Thursday, July 12, 2012
There was just one thing going through my mind, when I found this fake Kickstarter campaign, and thought it was real: "I don't care HOW much money he's raised, this guy is not getting to the moon!" It seemed outrageous! Moon Computing? Servers on the Moon? When I discovered that it was a parody website, and not the real kickstarter, all I could do was laugh at myself -- because all the signs were there.
I'm worried that a similar thing might be going on with recent developments in the Higgs Boson saga, which is plastering itself over every media outlet. It seems that the data which seems to prove the existence of the Higgs-boson particle, responsible for the development of mass in the early universe (I hate when people call it the "God Particle"), may have another explanation. The explanations currently being offered are that this is evidence of an even more exotic particle, which makes me wonder a little bit about whether less exotic explanations have all been fully explored. I certainly hope they have. I found this article from 2011, which describes the conclusion that the Higgs-boson probably doesn't exist. It sort of bothers me when scientists are certain of something that is so hard to know, so I tend to believe that the Higgs-boson DOES exist, but I worry that this will be yet another "discovery" of the particle which turns out to have been hype. Either way this goes, there was a blanket statement made with certainty, by CERN, which should never have been made.
It's great to have new developments in science. Don't get me wrong. But the fact is that there is no absolute certainty about an experiment done on Earth to simulate the Big Bang. Could it be possible that the "more exotic" explanations indicate that CERN created a particle that didn't exist in the Big Bang, but in fact has never existed before? The issue here is either decay into photons that are indicated by additional mass, or it could be that the additional mass came from a moment of creation no one understands or has predicted. The experiment simply has to be repeated, with no assumptions that the Higgs-boson was the definitive result of the first experiment. Expensive equipment sometimes makes it seem as though rigor is a luxury. I submit to you that it is not.