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CERN again.

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dddd

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It would be amazing if it turns out they're right!
 

Jonzjob

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Just as well it ain't run by the U.K. rail, who the hell they are now, or it could be measured being there even if it were 1/2 hour late?

"Jim Al-Khalili, of the University of Surrey’s physics department, who has offered to eat his boxer shorts on live television if neutrinos really can travel faster than light, said: ‘I am not yet ready to get out my knife and fork."

I used to look after some of the IBM mainframe kit at SRC Daresbury and had the wonderful chance to have a wander in the Nina Ring they had there which was a particle accelerator in a ring of a 1/4 mile radius and looking at the photo at the bottom of that link looked like a cleaner version. The work they did they did there was beyond my reckoning but the guys were fascinating to talk to, but the work they were doing was just not in this league.

I remember that the magnets that guided the tiny tube that made up the 'ring' were about 8 foot tall and square and gawd knows how long spaced every few feet. You had to pick up a tag when you went in and the ring could not be fired until all of the rtags were back on their pegs. Anyone in there when it was fired would have been dead from the radiation within about 15 seconds.

It must have been a baby in comparison to this one?
 

dddd

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Yes i was wondering if old Jim Al-Khalili is starting to sweat a bit. if they are proved to be right thought it'll keep physicists in work for decades to come.
 

Digit

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Who cares! I just want to see Jim eat his shorts, his fame will be assured! :lol:

Roy.
 

Evergreen

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I've just finished reading Jim Al-Khalili's book "Quantum - A Guide for the Perplexed". I'm now going to have to read the first bit again because I might understand it better. Fascinating but oh so difficult to get your head round. But of course, it helps you understand what might be going on with the Hadron large collider. Well, a bit anyway.
 

wobblycogs

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And today the BBC run an article saying the exact opposite: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15830844. It's going to be a year or two at least before we have enough evidence to say either way with any certainty but I'd bet most scientists money (and mine) would be on a false result.

What's with this obsession some news sources have with knocking Einsteins theories though? No one said that they were the be all and end all of science they are just some clever mathematics that describe (most of) what we observe in the universe. We should be celebrating that we might have found something new and interesting.
 

JakeS

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wobblycogs":3640twce said:
What's with this obsession some news sources have with knocking Einsteins theories though? No one said that they were the be all and end all of science they are just some clever mathematics that describe (most of) what we observe in the universe. We should be celebrating that we might have found something new and interesting.
I think it's largely because of the fact that the majority of people don't understand how science works. In my experience most people see the things they learned in school science lessons as absolute laws, and think that "the scientific method" has more to do with wearing a white lab coat and safety specs than about systematically questioning everything. A good scientist will agree that every so-called 'law' they have is just the best approximation of the truth we've found so far, and just waiting to be proven wrong; tell that to a layperson and you get stuff like the intelligent design movement claiming evolution shouldn't be taught because it's called the "theory" of evolution rather than "the explanation best supported by a large quantity of empirical evidence" of evolution.

Newton's theories of gravity and other mechanics are still taught in schools today, and it all still works for the majority of practical and engineering uses, despite the fact that it's all been subsequently 'proven wrong'. The same will happen when Einstein's work is further shown to (shock!) not be a complete description of reality, but the press and the general public will be expecting headlines like "Einstein proven wrong: physics turns on its head; giant wormhole spontaneously opens in Trafalgar square, sends half of London to parallel universe; pi redefined to six and a half".

</pet rant>

That, and everyone likes a bit of schadenfreude, as evidenced by the rise of reality TV. :/






The only absolute truths are in pure mathematics, and we made that up ourselves!
 

Digit

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What's with this obsession some news sources have with knocking Einsteins theories though? No one said that they were the be all and end all of science they are just some clever mathematics that describe (most of) what we observe in the universe. We should be celebrating that we might have found something new and interesting.
Absolutely! Can you imagine what it would be like if we knew all the answers, all the mystery had gone?

Roy.
 

wobblycogs

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Aaaahhh, good to see science is still understood by a few of us :-D

You raise an interesting philosophical point there though Roy, can we ever know everything about how the universe works? I suspect the answer is no. To understand matter at a more fundamental level you need to go to higher and higher energies with atom smashers*. If the fundamental building blocks of the universe are down at the Plank length we'll never be able to see them as the energies are too high. In fact I can't see us building another particle accelerator for a long time as I read that Cern is at the limit of what a toroidal particle accelerator can achieve (for it's diameter).

* what did the atoms ever do to physicists to deserve such treatment!
 

Digit

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Yep! In my time I've seen statements time and again that, 'we are close to understanding.....,' only to find out that we aren't.
Knowing everything would make for a very dull world!

Roy.
 

RogerS

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JakeS":mmwi8q4y said:
......In my experience most people see the things they learned in school science lessons as absolute laws,.....

Or even worse. Some schools teach that the earth is only 6000 years old.
 
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