A Weekly Link Roundup contains two things — links to articles on the web that I found worth reading, and a summary of the discussions I have here and other places. Except this time, we’re doing something a little bit different — this week I’m having a special celebration for the (potential) discovery of the Higgs Boson particle.
Despite having a physics category on this blog, I have very little understanding of physics, so it’s not something like the ObamaCare Supreme Court outcome which I can comment on. However, other qualified people certainly can comment on it, so today’s links are dedicated to them and the Higgs!
So if you’re left wondering what the hell is a Higgs Boson or why people are getting pretty excited about it, read here!
- The Higgs Boson: Why You Should Care: “Tiny particles visible for fractions of a second? Turns out the implications are a very big deal for how we understand the planet, the universe, and ourselves.”
- What is a Higgs Boson? [YouTube]: “Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes the nature of the Higgs boson. Several large experimental groups are hot on the trail of this elusive subatomic particle which is thought to explain the origins of particle mass.”
- So what IS the Higgs Boson? [YouTube]: “Hank responds to viewer questions, and explains what the Higgs boson particle actually IS.”
- The Higgs Boson Explained [Vimeo]: “We visit particle physicist Daniel Whiteson at CERN, where he talks to us about what the mysterious Higgs Boson is and how the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] is going to find it (if it exists).”
- What Exactly is the Higgs Boson?: “Particle physics usually has a hard time competing with politics and celebrity gossip for headlines, but the Higgs boson has garnered some serious attention. That’s exactly what happened on July 4, 2012, though, when scientists at CERN announced that they’d found a particle that behaved the way they expect the Higgs boson to behave.”
- Particle Consistent with Higgs Boson Found: “Researchers from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN have today, 4 July 2012, confirmed that they have found a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs Boson. [...] Andy Parker is the Professor of High Energy Physics at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Physics (the Cavendish Laboratory). His current research interests involve experiments to reveal new physics such as extra space dimensions, quantum-sized black holes, and supersymmetry. [...] Below, he answers some questions surrounding the Higgs Boson.”
- Does the Higgs Boson Discovery Resolve the Religion-Science Debate?: “Strong religious and anti-religious language has swirled around the search for the Higgs boson. One group took to calling it ‘the God particle.’ After all, they said, the Higgs boson is the foundation on which the standard model of physics rests. Not only that; the Higgs field adds real mass to pure energy, so it’s like the moment of creation. ‘Baloney!’ replied the other group; we should just call it ‘the God-damn particle,’ since it’s been so bloody difficult to detect over so many years.”
- The Crisis of Big Science: “The International Space Station was partly responsible for the cancellation of the SSC [The Supercolliding Superconductor, and even bigger particle accelerator that was being constructed in Texas, but had its funding cut]. Both came up for a crucial vote in Congress in 1993. Because the Space Station would be managed from Houston, both were seen as Texas projects. After promising active support for the SSC, in 1993 the Clinton administration decided that it could only support one large technological project in Texas, and it chose the Space Station. Members of Congress were hazy about the difference.”
- How Science Works: As Told By the Higgs Boson: “The astrologers and homeopaths of the world want to enjoy the benefits of being scientifically proven without going through any of the tiresome business of actual testing. While groups like the AIDS deniers want you to believe that all scientists are evil and are trying to deceive you for their own dastardly ends. The discovery of the Higgs is a wonderful opportunity for scientists and science advocates, like myself, to point out how science actually works.”
In the past five days (the previous Link Roundup was posted late due to a power failure), there have been 39 new comments on this site. Here, I will highlight some discussions I’ve had this week here and offsite:
- Over at “Continuing Comments on Randomness and Naturalism” yet more commentary ensues about Quantum Mechanics, this time about the Ensemble Interpretation and quantum realism.
- On “Heaven, Coddling Gods, and Other Theodicies”, I explain why I still argue the Problem of Evil as well as my current stance on ethics.
- On “What Is Peter Watching?”, we lighten the mood a bit with a change of pace and talk about cool TV shows.
Recently I’ve joined Reddit with my own account, and had some pretty good conversations over there:
- On “Why even use the word “right”? if you do, why would you prefer one definition over the other?”, I take the opportunity to put forth end-relational theory and quadruple-function normativity.
- On “Good and Ought as Relative” (Reddit), people criticize end-relational theory.
- On “P-Zombies Are Fallacious” (Reddit), people criticize my arguments against P-Zombies.
- On “What’s wrong with moral relativism?”, I have a long chat about end-relational theory and the demandingness objection to utilitarianism.
Over at The Warfare is Mental, more fun ensues:
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