Higgs Progress

By Sean Carroll | June 11, 2012 9:06 am

The Large Hadron Collider has been humming along this year, collecting about 5 inverse femtobarns of data, similar to what they had all last year, at a slightly higher energy (8 TeV vs. 7 TeV). Of course last year we were treated to tantalizing hints of a Higgs boson with a mass of about 125 GeV, so it’s natural to ask whether that evidence has been continuing to accumulate. Answers should be forthcoming early in July at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Melbourne, where talks are scheduled from both CMS and ATLAS.

I believe, given the short time available, that each collaboration can update us on the results from this year’s run thus far, but it will probably take longer to combine the results from the two experiments, as well as combining with last year’s data. (Combining results sounds straightforward, but is actually extremely subtle, due to separate kinds of systematic effects for the different experiments, or even the same experiment at different energies.) Presumably that means that we can accumulate new evidence for the Higgs, but it would be surprising if they were actually able to announce a discovery. I’m also told that the analysis of this year’s data thus far has been “blind” — i.e., they add a secret offset to the real data so that all of the reduction and background subtraction can be carried out without bias, and only then do they “open the box” and see what the actual data are saying. If this is true, literally nobody in the world knows right now what the LHC has actually been seeing, as far as the Higgs is concerned. But we’ll find out before too long.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Higgs, Science, Top Posts
  • http://www.licollider.com Michel

    Also, we have to look for the Higgs in a number of different decay channels. Not all of these decay modes are equally easy to investigate, and even if the results from this spring had all the different channels combined to produce one ATLAS and one CMS result, it is pretty unlikely that both collaborations will be able to update all of their search channels this summer. However, there is a tendency for easy channels to also be the most sensitive, so the update coming this summer should be interesting indeed.

  • Pudin Tane

    Such a huge waste of money to keep this behemoth running, not to mention huge salaries for these scientists in the name of “research”. What’s the point? So some pretentious scientist(s) can be the first to claim discovery of the “God Particle”? Okay, say they do find it…what are they going to do with it? Prove the creationists wrong? Recreate a mini big-bang? WHY!? Leave it alone! It is what it is, so be it.

  • anon

    If the LHC experiments are really doing this Higgs search blind, then they are awesome.

  • Neal J. King

    #2, Pudin Tane:

    According to xkcd, Nature itself may agree with you. See:

  • Y. Santens

    Pudin, and what if people before said : Oh, we don’t need to try and sail around the world? That goes for all other discoveries. Without the curiosity of some pioneers we would be nowhere and you wouldn’t have your computer or internet either to type messages like this.

    And proving creationists wrong has been done a long time ago. The point of finding the Higgs is not really related to that. Besides that not all scientists have huge salaries and not all are pretentious. Compare it to an example like football (soccer) with people making millions per month and several being pretentious due to this fact! Is this defendable for people who, when it comes down to it, play a game?

  • Ken

    @Pudin: if you really feel this way, I would recommend removing anything technologically advanced from your daily use (including your vaccines, car, electricity, internet, etc). All the fancy things you take for granted are because of ‘research’. This REALLY has nothing to do with proving creationists wrong. The whole purpose is to complete the current accepted model for why matter is matter. The ‘God Particle’ you refer to is a slang term coined by the media. It really has absolutley NOTHING to do with any religion. It is what the Higgs boson is known as. In the scientific community, it is knows as that, the Higgs boson. If they do find this boson, it completes our current theoretical model of how matter is actually formed. Settle down.

  • Elizabeth Davies

    This is so unbelievably fantastic! So exciting, it makes my mind spin. This feels like we are on the brink looking into the dawn of creation. Woohoo!!

  • http://logicofnature.blogspot.com/ gunn

    You shall not find any higgses because all physics events can be interpreted by well-known elementary particles — leptons, quarks , and gauge bosons:


  • Pingback: Higgs Progress | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine « National-Express2011()

  • Doug Little


    Such a huge waste of money to keep this behemoth running, not to mention huge salaries for these scientists in the name of “research”.

    Go back to watching Fox news. I find it interesting that you are posting a comment on the internet using a computer all of which wouldn’t exist without basic physics research that didn’t seem to have much use at the time it was carried out. Oh and what’s with the scare quotes around the word research? Do you do the same thing when commenting on other types of research that challenge your preconceptions or ideology about the world around you, I’ll bet the old scare quotes come out when commenting on research in the fields of biology and climatology.

