Internet billionaire Yuri Milner has started a 27 million dollar prize for theoretical physics. He pretty much just called up 9 physicists and said “Hey, I’m giving you 3 million for being smart.” Of course non-winners are complaining because they are babies, but it’s his money and he can do what he wants. So stuff it, “Peter Woit, a mathematician at Columbia University in New York.”
“The intention was to say that science is as important as shares trading on Wall Street,” Milner toldNature. The money comes with no strings attached, but he hopes that the prize will raise public recognition of theoretical physics and that the award recipients will deliver public lectures that will become as popular as Richard Feynman’s famous lectures on physics.
If someone who got rich from social media wants hard science to become more popular, can we please just support him?
It’s a theory that tries to reconcile relativity with quantum physics. Duh, everyone knows that. Just kidding, no one knows that except for math nerds and writers of Science Fiction. Steig Larsson strikes me as someone who would know that, but he’s dead. Luckily there is a cheat sheet for string theory.
There are other theories, but string theory is extra neat as it contains the idea of parallel universes. I think that’s cool, but also dangerous as I figure one of those parallel universes has figured out how to slide and there’s a chance parallel Nic will come and kill me. I sure as shit would, because you never know which Nic is the evil parallel Nic, so to be safe you should just slide forever from universe to universe killing your parallel selves out of self-preservation. Forever.
My confused, precarious grasp of physics theories left me with a niggling question after the Higgs boson was discovered. Does this mean sting theory is completely invalid?
Turns out it doesn’t. In fact, stupid, string theory is an underlying theory for the standard model of physics. So the Higgs boson is even predicted by string theory.
Yes, it’s that XKCD post from the new what-if blog. It’s brilliant and insane, so I’m going to add to the one-trillion links around the internet to it. There’s a second one now about the odds of everyone just guessing on the SATs which is also quite funny, but I like baseball so there you go. Fun Fact: Drawing XKCD is that guy’s job.
Born to Run is actually about Batman!
In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway american dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
SEE? He’s running from his demons! Crime-fighting is Batman’s running!
With everyone in the world so excited and flipping out over this amazing discovery, you’ll probably get sick of hearing the words “Higgs Boson” before the day is out. But in the meat time, the BBC has a good breakdown of Higgs Boson basics.
After all, the Standard Model explains matter as we know it, but there is much reason to believe that matter only makes up 4% of the observable Universe. The rest - dark matter and dark energy - may prove even harder to pin down. It is as if we are near to completing one side of a Rubik’s cube and being reminded the other five are all a jumble.
One step closer to discovering the Higgs-Boson particle.
In the rigorous world of high-energy physics, researchers wait to see a 5-sigma signal, which has only a 0.000028 percent probability of happening by chance, before claiming a “discovery.”
The latest Higgs rumors suggest nearly-there 4-sigma signals are turning up at both of the two separate LHC experiments that are hunting for the particle. As physicist Philip Gibbs points out on his blog, Vixra log, if each experiment is seeing a 4-sigma signal, then this is almost definitely the long-sought particle. Combining the two 4-sigma results should be enough to clear that 5-sigma hurdle.