Monday, April 11, 2011

High energy particle physicist - lucky bastards.

Lots of interesting things popped up in my rss feeds today, so a veritable onslaught of things to write about/blog posts to follow. Which probably means about 3.

Everybody has heard of the LHC. Fewer, and I hope most, will also have heard of the tevatron. The tevatron is the LHC's older and smaller sibling. They've been looking for the Higgs boson for a while now, though they haven't found it. As I understand it (high energy particle physics isn't really my forte), because the tevatron is smaller and thus operates at significantly lower energies, each collision is less likely to produce a Higgs boson and thus, significantly longer for a statistically significant number of them to accumulate.

Anyway. They still haven't found the Higgs boson. They have found something they didn't expect. It's a provisional result, as yet unpublished and in the process of peer review. I am rather looking forward to publication if it passes review,  it'll be a fox in the chicken house for the physicists. Lucky bastards - having something they didn't expect to figure out and new theories/models to generate. With the tevatron going (though sadly not for much longer) and the LHC just ramping up, they are going to be drowning in data - and hopefully new discoveries for some time to come.

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