JREF Homepage Swift Blog Events Calendar $1 Million Paranormal Challenge The Amaz!ng Meeting Useful Links Support Us
James Randi Educational Foundation JREF Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
Click Here To Donate

Notices


Welcome to the JREF Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.

Tags cern , higgs boson , physics

Reply
Old 4th July 2012, 03:36 AM   #81
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 33,674
Originally Posted by Tubbythin View Post
You are getting confused between conservatism and speculation.
Well said, Tubbythin.
__________________
Are you an ex-Truther? Please share your story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Australasian Skeptics Forum.
Orphia Nay is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 03:49 AM   #82
lionking
In the Peanut Gallery
 
lionking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 33,680
Apropos to nothing, my kids always mock my pronunciation of almost everything (sometimes correctly). Anyway my youngest son, who actually knew what I was talking about, took issue with my pronunciation of "boson". Until a physicist came on the news and said it the same way.

Yes, a rather pathetic win.
__________________
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Sir Winston Churchill
lionking is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 06:06 AM   #83
Jorghnassen
Illuminator
 
Jorghnassen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The realm of ideas
Posts: 3,935
Call me when they find the "mother of god" particle, the Higgs bosom which gives all existence a meaning, not mere mass.
__________________
"Help control the local pet population: teach your dog abstinence." -Stephen Colbert
"My dad believed laughter is the best medicine. Which is why several of us died of tuberculosis."- Unknown source, heard from Grey Delisle on Rob Paulsen's podcast
Jorghnassen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 06:40 AM   #84
Dumb All Over
A Little Ugly on the Side
 
Dumb All Over's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: They call it the Earth (which is a dumb kinda name)
Posts: 3,871
Originally Posted by quarky View Post
Hence, dog.
Maybe the Higgs boson is simply a small, regurgitated piece of corndog and George Simpson is ruler of the Universe.

__________________
The Three Word Story Pledge of Allegiance-- "I Hereby swear upon Engelbert's grave that I will gallop, not stride run, not walk posting three words on Shemp's honor, honoring: bananas, dwarfs, clarinets, [the 7th naughty word], haggis, Batman, nuns, wombats until such time as I'm sober. Or dead."
"Some people have a way with words, other people...Um...Oh...Uh, not have way." --Steve Martin
Dumb All Over is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 06:40 AM   #85
alexi_drago
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 802
Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
Wouldn't it be ironic that in the year of the Earth ending (thanks Mayans!), we discover how the universe works?
Game Over

Congratulations you have completed the universe

Score 13987665433

Trophies 35%

New costume unlocked - Grey Alien

Start new game?
__________________
Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride. Remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Delta.
alexi_drago is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 06:42 AM   #86
Deneb
Scholar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 84
Coming soon: The Higgs Master-Cleanse Diet

Shed precious pounds by getting rid of those nasty mass-causing fundamental particles, which are associated with every known disease, by wearing our bracelets and pendants containing quantum matrices infused with all-natural cosmic radiation from the Big Bang!


My apologies if this post inspires an actual woo product...
__________________
Knowledge is gained through effort,
Wisdom is bred through suffering,
Sanity is sustained by love.
Deneb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 07:47 AM   #87
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by ben m View Post
CMS results:

The two high-resolution, actually-see-a-peak searches (Higgs decaying to two photons, and Higgs decaying to two Z-bosons, both decaying to ee or mu mu) combine for a 5+ sigma discovery. Clear as a bell, you can see the Higgs peaks with the naked eye. In the ZZ channel that means what looked like (eyeballing my memory of the viewgraph) 7-8 Higgs-like events on top of a nearly zero background.

Several the other channels, of the sort that see broad mass-insensitive excesses, have slightly lower-than-expected counts, which pulls the all-combined discovery number to 4.9 sigma.

The ATLAS talk is ongoing ...
Excellent!

I'm off to check out the entire presentation now.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 07:47 AM   #88
Olowkow
Philosopher
 
Olowkow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,853
Surely the "god particle" must consist of three parts. {groan}
__________________
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven. --Shakespeare
Olowkow is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 07:48 AM   #89
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
CERN live webcast - the source of the announcement - on now.

http://webcast.web.cern.ch/webcast/play_higgs.html
Btw, for anyone who missed the live webcast, the recording is here: https://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1459604
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 07:49 AM   #90
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
Surely the "god particle" must consist of three parts. {groan}
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 07:51 AM   #91
Ferguson
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 897
Originally Posted by Maartenn100 View Post
If a pseudoscientist would mention 'it could be this' or 'it could be that', the critical thinker would answer: 'it could be this or that' is no science at all.
Except you have it exactly backwards.
The pseudoscientist usually says "The answer is this! Even though I have no evidence and no math."
The scientist says "Here's the evidence and math supporting this, but one can never be certain, it could be always something else."
Ferguson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 08:03 AM   #92
Senex
Illuminator
 
Senex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 4,025
Nothing in my groundbreaking paper has been contradicted by these European rascals latest testing.
__________________
I am the one who knocks!