  • Meh

    I didn’t know it was blind. That actually makes me feel a lot better. I think with such massive and controversial discoveries, it’s the right way to go. My gripe not too long ago was that it would be very difficult for those working to find the Higgs to not convince themselves that they found it. Like going swimming on a dirty beach, everything that touches your foot must be a shark or some sort of giant sea creature, when it’s actually just seaweed.

  • Doug Little

    Like going swimming on a dirty beach, everything that touches your foot must be a shark or some sort of giant sea creature, when it’s actually just seaweed.

    I was thinking that if you are swimming on a dirty beach seaweed touching your foot would be way down the list and you would probably wish it was a shark or giant sea creature than what it could potentially be.

  • Christian Takacs

    Doug Little,

    “Go back to watching Fox news.”? Wow, I guess we know your political position and axe to grind, not that it helps your case. It also conveys you aren’t very considerate of those you disagree with.

    Pudin does have a point about physicists falling over themselves to claim ‘discovery’, which is putting the cart waaaaay before the horse as far as actual science is concerned. These days reasearch is determined more by peer pressure/peer review/peer consensus and tenure, than any real discovery, especially if the research challanges or threatens academic groupthink or funding. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to know my history about paradigm shifts… they aren’t made by group thinkers in the mainstream, they are made by people considered cranks and amateurs by the educated elite of their own time.

    Your irrelevent comment about someone using the internet even if they don’t subscribe to expensive ‘research’ at the LHC belies your own smugness. You used ad hominem for almost your entire response to Pudin, and made no actual argument to support your own contention of political/scientific superiority. If you want convince someone you are right, or give reasons why you think they are wrong, you are going to need an actual logical argument, not an insult.

    I would also suggest you investigate the difference between applied and theoretical physics.
    Computers were developed from applied physics, not theoretical physics. Allan Turing and company were employed to help the government with cryptanalysis and the desire to construct electromechanical computers for entirely military applications (since they were funding the research). The funding and the development of the electronic computer was for VERY specific military uses from the very beginning, not as some kind of afterthought. The interenet was also specifically designed with military applications in mind, it’s purpose and development were NEVER nebulous.

    So far as a comparing computer and internet development to theoretical research at the LHC, I wouldn’t even try to go there, unless you want to make the case that the government/military has specific big plans for what to do with the Higgs Boson, and I think we can all agree that is unsettling.

    Your last sentence about “…commenting on research in the fields of biology and climatology.” , is that your snarky way of saying anyone who does not agree with the current theory of evolution or belief in anthropogenic global warming is somehow worthy of contempt?

  • Doug Little

    Wow, I guess we know your political position and axe to grind, not that it helps your case. It also conveys you aren’t very considerate of those you disagree with.

    I stand by my assertion, the scare quotes, huge salaries statement, and pretentious scientists comment give it away. Oh you know those intellectual elite types that are suckling at the teat of big government .

    These days reasearch is determined more by peer pressure/peer review/peer consensus and tenure, than any real discovery, especially if the research challanges or threatens academic groupthink or funding.

    Got some evidence for that baseless assertion.

    I would also suggest you investigate the difference between applied and theoretical physics.
    Computers were developed from applied physics, not theoretical physics.

    The key to the development of the transistor is understanding the process of electron mobility in order to do that you need a grounding in quantum mechanics. John Bardeen, one of the co-creators, eventually developed a new branch of quantum physics called surface physics.

    You know what a transistor is right?

    The interenet was also specifically designed with military applications in mind, it’s purpose and development were NEVER nebulous.

    Actually the first packet switching network (ARPANET) was funded by DARPA and was for use by its projects at universities and research laboratories in the US. You know what all modern switching equipment uses these days?

    Your irrelevent comment about someone using the internet even if they don’t subscribe to expensive ‘research’ at the LHC belies your own smugness.

    Oh snap you used scare quotes as well. Better go warm up the Factor, I hear Bill O’Reilly does not understand the usefulness of theoretical physics you will fit right in.

    Your last sentence about “…commenting on research in the fields of biology and climatology.” , is that your snarky way of saying anyone who does not agree with the current theory of evolution or belief in anthropogenic global warming is somehow worthy of contempt?

    I have a feeling that you disagree with both those theories.

