be true.

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Pepe Lepew
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Because it’s not meant to be messed with!!! 😀

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abby4ever
Guest

LOL !!!

‘Morning, Pepe.

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PatsyT
Member

AdLib, can you check on this ?

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Pepe Lepew
Member

True story. My daughter loves the Large Hadron Collider and the “Higgs Boson,” mostly because National Geographic and Discover Magazine recently did big spreads on them. I truly think she has no idea what the Higgs Boson is, but thinks it sounds very cool (as do quarks with names like “strange” and “charmed.”) while the LHC looks very cool. She checked science.com every day for a while reading the updates about it when they fired it back up.
My girlfriend said she doesn’t like the LHC because it sounds, in her words, “spooky.” To which I asked, “what’s spooky about it?” To which she replied, “I dunno, it seems like they’re messing with things that aren’t meant to be messed with.”
This led to a heated discussion about that’s the whole nature of discovery and science. She normally isn’t anti-science she is definitely very, very bright, but what struck me was how she had an almost mystical view of the “Higgs Boson” (And maybe my daughter has a mystical view of it, too, something unknown and hidden. I dunno.)
It was just interesting to see two such polar reactions to the LHC.

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AdLib
Admin

KQ, thanks for this brain tickling article, very pleased to hear that more will be on the way.

I think that the only path for our society to pull out of the quicksand that is pulling it down is for science to provide a discovery or breakthrough that lifts us out of it, primarily with a solution on energy generation.

For example, a big breakthrough on transforming solar energy into a global power source would reshape the world, especially third world nations. If oil was no longer “needed”, how would that impact what goes on in the Middle East and wars around the world?

How many new technological advances, applications and industries would be created if there was a cheap and unlimited supply of energy?

Changing society through politics is limited and gradual, as we’ve discovered. Science however, is what has transformed society most substantially in recent history and I am hoping it may do so again in this positive way in the near future.

So get to work on this, will you?!

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KevenSeven
Member

And you wonder why Sarah451 thinks that people and dinosaurs coexisted…

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whatsthatsound
Member

This is with all due (and sincere) respect to KQuark, and is merely offered as counterpoint.
I would like to quote the brilliant William Irwin Thompson, from his book, “Coming Into Being”

“The trouble is that when we move into the world of big science, we encounter a weird world of superstitious beliefs in which all kinds of stuff we never see is said to exist. High priests tell us that quarks and bosons exist, and we have to take their word for it. Something that only exists as a nanosecond blip on a meter is said to be more real than actual human experience of artistic and religious enlightenment experienced by yogis, saints and artists in many different cultures throughout the ages. When the high priests of physics tell us about their world of invisible particles, things begin to get pretty weird. Let me give you chapter and verse from Paul Davies’ Other Worlds: Space, Superspace, and the Quantum Universe. “If accepted completely literally, it (the quantum theory) leads to the conclusion that the world of our experience – the universe we actually perceive – is not the only universe. Co-existing alongside it are countless billions of others, some almost identical to ours, others wildly different, inhabited by myriads of near carbon-copies of ourselves in a gigantic, multifoliate reality of parallel worlds.”
So Big Science gives us permission to believe in parallel worlds and other dimensions – as long as these beliefs and ideas have absolutely nothing to do with our experience and have absolutely no moral or aesthetic implications for how we live our lives.”

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TheRarestPatriot
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I’m very pleased to read your insights on these matters (no pun intended). I did a research paper on the particle before they were called god-particles…silly.
Anyway, the seeming weakness of gravity does play well into M-theory as these particles must make their way through what appears to be…what…11 dimensions now? In any event, after much research and thought, I have come to understand but one thing: Why so much interest at all? Do you realize just HOW much $$$ has been spend globally on hunting down this snipe? Now, I have never been a conspiracy kinda’ guy and maybe that’s not really what I’m getting at here, but I always follow the money. It seems very strange to me that billions upon billions of dollars are being spent on something even the scientists admit they might not even realize they’ve isolated the snipe particle (my phrase…LOL) when they catch it! As you probably already know…this particle…this event that evidences the particle is a bit dodgy because it’s not so much WHAT is actually there to measure…but rather what is ‘missing’. Pretty neat!…and costly. Last year CERN fired up the collider and it was damaged in the first 2 weeks…badly damaged. The team inspecting the damage said that it almost appeared as if someone or something had deliberately sabotaged the test. And each time they repeated the test…something else would happen to delay or derail the experiment. The scientists thought this was against extremely high odds….literally…odds.
My sci-fi take on all of this? It all starts right here…right now. CERN will discover the process of time manipulation and this will become the new science to fight wars over to obtain. Can you imagine? And these, strange mishaps, that are happening to the CERN collider are actually US coming back in time to (or someone) trying to stop us.!

Now where did I leave that bong?…..~smirk~

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