Walter White
Senex is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 08:46 AM   #93
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Btw, does anyone know when we could expect to see the official, scientific journal article on this discovery published? I would very much like to read that article.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 08:58 AM   #94
Ocelot
Illuminator
 
Ocelot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 3,179
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
Btw, does anyone know when we could expect to see the official, scientific journal article on this discovery published? I would very much like to read that article.
There will be more than one.
__________________
EDL = English Disco Lovers
Ocelot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 09:08 AM   #95
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 35,519
Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
There will be more than one.
But...but..I clearly remember somebody saying "There can be only one!!"
__________________
There is no problem so great that it cannot be fixed by small explosives carefully placed.

Wash this space!

We fight for the Lady Babylon!!!
fuelair is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 09:19 AM   #96
Zelenius
Muse
 
Zelenius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: East coast, U.S
Posts: 868
If you think this "God particle" nonsense is annoying now(not that I don't think this is a great discovery, I just don't like how this "God" label got attached to it), wait till the movie version of the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the CERN atom-smasher comes out. The film-makers will definitely play up the whole "God" angle. They may even twist it around into something like the "Da Vinci Code" and have Tom Hanks staring in it.

I'm pretty sure it won't even be worth seeing. Still, I definitely love reading about this discovery and its implications on physics and all science.

Last edited by Zelenius; 4th July 2012 at 09:22 AM.
Zelenius is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 09:22 AM   #97
Bram Kaandorp
Master Poster
 
Bram Kaandorp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2,319
Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
But...but..I clearly remember somebody saying "There can be only one!!"
I abstained from making the joke. I even typed it, but didn't post.

I regret it every second.
__________________
If autism is a "living death", does that make me a zombie? If so, that'd be great. Just don't get your brain in my general vicinity.
Bram Kaandorp is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 09:39 AM   #98
OnlyTellsTruths
 
OnlyTellsTruths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7,728
My thread from 2 weeks ago is totally jealous of this thread.

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=238230
__________________
________________________
OnlyTellsTruths is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:08 AM   #99
Wowbagger
The Infinitely Prolonged
 
Wowbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Westchester County, NY (when not in space)
Posts: 14,660
But, why would God need to be made out of particles?!

Why does no one explain that?!
__________________
WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be.

SkeptiCamp NYC: http://www.skepticampnyc.org/
An open conference on science and skepticism, where you could be a presenter!

By the way, my first name is NOT Bowerick!!!!
Wowbagger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:15 AM   #100
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,749
Sorry, lay person question here: Is the collision creating the boson or revealing the boson?
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:29 AM   #101
Skeptic Ginger
formerly skeptigirl
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shifting through paradigms
Posts: 44,749
And second lay person question: Given all these particles and the amount of mass/space that they actually have/take up respectively, and say whatever is in between them is empty space (or space fabric if that's better), what would be the approximate % of 'stuff' vs empty expanding space? I'm trying to get a better handle on the singularity thing here.
__________________
(*Tired of continuing to hear the "Democrat Party" repeatedly I've decided to adopt the name, Pubbie Party, Repubs "Republics" and Republic Party in response.)
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:30 AM   #102
JihadJane
Penultimate Satisfaction
 
JihadJane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 47,145
The Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest says: "We don't allow Higgs Bosons in here."

The Higgs Boson says: "But without me how can you have mass?"
JihadJane is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:31 AM   #103
Jodie
Master Poster
 
Jodie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,555
Well I for one was blown away by the news although they said it was a bit premature and would have liked to have a had a couple of more weeks to prepare. Evidently CNN was not impressed. I turned on the news at noon to see what folks were saying and all they were talking about was some fungus in the Himalaya's that acts like viagra. They didn't even mention it.

So what I gathered is the discovery of a new boson is profound in and of itself because it gives substance to everything else but further research needs to be done to see how it fits the model that predicted it's existence? Right?

Well call it what you will, god, the "OM", or the universal french seam holding everything together, it is what it is.

What implications does this have for further research? What direction will they go in now?
__________________
testis unus, testis nullus
quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
Jodie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:32 AM   #104
Bram Kaandorp
Master Poster
 
Bram Kaandorp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2,319
Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
The Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest says: "We don't allow Higgs Bosons in here."

The Higgs Boson says: "But without me how can you have mass?"
*Cringing laugh*
__________________
If autism is a "living death", does that make me a zombie? If so, that'd be great. Just don't get your brain in my general vicinity.
Bram Kaandorp is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 10:36 AM   #105
ben m
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,844
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Sorry, lay person question here: Is the collision creating the boson or revealing the boson?
It's reasonably safe to say "creating".