    If you don’t agree with the currently held scientific consensus in those fields you had better bring forth some pretty extraordinary evidence that refutes either of them. But of course the dissenters are being silenced by all those mega wealthy ‘tenured scientists’ and their ‘peer review’, isn’t that how the conspiracy goes?

  • Christian Takacs

    @Bitty Dougums

    I was trying to being polite to your snobbery, please realize you aren’t the only smart kid in class, and there are some smarter still!

    For a little thought experiment, Let say you found some reading material about Climategate, and how the primary proprietors of the global warming reasearch at East Anglia University had a wee bit of trouble finding how a certain hockey stick model of global warming used by Al Gore and the IPCC was calculated. A certain person lost his cool with his own colleagues, and proceeded to say all sorts of very interesting things about “Hiding the decline” and showing his little calculation tricks of how to hide the fact that his hockey stick was a Frankenstein creation of various temperature proxies glued together seamlessly using some, shall we say, unusual sampling methods such as, excluding any data sets from trees which showed any indications of decrease in temperature. Problem was, he also had to jettison the MWP (please look that one up darling) and the Mini Ice Age to even then get his little graph to tell the story he wanted…. and then there was that pesky FOIA request he was asking his fellow climatoligists to ignore, and to delete any data files that might be .. well… inconvenient. When this little climatologists data sets were finally revealed as they should have been to begin with (It was publically funded research so FOIA was applicable) it was discovered that he had also doctored his graphing calculations so that if even random data sets were entered into his model, Lo and Behold! a Hockey Stick like graph resulted.

    I do not think you too up on things, so I’m going to assume I need to spell it out for you, Your Mr. Mann decided his cause was more important than doing science, he knew the truth, and if the evidence would not yield the expected results…well… for the common good of course… he was going to make it come out the way he wanted it to… so impressionable folks, such as yourself would be convinced of his claims to Anthropogenic Global Warming (yes dear, I know it’s a big word). Mr Mann worked at University of Virginia too, and he’s in wee bit of trouble there too right now… yes I know, it’s so sad. See, He is fighting tooth and nail to prevent his data sets and models being released, as good little scientists are supposed to do if they do science. Apparently, Mann is not too happy about this, and his friends are kinda not too happy either, since they believed him too, and now it seems he is kinda … not being truthful about his little statistical sampling cherry picking.
    Mr. Michael Mann was also kinda pissed because someone working at East Anglia University got reeeeeealy pissed at him and made the guy’s interdepartmental emails public, which kinda revealed the peer review process is what you make of it… literally, what you make of it, especially if you are blacklisted if you don’t go along with “the cause”. It has also become painfully obvious for anyone who cares to look, that claiming to do research that supports man made global warming is seriously lucrative business in academia. Surprisingly, Oil companies often lavish funds on these research programs… and climatolgists which aren’t with “the cause” find they suddenly have a hard time keeping their jobs.

    For follow up things to consider
    1. Read up on the IPCC and Pachura. Find out about the fascinating things going on with our friends in the UN, like Agenda 21.
    2. Read up, or have someone read to you out loud what “carbon forcing” is, and why there is a witty bitty problem with it being the supposed cause of AGW. Do you know what the range of speculated carbon dioxide forcings are? That’s OK, the climatolgists aren’t at all certain either, except their numbers tend to be higher if they get government funds to conduct their research with… mysterious that… wonder why that is. Also, if you are really interested in global warming, you need to know that the climate models they use to make most of the wonderful charts and graphs are based on many many assumptions, and that none of the models can statistically predict temperature accurately (they punch in previous years data into the model and see if the model makes a prediction that ressembles what actually followed). Try going to the site Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts is not a climatologist, but he is a damn good at statistics and computer modeling and sampling methods, which is what the climatologists are using to make their predictions and assertions of climate change. Mr. Watts has been very good a keeping climatolgists noses clean when they decide to confuse “cherry picked data proxi” with legitimate sampling methods and techniques. If you go there, please don’t act like you do here, try to be polite, they don’t take kindly to rudeness.

