Scientists at the CERN research center say their “Big Bang” project is going beyond all expectations and the first proof of the existence of dimensions beyond the known four could emerge next year.
In surveys of results of nearly 8 months of experiments in their Large Hadron Collider (LHC), they also say they may be able to determine by the end of 2011 whether the mystery Higgs particle, or boson, exists.
Guido Tonelli, spokesman for one of the CERN specialist teams monitoring operations in the vast, subterranean LHC, said probing for extra dimensions — besides length, breadth, height and time — would become easier as the energy of the proton collisions in it is increased in 2011.
Other CERN physicists say the success so far of the world’s largest scientific project suggests that some great enigmas of the universe they have in their sights could be at least partly resolved much sooner than they thought.
“One year ago, it would have been impossible for us to guess that the machine and the experiments could achieve so much so quickly,” said Fabiola Gionotti, spokeswoman for another research team in the surveys, issued on CERN’s website (www.cern.org).
RESULTS ALL THE TIME
“We are producing new results all the time,” she added. The existence or otherwise of the Higgs, never yet spotted but believed to provide the glue giving mass to matter, should be settled one way or another by the end of next year.
The $10 billion LHC, whose operation and monitoring involves scientists and research centers in 34 countries, went into full operation on March 31, smashing protons together at near the speed of light with increasing energy.
These collisions have been creating millions of simulations of the Big Bang which 13.7 billion years ago brought into existence the primordial universe from which stars, planets and life on earth — and perhaps elsewhere — eventually emerged.
The LHC operations have been so trouble-free that at the start of this month CERN scientists were able to switch to colliding lead ions, creating temperatures a million times hotter than at the heart of the Sun.
The ion collisions, creating an amalgam dubbed a quark-gluon plasma, give the research teams another way of looking at what happened within a nano-second of the Big Bang and at the first matter produced by that mighty explosion.
CERN scientists say they have already taken research with ions further than those with gold at the long-established Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.
These experiments have shown the power of the link-up of 140 computing centers around the world known as the Grid which processes the vast amounts of information that ion collisions produce.
On December 6, the LHC will be shut down for servicing and to avoid draining electricity in the depths of winter from the energy networks of France and Switzerland along whose border CERN lies.
It will start up again in February, then run at full blast, with protons, until the end of the year, when it will close down again until 2013 while engineers prepare it for running at double the energy to the end of the decade and beyond.
Every one of us does things that would be inexplicable to a stranger, hence the saying, ‘It’d be a dull world if we were all the same.’ A mature adult knows that ‘inexplicable’ isn’t the same as ‘wrong’ — you use ketchup, I loathe the stuff but drown everything in Tobasco; you say grace, I’m an avowed atheist; you like puffer-style ski jackets, I like thick denim; you wear a hijab, I wear a flat cap; you have an American flag in your lapel, I have a badge that says ‘KEEP LIBEL LAW OUT OF SCIENCE.’
The TSA’s screening procedure tells them that any time they see something they can’t explain, they should refer that person for a humiliating secondary screening. For people who have something about them that is apt to be outside the direct experience of almost all screeners (people with urine bags, prostheses, disabilities, out-of-the-customary binary gender expression; specialized hobbies or vocations; visible political or religious observances; quirky personal fashion), this is tantamount [to] punishment for not being ‘normal’ — where ‘normal’ is whatever goes on in the narrow experience of J. Random TSO.
‘See something, say something’ and similar programs are the reason that nervous air passengers are allowed to disrupt or even ground flights because they mistake dovening Hassidim for Arab terrorists working themselves up to a suicidal rush or because they mistake a hipster food-photographer’s ‘ATOM BOMB’ tattoo for a sign of suicidal intent.
In other circles, we have a name for the philosophy whose fundamental tenet is, ‘If you don’t do this yourself, it’s probably dangerous’ — we call it bigotry.
When a song just starts automatically when I go to your page.
That song that interrupts my song because it started without my knowledge .
Music on your page that just comes out of fucking nowhere.
That annoying music.
Music on Tumblr.
I feel this way about any site I got to where music or a video automatically starts playing. I’m specifically looking at you ESPN and most photographers out there.
It boggles my mind that people don’t get this. I argued my heart out at a company I worked at when marketing was planning on having music play on our home page. They didn’t listen. I didn’t stay there long.
Because I live on the internet, I forget how terrifying life can be for those who don’t. Just stay with me here for a minute.
