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Thread: On hadron colliders, dark matter and black holes

  1. #471
      RPMiller is offline
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    So how do the discoveries tie into your work, Torstan? Does it mean that your theories have more merit and you'll get some more grant money or some such thing?
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  2. #472
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    Well, it's ruled out some of my older papers - which is a good thing! The Higgs at 126 times the mass of the proton is heavier than was expected and it's surprisingly tricky to accomodate that mass in many theories of new physics such as those that try to explain dark matter. One very straightforward thing this does for new theories is that previously we had to come up with predictions that allowed for a range of Higgs masses. Now that free parameter has become a constraint that has to be satisfied, so it narrows the freedom we have when creating new theories. Those constraints mean that we can be much more specific with predictions for new theories of physics, which hopefully will lead to new discoveries.

    This actually has relatively little influence on my current research as I'm working on cosmic rays these days rather that dark matter and particle physics, but it will certainly be a huge help (and a bit of a head scratcher) for theorists who are working on LHC predictions. Just to give you an idea, here are all the theory phenomenology papers released as pre-prints since last Wednesday's announcement: http://arxiv.org/list/hep-ph/pastweek?show=121 There are 34 with Higgs in the title. Getting a Higgs paper out within days of it being discovered is an impressive achievement, but that's just the start of this field of research. People will be studying this particle in enormous detail in the coming years, looking for any hint that it might not be a common or garden Higgs but something more exotic.

    These particles interact with almost everything. We've just discovered a particle that is omnipresent in the universe. It's field literally exists everywhere. Nothing else we know of has that property. If we break it down and understand exactly how it works, we'll have understood one of the fundamental pillars that the universe is built on. That is likely to have wide-reaching consequences that we can't begin to imagine. It's true frontier science.
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  3. #473
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    Do you think it will change the Standard Model in any great way, or does the Standard Model still handle the properties of the particle as we know it today?
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  4. #474
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    So far it's consistent with the Standard Model. But remember, right now all we have is a measurement of 2 decay processes out of tens of different decay processes and interactions. Also, the measurements are still very low on statistics. The productions are showing a little tension with the Standard Model predictions as they're over-producing. But it's not at the level that's statistically significant. If those turn out to be real differences then it's a different matter entirely and would be the first solid evidence of physics beyond the Standard Model.
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  5. #475
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    Okay, so here's a slightly related/unrelated question. How true is this?

    http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/
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  6. #476
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    Yes, I believe that it is true...

    The batter gets a free trip to 1st base

    LOL

    As for the rest, I will let someone in the field try to catch that one
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  7. #477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korash View Post
    Yes, I believe that it is true...

    The batter gets a free trip to 1st base

    LOL

    As for the rest, I will let someone in the field try to catch that one
    Repped for the laugh.
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  8. #478
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    Since the baseball has an energy of roughly 3*10^16 Joules (about 7 megatons TNT equivalent) at this speed the described level of devastation seems .. adequate.

  9. #479
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    Actually, yes. That sounds pretty accurate to me. I think the question around how much baseball is left is the biggest question, but given the baseball remains are at least as dangerous as the ball itself, it's immaterial to the level of devastation.

    cfds - good call working that out. That's a very good order of magnitude to go with.
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