    It seems you also have some little trouble with before and after… you see snookums, Vacuum tubes came before transistors, by, oh a few little years.
    Sweety, please read a book or two. Try to look up which came first, vacuum tubes, or transistors! There, I knew you could! ENIAC was started in 1943, transisters came before or after that?? Guess, I dare you! Ah, you are such good little guy. Sweety, um, ENIAC was built to calcuate artillery firing tables… this was used by??? C’mon, please give a good try! you can do it! Oh, that’s right, It was commissoned by the United States Army in WWII!! Wow, you are good at this! Transistors were about micronization, they basically replaced the vacuum tube eventually, but they were not in the first electronic computers. They were not really brought into a lot of things until the 1950s. Oh yeah, and the internet thingy, yeah, the one DARPA funded??? yeah, that’s the one, sweety, look up what DARPA stands for and why they did it… give ya a guess…yeah, it was those rascally Feds, ya know you would be amazed at what they funded. is and why they did it (hint…always military applications). Yeah, snooky, my folks actually helped to develop a few key components of it! But Dougy, not sure why you brought that up, you see, that’s applied science stuff. When you commison something built for a specific purpose for the government, like a battleship, bridge or building, it’s applied science.. When you research something or use the technology to look for a way to test a theory to see if it is even possible at all, that is called theoretical science/research/physics, and often does not yet have an application or purpose in mind.

    As for your comment about Bill O’Reilly, I have not heard him speak about theoretical research, so I have no idea if I would agree or not with his opinion. I do know I don’t agree with the man about a lot of things, but sweety, you would have no way of knowing that because your ego is terribly enlarged! It so swollen it stopped you from asking me nicely and had you mouthing off to a complete stranger… Not smart! No sir-ee! Unzipping your mouth and whipping out your politics rudely in public can be dangerous darlin, some nasty mean people might try to take advantage of your complete and utter ignorance of what they believe and think and know, and then use you like a useful idiot.

    Oh yes, and about the”I have a feeling you disagree with both of those theories”, well sugar plum, see, I’m a grown-up. We grown-ups know, if we choose to inform ourselves, that theory is called ‘theory’, not ‘fact’, for a reason. Sadly, many grown-ups forget to look words up in the dictionary sometimes, but that can be easily corrected! I know, not kinda believe, not sorta think, I know that most theories (scientific and otherwise) turn out to be wrong. I know my history, logic, epistemology, philosophy, and semantics pretty well, and well, see, I know what folks have been doing and believing and saying throughout thousands of years of trying to figure things out… and most of the ideas that folks USED to think was so, just wasn’t so, or it was only partially correct. Yeah, see, Most grownups used to believe the world was flat, and that everything else in the universe spun around it. They even taught it in the big grownup schools called universities, and they gave people pretty pieces of paper or sheepskin for being soooo smart in knowing about how the flat earth was surrounded by the crystal spheres of heaven, oh yes! It was very avant garde at the time, they were all so cool, chic, and knew so much. Only little problem was… As more time passed, some people began to suspect that the Earth wasn’t really a flat disc, and these people said things about how the world might be round. People acting like you ‘little Dougy’, got really upset and mad!! Sometimes they shouted or even threw their toys, or sharp ojects like arrows or swords, or poked people with red hot irons if they kept saying crazy stuff and all, how they didn’t agree with what MOST smart people thought. Funny though, no matter how many smart people wanted something to be true… for some strange reason, it didn’t make something true, or right, or a fact. Fact is, the people who were often disagreeing with what everybody knew was the truth, were often more correct than the people in funny hats and black dresses who had lots of nice sheepskins on the wall and worked at the smart people places like universities. Consensus is about politics, not scientific truth or fact. No matter how many people believe something, the number has no bearing on them being right, or wrong. Sometimes the smart people didn’t like it when someone else who didn’t think what they thought came along. They then would ask other smart people what they thought, and all the smart people would agree after reading each other’s homework (with the same answers) that they were all soooooo educated! They couldn’t possibly be wrong! The guy with the crazy idea had to be wrong, because… well, because , well, if the new guy was right, and they were the ones who were wrong, then they might be made fun of, because they wore funny hats and dresses, talked funny and had made people think they were sooooo smart… and now … some people they had made fun of might laugh right back at them!! And that would just not be good thing, because only smart people who wear funny hats, and dresses, and like sheepskins on the wall, have tenured employment, and talk funny really know the truth and have the right to laugh at people and look down their noses at them, which is kinda hard since their noses were so high up in the air.

    Doug, the baby talk is annoying me probably more than you, so before I gag, I’m gonna stop using it. Be a grownup. Stop being an angry snob, even when you are right. Don’t assume you understand a person’s politics until they explain their position. When you do get to know their position, if you do disagree with them, how is being a jerk and insulting people going to help you? Will it make you feel better or prove your position? I doubt it.