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
And second lay person question: Given all these particles and the amount of mass/space that they actually have/take up respectively, and say whatever is in between them is empty space (or space fabric if that's better), what would be the approximate % of 'stuff' vs empty expanding space? I'm trying to get a better handle on the singularity thing here.
There's no reasonable sense in which bosons "have size" or "take up space". It's like looking at a radio antenna and asking whether there's space between the radio waves.
ben m is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:00 AM   #106
edd
Master Poster
 
edd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,116
Originally Posted by ben m View Post
There's no reasonable sense in which bosons "have size" or "take up space". It's like looking at a radio antenna and asking whether there's space between the radio waves.
Nitpick - mesons.
__________________
When I look up at the night sky and think about the billions of stars out there, I think to myself: I'm amazing. - Peter Serafinowicz
edd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:02 AM   #107
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details...
Posts: 37,056
What's this sigma business ?
__________________
"'Ought' statements are merely 'is' statements that beg the question." - PixyMisa
Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:15 AM   #108
Almo
Masterblazer
 
Almo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 6,599
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What's this sigma business ?
Standard deviation. It measures how confident they are that the result isn't just a random event.

CNN was interviewing a scientist today about it. The chick asked him, "Why should I care about this?" I think she meant it as a genuine question hoping he would tell her how it would impact her life. But since it's not that kind of discovery, he had a tough time answering. It came out something like "If you want to know a little more about how the Universe came to be, then you should care."
__________________
Almo!
My Blog
"No society ever collapsed because the poor had too much." — LeftySergeant
"It may be that there is no body really at rest, to which the places and motions of others may be referred." –Issac Newton in the Principia
Almo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:19 AM   #109
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 37,868
Originally Posted by JihadJane View Post
The Higgs Boson walks into a church. The priest says: "We don't allow Higgs Bosons in here."

The Higgs Boson says: "But without me how can you have mass?"

Is that original?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:29 AM   #110
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What's this sigma business ?
As someone said, sigma is synonymous with standard deviation. In this context, a signal generated by a particle passing through one of the LHC detectors isn't usually considered even to be an "observation" unless it hits the three sigma mark (i.e. three standard deviations off from the background). Specifically, a signal of three sigma would have about a 0.3% chance of being a fluke signal.

However, given the number of collisions that take place and other factors, the bar is set ever higher for a signal to be considered a genuine "discovery"; that bar is set at 5 sigma, or 5 standard deviations. That would mean that if you had a 5 sigma signal, such as the ones associated with this latest announcement, then the chances of it being a fluke are about 1 in 1,744,278.

Bottom line: the higher the sigma value of your signal, the more rare and (if repeatable) the more likely it is to be the real McCoy.

ETA: I goofed my explanation a bit. See edd's correction below.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher

Last edited by MattusMaximus; 4th July 2012 at 11:40 AM.
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:36 AM   #111
edd
Master Poster
 
edd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,116
I keep banging on about it, but I do so because I think this is important. It does not tell you the chance that it's a fluke. It tells you the chance that if the effect didn't exist (in this case if the Higgs did not exist) you would get such a fluke. The two are not the same thing.

To get that value you have to assume it's a fluke so it clearly can't tell you the probability that it's a fluke - although it is useful information in determining that.
__________________
When I look up at the night sky and think about the billions of stars out there, I think to myself: I'm amazing. - Peter Serafinowicz
edd is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:38 AM   #112
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by Jodie View Post
Well I for one was blown away by the news although they said it was a bit premature and would have liked to have a had a couple of more weeks to prepare. Evidently CNN was not impressed. I turned on the news at noon to see what folks were saying and all they were talking about was some fungus in the Himalaya's that acts like viagra. They didn't even mention it.

So what I gathered is the discovery of a new boson is profound in and of itself because it gives substance to everything else but further research needs to be done to see how it fits the model that predicted it's existence? Right?
Jodie, check out this link for a quick idea of what the Higgs field and Higgs boson are all about: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/vi...gs-boson-video

Quote:
Well call it what you will, god, the "OM", or the universal french seam holding everything together, it is what it is.
Yes, one has to wonder what the next thing in physics will be that will attract the "god" label.

Quote:
What implications does this have for further research? What direction will they go in now?
Well, that's one of the things they need to figure out, after all the t's are crossed and i's dotted regarding this current work. Personally, I have thought of a number of things already:

1. Why is it that photons do not interact with the Higgs field? That is, what is the mechanism which causes other particles to interact with the Higgs, thus creating mass, whereas photons lack this mechanism?

