Thread: Science Science is Cool....
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huffmeister View Post
I've heard for years that Higgs Boson is the "God Particle" and that it would be a major breakthrough. I understand that the Standard Model predicts it, as it predicted other particles before they were discovered.

But I've never heard anyone speculate on the practical applications that might come from this discovery. If we find it tomorrow, are we that much closer to a warp drive, or anti-gravity, or more efficient energy? What could we do with that knowledge?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we shouldn't be pursuing knowledge for knowledge's sake. Even if it just provides more evidence that the Standard Model is correct, I'm all for it. I've just never heard anyone discuss possible practical applications of the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
The bolded part is the only application we'd see for a long time as a result. It wouldn't really provide us with anything in the short term. It would provide a great deal of validation though, and would change the way physics is taught and understood.

Quote:
Higgs and his colleagues theorized that space itself contains a sort of charge. Elementary particles acquire mass through their interaction with the charge (you might think of this charge as a traffic camera that slows down traffic even without any actual policemen to stop the cars). Space isn’t filled with Higgs-boson particles—you need a collider such as the LHC to make those—but the Higgs boson is the telltale sign that there really is such a “charge” in space.

Such a discovery won’t turn our world around tomorrow. But basic science is like that. For all the deep and fundamental truths we learn about nature, it’s rarely clear right away what the implications will be. When electricity was discovered, no one knew the globe would fairly quickly be blanketed with lightbulbs. When quantum mechanics was discovered, no one anticipated semiconductors and the ensuing electronics revolution. It’s still unclear what a discovery of the Higgs boson will mean in 10 or 20 or 100 years’ time, but cultures where people learn more about their world, and science is valued, seem to fare well in the end.
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