    I would hope you know that there has always been (and will always be as long as we’re human) disagreement in science, politics, religion, culture, art, and love. How you deal with those disagreements defines you more as a person than “facts du jour” or temporary truths you embrace.

    If you ever want to discuss anything I say in a civil manner, politely, respectfully, I’m good with that. Disagreement and debate is fine, bad manners are not.

  • Andrew Scott

    Christian – just wondering when Fox news watchers will stop attacking academics as elitist snobs. Your posts here are pathetic. What are you so defensive about?

  • boing99

    LOL, this Pudin Tane is so stupid he may possibly be a troll.

    And why is this Christian knob attempting to paste the entire internet into a comment for? It looks like the result of some psychotic episode. Christian, please take your meds “sweetie”…

  • Doug Little

    Christian Takacs,

    Sorry you lost me at the whole Climategate thing. There have been multiple investigations into the whole episode and everybody has been cleared of any wrong doing. Other statistical methods and analysis of the same data yield the same result. You want there to be a controversy or conspiracy because the results don’t sit well with your ideology, sorry wishful thinking won’t get it done.

    Yes vacuum tubes came before transistors I’m well aware of that, unfortunately for your argument the computer you are using doesn’t contain vacuum tubes.

    If you didn’t know the Billo remark was in reference to his now classic quote on tides.

    Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.

    Obviously a really deep thinker.

    You also need to brush up on what Theory means in a scientific context. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    Thanks for all the tips on further reading you have given me. If I could be so bold I would suggest that you follow this link as you are a fine example of it.

  • Doug Little

    Meh and Don,

    If that is aimed at me then your welcome. Just so you know what I took exception to was the extremely dismissive nature of Pudin Tane’s original post that diminishes both the science being done and the scientists that do it. With the inclusion of scare quotes around research and the addition of huge salaries I then knew that Pudin Tane’s primary source of information was probably Fox News and was not here to engage in a discussion but instead to tell hard working people that their contributions mean nothing. Another fellow (Christian) then turned up and proved I was correct in my assumptions.

  • Christian Takacs

    @Andrew and Boing99,
    There is a very long history of elitist snobbery that has gone on in academia for over a thousand years, it’s nothing new, and no, Fox News didn’t make it up or start it. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Ignaz Semelweis, Einstein, they all had a taste of what it’s like to go up against ‘those that know’ in academia. Ironically, after each of the individuals I mentioned became the accepted norm, their positions then became the new baseline of knowledge for the following generations of snobs. Elitist snobbery is a prestige thing, not really a political one, as you seem to imply.

    Put the Smug down, before you get hurt kid. Wishful thinking and ideology are not my problem or the issue at hand. The reason peer review does not work in many cases, is because if you are judging your colleagues, they can retaliate and make your life miserable. This is why whistle blowers have such a hard time of it… Same thing in Climategate, you really can’t have folks with a conflict of interest doing the investigation, especially when they all have the same thing to lose if misconduct is found. In the case of Climategate, they basically had someone ask the people being investigated “did you do anything wrong?” no surprise.. they said “nope”. Ok, you’re innocent, free to go. This is obviously why the criminal justice system doesn’t work this way when they are investigating any wrong doing.
    As to why various climatolgists were getting similar results with their computer models, the reason is why there was such a flap to begin with. East Anglia University doesn’t just do climatic research, they provide their data to almost everyone else. The climatolgists at East Anglia University create many of the data sets that are used by almost everyone else, from NOAA to NASA, and almost all the unversities, even the UN with their IPCC reports. Their data sets are named things like “Comparison of warm-season (Jones et al., 1998) and annual mean (Mann et al., 1998, 1999) multi-proxy-based and warm season tree-ring-based (Briffa, 2000) millennial Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions”. When Mr. Mann screwed with his data sets, he was bascially feeding false data into a lot of other climatologists research. Most climatologists don’t create their own data samples, its very expensive time consuming work, they use data sets from a common source. So, when the data sets are entered into very similar computer modeling programs… lo and behold! they can get very similar results… this is good if the data is good, because everyone is working with the same data. This is actually quite disasterous if the data is bad, now everyone’s reasearch and various papers written on the findings are pretty much useless. If everyone gets garbage in, everyone gets garbage out…the garbage may agree with other garbage, but it’s still less than useless, it’s misleading.

