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A 'massive' step for mankind?


mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 1:08PM
Don't forget that the Higgs is being hunted not for itself but as a validation of the current theories. So (to vastly oversimplify) confirmation of the Higgs Boson will validate some theories and invalidate others which means the focus of research shifts. This in turn will lead to new theories which could lead to things like development of practical fusion technology to replace fission reactors.
Steve_S Plus
14 183 3 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 1:09PM
In fact, if you told 99% of people now that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you are travelling, they would say 'so what'. Thats because most people don't know the science behind any of their everyday gadgets and gizmos. Wink
Steve_S Plus
14 183 3 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 1:16PM

Quote:Don't forget that the Higgs is being hunted not for itself but as a validation of the current theories. So (to vastly oversimplify) confirmation of the Higgs Boson will validate some theories and invalidate others which means the focus of research shifts. This in turn will lead to new theories which could lead to things like development of practical fusion technology to replace fission reactors.


Quite right Mike. Back in the 60s it cost an awful lot of money to put a man on the moon. Now some would say it was a complete waste of money to put a few footprints on the moon and that it did nothing for the normal person. But what about the spin offs that came from driving those missions......miniaturisation, transistors, little computers etc etc
RichardN00 14 432 1 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 1:21PM

Quote:Is the discovery of, or the proof of the existence of, this thing, of which most of us have never heard actually going to make the slightest bit of difference to any of us?



Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said "of what use is a newborne baby?" when asked what to practical use his experiments in electricity could be put.

No knowledge is ever wasted, who knows what use may be made of this information in 10, 20 or 100 years?


Edit: too slow typing...
hollkj 15 217 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 1:26PM
Gravity -> Anti Gravity -> "back to the future" hoverboards - hurrah Grin
macroman 17 15.3k England
5 Jul 2012 2:11PM

Quote:Jester,
Is the discovery of, or the proof of the existence of, this thing, of which most of us have never heard actually going to make the slightest bit of difference to any of us?



100 or so years ago theexactly same would have been said of the discovery of the electron.

Almost all scientific discoveries have some use for mankind, but not always too the good.

Time will tell!
Jestertheclown 12 8.3k 253 England
5 Jul 2012 2:13PM

Quote:Wonder if people felt like you when they discovered the electron Grin

I dare say that they did K.
It's significance would have meant as much to me as this Boson thing does today.
I'm sure I would have been completely underwhelmed.

Quote:But without Einsteins theory being proved right by experimentation, your sat nav would never work.

Sorry but at this point you've completely lost me.
What does the proof of Einstein's theory have to do with Sat-Navs., not that I've got one. Surely any influence would exist whether it had been proven or otherwise? And how would a billionth of a second make any difference?
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 2:47PM
Apparently to be truly accurate (within 10m) with satellite navigation, you need to take into account general relativity. And without the theory being proved the mathematics would not have been validated and it would be questionable as to whether the research would have been put into it.
Having said that, without validation of relativity theory, many other things would not have been invented before we evenreached satellite navigation so the point would be moot, anyway.



Quote:And how would a billionth of a second make any difference?


Surprisingly:

Quote:The combination of these two relativitic effects means that the clocks on-board each satellite should tick faster than identical clocks on the ground by about 38 microseconds per day (45-7=38)! This sounds small, but the high-precision required of the GPS system requires nanosecond accuracy, and 38 microseconds is 38,000 nanoseconds. If these effects were not properly taken into account, a navigational fix based on the GPS constellation would be false after only 2 minutes, and errors in global positions would continue to accumulate at a rate of about 10 kilometers each day! The whole system would be utterly worthless for navigation in a very short time. This kind of accumulated error is akin to measuring my location while standing on my front porch in Columbus, Ohio one day, and then making the same measurement a week later and having my GPS receiver tell me that my porch and I are currently about 5000 meters in the air somewhere over Detroit.

http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html
cambirder 16 7.2k England
5 Jul 2012 2:58PM
I doubt whether it will have much impact on the 46% of Americans or 10% of the UK population who dispute all the evidence to the contrary think the World is just a few thousand years old.
Steve_S Plus
14 183 3 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 3:19PM

Quote: And how would a billionth of a second make any difference?


Einstein propoed a theory that stated that a clock would run faster or slower depending on the gravitational force and the speed that the clock was travelling. A couple of atomic clocks, perfectly synchronised would run at a different rate depending on say if one was in your house and the other was at the top of Mt Everest or sitting on board an aeroplane doing 500 mph. At the speed of light time would stand still and the clock would stop but at lower speeds like in the aeroplane it may only slow by a billionth of a second. Now, the GPS satellites all have atomic clocks and send out synchronised signals so that your sat nav can plot your position. But they are travelling very quickly and are high up so the clocks run slower than ones on earth.....perhaps a billionth or so of a second. If corrections were not made to the slower running clocks your sat nav would soon lose your position. I think that I read if the atomic clock errors were not corrected your position according to your sat nav would be out by around 10 km......in a day!
Jestertheclown 12 8.3k 253 England
5 Jul 2012 3:29PM
Thanks Guys. Now I know.
Carabosse 17 41.5k 270 England
5 Jul 2012 3:32PM
They'll probably use the new discovery to build a better bomb. Smile
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2012 3:56PM

Quote:They'll probably use the new discovery to build a better bomb. Smile


A Higgs Boson Bomb would have to be pretty massive Wink
Carabosse 17 41.5k 270 England
5 Jul 2012 4:23PM
Can't help feeling there's an armaments angle. Spending all those billions on pure research? One of those "yeah, right" things methinks. Wink

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