My internet experience consists of information I have curated to suit my interests and hopefully is improving my knowledge of the world. I read the words of people who inspire me, inform me, challenge me, and are generally awesome in too many ways to count. The information that comes to me has to be backed up because that’s just the sort of thing I demand from my internet. Whenever I read something that confuses me, or that I question, I have the ability to research it for myself, quickly. And because I was lucky enough to have a really great education, and a great post-secondary education I’m pretty decent at deciphering what is a good idea backed up by sound research and what is a maybe good idea backed up by someone’s ass.
But earlier tonight I was flipping through channels and stopped for some reason on the Dr. Oz show. And I was watching this rich, fit, white man terrify fat women by telling them they are unhealthy and going to die if they don’t do something about their waistlines. He says women need to worry about any number over 35 inches. I have a 29 inch waist! I’m almost in the danger zone! And almost every commercial on this channel is for diets and weight-loss programs. Because hey! Who’s watching this? Middle-aged women with low self-esteem and disposable incomes. People who don’t get to decipher for themselves the ideas being placed in front of them. And not because they’re incapable, but because they haven’t really realized that there’s anything else to do. No one’s ever told them it’s okay to question the bullshit coming out of their televisions, out of their friend’s mouths, off the radio telling them to shape up, lose weight, cover up your wrinkles, try to defy time by looking young forever! It’s too much. These people get bombarded with all this shit, all day, everyday. So do I, but the difference between them and me, is that I get to go to my internet and be supported in so many different ways. I get to cut through bullshit. I get to be reminded that I don’t need to lose weight, wear make-up, do yoga, be silent, wear 6-inch heels, or appeal to men in order to be beautiful. I just have to be me. And then I get to carry that belief with me everywhere I go.
So this sucks. Society sucks. Isn’t it possible to inform the public without terrifying them? To educate without dictating ideals? People, women in particular, watch shows like Dr. Oz and whoever else and no wonder we’re so insecure, so desperate to change.
I’d like to say fuck all the Dr. Ozs out there, just love yourself! But too many people don’t know how to do that; they never learned how. We all learned the opposite. We’re experts in self-loathing; having been taught to look at anyone who feels differently with skeptical, judgmental eyes that accuse the so-thought offender of narcissism, vanity, and selfishness. Why aren’t we taught self-love? Can we teach that instead of new diet secrets and how to count calories? Instead of fear-mongering? Instead of how to be terrified of our own bodies? Instead of equating unachievable beauty ideals with ideas of self-worth?
That’d be cool.
Or we could just prove how cool the internet can be when you make it work for you.
Big thanks to the bright and articulate Katie West.
I’ve had a Deviant Art account for 6 years now. Mind you, I haven’t used it for over 2 years, and used it sparingly before that, but when I first signed up, I really loved posting my horrible photoshop disasters there. (I thought they were really awesome.)
I don’t know why I hadn’t deleted my account in all those years when I wasn’t using it. Maybe for nostalgic reasons, maybe I didn’t see the point.Maybe I had no reason to.
Well, this right here? Just gave me a damn good reason to delete my Deviant Art account.
Very unnecessary of Deviant Art, but obviously intentional.
What a shame.
Watts Martin’s analysis of the migration toward “app console” hardware:
The model we’re moving toward, though, is premised on the idea that computers shouldn’t require routine tech support. Again, look back at game consoles: an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 is a fully programmable computer with networking capability, offline storage, removable media, the whole shebang, yet all of that is invisible to the user. What file system does a Playstation use and what directories does it put your downloaded games in? The correct answer is: “Who gives a shit?”
And if what you do with a computer is spreadsheets and flow charts and word processing documents and slide presentations, web browsing and media watching and game playing, even recording music and editing photographs and writing text adventures, there’s an excellent case to be made that you should not have to give a shit about any of that, either. But right now—no matter what platform you’re using—you kinda do.
Not only do I think he’s correct, but this is a great migration for the industry.
Think of how many people are so afraid of their PCs that they only do the bare minimum with them and never venture into unknown territory because they’re afraid of “breaking” their computers. How many of them recently bought iPads and have become much more confident and adventurous with usage and applications, since Apple tricked them into thinking that the iPad isn’t a computer?
A common fallacy is assuming that any new platform in an exciting market — recently, smartphones and tablet computers — will be flooded with developers as soon as it’s released, as if developers are just waiting outside the gates, hungrily waiting to storm in.
When Scotch whisky is distilled, it leaves behind two main waste products — a liquid called pot ale and draff, the remains of the grains used in the distilling method. These two waste products are being used by researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland to create a new biofuel.