    As for your comment about the computer I’m using not using vacuum tubes, sigh…you need to try harder son, you were making some improvement. I was speaking of ENIAC, known as the first general purpose computer designed to Alan Turing’s designs. It contained 17,468 vacuum tubes, nary a transister to be seen yet. I never claimed or said the computer I used had vacuum tubes in it… Are you hallucinating again? You seem to be skipping all over the place, too much sugar perhaps?

    This isn’t high school, and you aren’t cool. Get over it. You also should stop smoking pot, Just because the president you most likely voted for ( I am guessing, but it’s not a far stretch) does it all the time doesn’t mean you should too. THC lingers in the brain long after your high is over and does not break down in the liver like alchohol. Eventually you start to diminish your ability to think, and become incapable of taking care of yourself.
    Quoting stupidity does not speak well of your intellect, especially when you don’t know why you even quoted it. You know how to google, go look up the tides sometime, it’s not a mystery, and no, I’m not going to explain the birds and bees to you either, ask your father.
    After following your link, I’m saddened you seem to be projecting. Again. Might I suggest you be very careful with the DSM…not sure which revision is current. Abnormal psychology can be a very dangerous study for someone such as yourself. First, you will notice you tend to start diagnosing yourself with whatever disorder you read about. Second, modern day psychology is not far removed from pseudo-science for the most part, and cribs what scientific jargon it contains from neurology and neuroscience. Third and last point on this matter, abnormal psychology is the refuge of young people who are afraid of actual hard sciences, and are too lazy to pursue actual medicine, you should study something more upbeat instead that will improve your attitude.

    Oh, thank you again for the link, Just be careful where you post it, If anyone at Fox News gets a hold of it, they will use it to make fun of our Commander in Chief, and he’s got enough trouble on his hands right now.

    Keep trying to be polite, lay off the pot, don’t drink the kool-aid, and look up the difference between applied research and theoretical research. Yeah, I do know the difference, both my folks worked on the ‘applied’ side and the ‘theoretical’ side…but you’re gonna have to google it for yourself.

  • Kevin

    The World Wide Web (which is how everyone uses the Internet) was invented at CERN so particle physicists could share results more easily. Anyone bitching on the Web about funding going to particle physics research is a blatant hypocrite.

  • Doug Little


    You seem to have a hard time comprehending what I said. So I will spell it out for you.

    1. I know that the first computers used valves but you are not using a valve computer, if we were still utilizing valves for computation the personal computer would never have been invented and all the good stuff that goes along with that would not exist. Transistors are just one component of your computer that required an understanding of quantum mechanics to perfect. Without the invention of the transistor the world would be a very different place indeed.

    2. I was using the transistor as an example of something useful that came from theoretical physics, as I mentioned without an understanding of quantum mechanics it would have never been perfected.

    3. Your response in part to my first post was this

    You used ad hominem for almost your entire response to Pudin, and made no actual argument to support your own contention of political/scientific superiority

    Ad hominem is when you attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic of the person making the claim. As you can plainly see from my first post I did no such thing. Pudin implied that nothing useful comes from theoretical physics I supplied a counter example that refutes his argument. Ad hominem would have been “Pudin watches Fox news therefore he is wrong about the usefulness of theoretical physics”. Ad hominem is what you have engaged in though, instead of directly addressing the argument that theoretical physics is useful you continue to pursue personal attacks on what you think you know about me.


    Quoting stupidity does not speak well of your intellect, especially when you don’t know why you even quoted it.

    I’m glad you agree that it is a stupid comment, I quoted it because you obviously didn’t get the joke about Bill O’Reilly when I first bought it up. I don’t understand how you come to the conclusion that I myself don’t know the physics behind the tides, I was quoting O’Reilly not myself.

    5. Your disparaging posts and willingness to engage in personal attacks certainly has the air of superiority that you seem to attribute to the “elitist snobs”, that my friend is projection if you were a public figure you would be a good candidate for the Robert O’Brian nominee.

    6. Applied research is a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. I’ve highlighted the relevant term for you.

  • Meh

    I’m just sayin’ dude, arguing on a public forum makes all parties arguing look stupid. You’re never going to change that person, you just end up getting drawn back in over and over. You turn into Fritz Zwicky.

