The Higgs Particle Is as Good as Found
If the statistics being produced by the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland are to be believed, there is a 99.996 percent chance that the elusive Higgs boson has been found.
What's the Latest Development?
New data analysis out of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland has increased the likelihood that scientists have found the elusive Higgs boson, that most fundamental of particles which is thought to endow matter with mass. Sensors at the LHC have observed a Higgs decay, increasing the Higgs signal from 2.5 sigma to 3.1 sigma. Combining these results with earlier analysis from the LHC's ATLAS lab, the Higgs signal increases to 4.3 sigma. In other words, the signal has a 99.996 percent chance of being correct.
What's the Big Idea?
The greater surprise would be not finding the Higgs particle, say physicists who work at the LHC. The existence of the Higgs is predicted by the Standard Model, the best and most encompassing theory scientists have as to how the universe works. Were the Higgs particle not to be found, physicists would need to find a new explanation for why matter has mass. For now, the LHC is shut down for the winter. Scientists are currently meeting to determine at what power levels the collider will run at when it begins to run again in the spring.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
They didn't know it, but the rituals of Iron Age Scandinavians turned their iron into steel.
- Iron Age Scandinavians only had access to poor quality iron, which put them at a tactical disadvantage against their neighbors.
- To strengthen their swords, smiths used the bones of their dead ancestors and animals, hoping to transfer the spirit into their blades.
- They couldn't have known that in so doing, they actually were forging a rudimentary form of steel.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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