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The greatest discovery in physics for the past two years

  1. Dec 14, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone
    What do you think is the greatest discovery in physics in the last two years?
    I think Higgs boson is the greatest one, isn't it?
    It was discovered by peter Higgs and François Englert and they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2015 #2

    BvU

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    Bit too early to say, but the odds are good.

    By the way, Higgs&co predicted this boson -- long time ago. Not the same as discovering it.
     
  4. Dec 14, 2015 #3

    phinds

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    For me it was the discovery of this site :smile:
     
  5. Dec 14, 2015 #4

    BvU

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    Cheat ! phinds
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
     
  6. Dec 14, 2015 #5
    Yeah, personally I think the "discovery" of the Higgs boson was anticlimactic. Even though I support he LHC efforts and am enthused to see what comes next, I saw the whole tear-jerking episode of the confirmation of the discovery of the Higgs boson boring, in fact, pathetic. The finding of the Higgs boson was a self-fulfilling prophesy dating back to the 60's and to this date I can't see where the several billions of dollars invested in the program is going to pay off for the local consumer, such as myself. They played it up hype real well, but I don't anyone in the physics community really doubted that this particle that decays in less than a nanosecond would be found. As far as I'm concerned, we've been scammed as consumers on this endeavor, that is, unless the LHC discovers supersymmetry particles, in which case I'll recant my criticism.


    I want the the discovery of the Higgs boson to reduce the price of my top ramen at the local store from 25 cents to 20 cents, is that too much to ask?
     
  7. Dec 14, 2015 #6

    phinds

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    A little white lie to compliment the site :smile:
     
  8. Dec 14, 2015 #7
    Yes you're right but the nobel prize was two years ago awarded.
    What is your opinion of the greatest discovery in this 2 years because 2014 there are many new great discoveries according to this HomePage
    http://www.businessinsider.com/top-11-physics-discoveries-of-2014-2015-1?op=1
     
  9. Dec 14, 2015 #8

    phinds

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  10. Dec 15, 2015 #9

    BvU

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    I understand the 'anticlimactic'. Unfortunately further 'discoveries' of this type require bigger and bigger investments, so it will be ever more difficult to satisfy genuine curiosity. Instead, huge resources have to be allocated for 'programmed' discoveries and all we can do is hope something unexpected pops up as well.

    I don't understand the consumerism. In later times the twentieth century will be the one of two world wars plus the emergence of the standard model. Early 21st brought the completion forward with the (expected) discovery of the Higgs. So far -- hence my "bit twirly" in reply to Pual.

    As you say, it's personal. I, for one, have no great hope for SUSY and strings to guide us toward the next programmed discovery, but I will be very happy to be proven utterly wrong. And I have high hopes for humanity if they can unite and mobilize forces for this kind of progress instead of countries funding yet another aircaft carrier of their own, purely out of self-interest.

    --
     
  11. Dec 15, 2015 #10
    Actually i read the article but supposed that technological advance is a kind of discovery since they must have discovered something to improve their technology. Maybe im wrong but this is my opinion.
    Anyway Im sure the Higgs boson will give some great application because it decays to fermions and fermions are the particles which make up matter.
     
  12. Dec 15, 2015 #11

    BvU

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    Beg to differ. Pure science, this is. Improving our understanding of the universe we live in.

    It's not as if we can build a 'Higgs factory' and then enjoy some kind of benefit.
     
  13. Dec 15, 2015 #12

    phinds

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    I disagree, but would simply suggest that you be more careful in how you use standard terminology. The implication of your original use of "discovery" suggests more than just technological advances. Sure, there were undoubtedly "discoveries" made in technological processes to bring about the improvements but that's not really what people on this forum are likely to mean by the word discovery.
     
  14. Dec 15, 2015 #13

    mheslep

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    How do you make that distinction? The definition is not restricted to high energy physics. Seems to me the determination of any method, process, or phenomenon which was previously unknown qualifies. What's left is the significance of the of discovery.
     
  15. Dec 15, 2015 #14

    mheslep

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    Not this people.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2015 #15

    phinds

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    Sure, but the original question seemed strongly to imply "significant discovery", which is my point.
     
  17. Dec 16, 2015 #16
    what's the hard evidence that Higgs Boson actually exists?

    when I saw the announcement online, it makes me think that they thought they discovered the particle, and the people present didn't appear to be very sure and enthusiastic about it.
     
  18. Dec 16, 2015 #17
    It's 5 sigma baby :oldtongue:
     
  19. Dec 16, 2015 #18
    Astrophysics rather than than broader field, but anyway ...
    The 'Curiosity' Mars explorer achieved one of it's major objectives more or less straight away.
    Clear evidence of running water in Mars' past, and water that life could comfortably survive in.
    It was partly luck that the landing site was so close to the discovered stream bed, it could easily have been several km away and maybe not found at all.
    but still, I thought that was impressive nevertheless.
     
  20. Dec 16, 2015 #19
    I remember how they hyped up the curiosity rover, what do they call it, the Mars science laboratory or something like that? So it landed safely and has been "roving" for close to a year now? However, I don't see it making any big headlines, and that's what the hope for it was, right? It had all these fancy new experimental apparati and stuff? It was the size of an SUV, like that was supposed to impress us? What's the new science we've learned from it?

    BTW, I thought the major evidence for running water on Mars was discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter , not Curiosity.
     
  21. Dec 16, 2015 #20
    'Mars Science Laboratory' always was the official name of the mission, it's more comfy name 'Curiosity' resulted from the winning entry of a NASA public outreach effort.
    The near certain discovery of an ancient streambed did end speculation over the subject of liquid water on the surface of Mars in the past, and that was actually one of the primary objectives.
    At present liquid water is not possible on Mars, there is a fair bit of ice at the poles, possibly underground elsewhere + traces of vapour in the atmosphere, but liquid water cannot exist since the atmosphere (today) is too thin.
    The other primary objectives require the rover to get to the base of mount sharp from where it is then planned to ascend as far as possible.
    The mountain has distinct layering and examination of the layers could reveal a lot more about the geological history of the planet.
     
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