2. How does gravity fit into the Higgs? If the Higgs is responsible for giving particles mass, and gravitational forces act upon mass, is there some kind of tie in or connection between the Higgs field and gravity fields? (I'm particularly interested in this one)

3. What about dark energy? The Higgs field apparently penetrates all of the universe, because we observe all particles in the universe, no matter their location, to have mass (say, via gravitational interaction). And apparently dark energy, whatever it is, also permeates all of the universe; is there a connection between the two?

4. Can the discovery of the Higgs help in the search for dark matter particles? Since we know dark matter interacts gravitationally, then it must have mass, and if it must have mass there should be some kind of relationship to the Higgs field.

I'm pretty certain there are plenty of other questions, too. Those are just the ones off the top of my head.
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:39 AM   #113
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by edd View Post
I keep banging on about it, but I do so because I think this is important. It does not tell you the chance that it's a fluke. It tells you the chance that if the effect didn't exist (in this case if the Higgs did not exist) you would get such a fluke. The two are not the same thing.

To get that value you have to assume it's a fluke so it clearly can't tell you the probability that it's a fluke - although it is useful information in determining that.
Ah yes, my mistake. Thank you for the clarification, edd
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:43 AM   #114
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Btw, I have watched the press conference from CERN, but it was preceded by a more technical seminar, apparently. Does anyone know where I can access a recording of that seminar?
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 11:44 AM   #115
Almo
Masterblazer
 
Almo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 6,599
Originally Posted by edd View Post
I keep banging on about it, but I do so because I think this is important. It does not tell you the chance that it's a fluke. It tells you the chance that if the effect didn't exist (in this case if the Higgs did not exist) you would get such a fluke. The two are not the same thing.

To get that value you have to assume it's a fluke so it clearly can't tell you the probability that it's a fluke - although it is useful information in determining that.
Great explanation. Thanks!
__________________
Almo!
My Blog
"No society ever collapsed because the poor had too much." — LeftySergeant
"It may be that there is no body really at rest, to which the places and motions of others may be referred." –Issac Newton in the Principia
Almo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 12:04 PM   #116
Tubbythin
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,206
Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
However, given the number of collisions that take place and other factors, the bar is set ever higher for a signal to be considered a genuine "discovery"; that bar is set at 5 sigma, or 5 standard deviations. That would mean that if you had a 5 sigma signal, such as the ones associated with this latest announcement, then the chances of it being a fluke are about 1 in 1,744,278.
I'm not sure about this bit either. Surely the size and nature of the background goes in to determining the standard deviation.
I've always thought the bar is set at 5 sigma because they don't want to be shown to be wrong at a later date.

Incidentally its worth noting that experimenters at LEP saw an indication of a signal for the Higgs at 115 GeV but not at the anything like the 5 sigma level (anyone know exactly what it was?). And then LEP was turned off to make way for the LHC. Subsequently that seems to have turned out to be a statistical anomaly. So this stringent 5 sigma requirement has proved, err, significant.
Tubbythin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 12:05 PM   #117
MattusMaximus
Intellectual Gladiator
 
MattusMaximus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: In the midst of a vast, beautiful & uncaring universe
Posts: 15,916
Originally Posted by edd View Post
I keep banging on about it, but I do so because I think this is important. It does not tell you the chance that it's a fluke. It tells you the chance that if the effect didn't exist (in this case if the Higgs did not exist) you would get such a fluke. The two are not the same thing.

To get that value you have to assume it's a fluke so it clearly can't tell you the probability that it's a fluke - although it is useful information in determining that.
In my digging around the CERN website looking at the slides of the technical presentation, I found this one which seems to be displaying exactly the point that edd was making above...



Caption:
Quote:
The probability of background to produce a signal-like excess, for all the Higgs boson masses tested. At almost all masses, the probability (solid curve) is at least a few percent; however, at 126.5 GeV it dips to 3x10-7, or one chance in three million, the '5-sigma' gold-standard normally used for the discovery of a new particle. A Standard Model Higgs boson with that mass would produce a dip to 4.6 sigma.
Edd, or anyone else, am I interpreting that graph correctly given the context of our conversation?
__________________
Visit my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
MattusMaximus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 12:06 PM   #118
bpesta22
Cereal Killer
 
bpesta22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 4,728
Originally Posted by Olowkow View Post
Surely the "god particle" must consist of three parts. {groan}
The father, the boson, and the holy spirit.

The boson of god has a nice ring to it.
__________________
Manifest thy bosoms or decamp.
bpesta22 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 12:07 PM   #119
Jodie
Master Poster
 
Jodie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,555
Thanks Maximus!!
__________________
testis unus, testis nullus
quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur
Jodie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th July 2012, 12:17 PM   #120
oglommi
Scholar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 98
When we see how fast alternative medicine will incorporate this new discovery maybe it's time to reevaluate our skepticism?

Just a thought.
__________________
-------------------------------

His ignorance is encyclopedic.

-- Abba Eban
oglommi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

JREF Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:19 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2001-2013, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.