Matryoshka World

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality

The Chronicle Review interviews Ken Hayworth  a neuroscientist who believes that "By 2110, mind uploading—the transfer of a biological brain to a silicon-based operating system—will be as common as laser eye surgery is today."

Monday, July 23, 2012

How big is the universe?

This excellent blog post by Ethen Siegal explains how the latest findings from the WMAP satellite indicate the radius of the universe is at least 150 times larger than the observable universe.  So, at a minimum the universe is vastly larger than what we can actually observe.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brian Greene offers explanation on the Higgs field and mass

The following post by Brian Greene offers additional (and very interesting) insight into the Higgs field and how fundamental particles derive mass.  In short most of the mass that exists in everyday objects made up of atoms does not come from the Higgs field, but instead results from the nuclear forces inside of the atoms ("gluons").  Because energy and mass are interchangeable this energy imparts the vast majority of the mass to the particles that make up atoms.

Hi Everyone,

Following up on my somewhat cryptic statement on twitter (@bgreene), I want to briefly explain a point about the Higgs idea that, on a few occasions, I’ve seen incorrectly reported.

The Higgs field provides mass to fundamental particles like electrons and quarks, and that’s extremely important. But when it comes to the mass of ordinary matter such as you and me and trucks and baseballs, most of the mass does not arise from the Higgs field.

Ordinary matter is made from atoms, whose mass mainly comes from protons and neutrons—which, in turn, are each made from three quarks. But if you add up the masses of the quarks (whose mass comes from the Higgs) the total is only a few percent of the mass of a proton or neutron. So where does the bulk of the mass of protons and neutrons come from?

The answer comes from Einstein’s famous E = mc^2, written in the equivalent but more illuminating form m = E/c^2, where it establishes that energy (E) yields mass (m). The quarks inside a proton are held together by a kind of nuclear glue (“gluons”), and that glue that harbors significant energy. Indeed, most of the mass of protons (and neutrons) comes from that energy.

So, while the Higgs gives mass to the quarks and other fundamental particles, it’s the energy of the gluons that is responsible for most of the mass of the protons and neutrons, and hence the mass of familiar matter.

--Brian Greene

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scientists Discover New Particle- Likely Higgs

Higgs discovery

CERN has announced latest findings on the search for the Higgs boson. Experiments confirm a 5 sigma excess, sufficient to qualify as a "discovery" of the new particle.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More on the Higgs Boson

Below is an extended description of the Higgs Boson (and field) by Dr. Ed Copeland of the University of Nothingham and Sixty Symbols. The interviews also include discussion of who will receive a Nobel Prize if the Higgs is discovered:


Brian Greene on the Higgs at the Aspen Ideas Festival last week

In this clip from NOVA’s The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene, Peter Higgs himself explains the origins of the hypothetical elementary particle that could help explain how matter was created:

Watch The Higgs Particle Matters on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Evidence mounts that CERN has discovered the Higgs

Science News reports that a video briefly available today on the CERN website appeared to confirm that the European physics lab has discovered a new particle — most likely the long-sought Higgs boson.

 "We've Observed a New Particle" 

CERN has scheduled a major announcement for tomorrow, and anticipation has been building that this announcement will reveal either the discovery of the Higgs Boson, or evidence strongly pointing to the Higgs. 

Joe Incandela, spokesman for the CMS experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, says in the video "It may in the end be one of the biggest discoveries, or observations, of any new phenomenon that we've had in our field in the last 30 or 40 years."

 Per Wikipedia: "The Higgs field is a quantum field that fills all of space, and explains why fundamental particles (or elementary particles) such as quarks and electrons have mass. The Higgs boson is an excitation of the Higgs field above its ground state. The existence of the Higgs boson is predicted by the Standard Model to explain how spontaneous breaking of electroweak symmetry (the Higgs mechanism) takes place in nature, which in turn explains why other elementary particles have mass."  

Higgs Boson

What is the Higgs Boson?