  • Doug Little

    I’m just sayin’ dude, arguing on a public forum makes all parties arguing look stupid

    Why? Does it make a difference if the argument occurs in private? I took exception to what someone wrote on a public forum and replied to it. I don’t see how that makes me look stupid, to the best of my knowledge I haven’t said anything outlandish or wildly incorrect.

    You’re never going to change that person, you just end up getting drawn back in over and over.

    I’m not trying to change anybody, I’m just defending my point of view.

    You turn into Fritz Zwicky

    I don’t understand the reference, I looked him up on Wikipedia and he was an astronomer.

  • Christian Takacs

    It’s not that I can’t comprehend what you say, It’s that you keep shifting the focus of your argument, or at the very least have a difficult time making one. You might try a course or two of logic or debate, I suggest you stay away from political discourse as your mouth will get you into trouble there unless you reign in your snarky attitude.

    If you want to impress someone with a quote, you need context, which you lack, as well as the persons name you are quoting from, which you also lack. I did wonder who “Billo” was, you need to watch your spelling, elsewise myself and everyone else really will have no idea who you are talking about, which does defeat your intent in this case since you were trying sound clever and make fun of someone specifically and not universally.

    You still need to learn the difference between non sequitor and argumentum ad hominem fallacies, but keep working on it, they can be used together though as you will see!

    To conclude the whole purpose of this verbal sparring match,

    If you would have made your actual argument about the validity of theoretical research to Pudin Tane instead of spewing your personal politics to attack him with, I would not be admonishing you right now. Truth be told, his argument was with the LHC in particular, not theoretical reasearch in general. Pudin did have a point, the LHC is extremely expensive to maintain and operate. His other points you could have argued against rationally, if you had chosen to be rational…which you did not. Any chance you had for changing his mind was lost. Most of what you seemed to reacting negatively to were your own assumptions about his beliefs… which seems to be a trend with your thinking. You seem to be very intent to let others know you lean to the left politically, and have contempt for those who don’t share your position which you show by trying to insult them.

    In parting shots,

    Oh dear. “disparaging posts”? You need to take a time out Doug for a serious reality check. I responded the first time after your “disparaging post” with Pudin. You were acting like a very smug and intolerant liberal, which made no sense considering the topic of discussion, and the fact you had no idea what the man’s politics or beliefs were. You brought your attitude and politics into this blog, Not Pudin, not me, nor anyone else. After you turned your arrogant intolerance on me, I let you have it back. I thought you might pick up on the fact that anyone can play your game ( it isn’t very hard), maybe even better than you, since you don’t really don’t have much of a point to make, just that you don’t like anyone who doesn’t agree with you…which seems to be a growing list.

    In closing,

    Ok, just to recap. You don’t like republicans, or anything conservative, or Fox News, or people who think the LHC is a waste of money, or people you disagree with the about assumptions you’ve made about them, or people who think global warming is half baked and biased, people who stand up to you, or people who are smarter than you (sorry, just joking, couldn’t resist). To be honest, you sound like most of the clever people I met in college, both teachers and students… before they got real jobs, started paying taxes, quit smoking pot, got married, had families, and grew up. I actually don’t think you are stupid, just young, and time will fix that. That is just my observation, heaven knows you don’t agree with it, but thats ok, we’re almost done here.

    Well,…this pissing contest is over Doug, so…’ go back to watching MSNBC with your idol Chris “tingle up my leg” Matthews’….. see how pathetically easy that is to do? It doesn’t take any skill or ability to say stuff like that. It’s just a “disbaraging” (your word) comment.. or as I would say.. non sequitor argumentum ad hominem.

    Congratulations on using google to look things up!
    Please go find someone else to play with now, and try to be nice… yeah I know, it’s a lot to ask.

  • Doug Little


    Wrong on all counts. We could keep going rounds on this but I don’t have the time or will to pick apart your latest ramblings, and like Meh said it’s always a never ending battle anyway. I’ve had fun watching your head explode as I’m sure a few of the other readers of this blog have as well. Enjoy your global warming denial and conspiracy theories and just remember that in the end history will not be your friend. Peace.

  • Y. Santens

    @Kevin, true, many forget CERN’s role.

  • Joel

    Um….what’s happened on this thread?? Anyway, cool news about the Higgs!

  • Pingback: Nächste große Higgs-Enthüllung in fünf Tagen « Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null()


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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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