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Higgs-Boson announcement

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

From a young age, even before learning of existentialism and a whole lot of other isms, I had a simple theory about the 'cause' of religion and its maintenance over the years. I called it the Aloneness Factor, to differentiate it from loneliness. It was the idea that most of us could not tolerate the notion that we are Alone, that there is not something greater than us or at least beyond us.

Just today, I found this in the online mag, Slate, and it resonated, particularly the last paragraph:

But I find it particularly exciting for two reasons—one scientific, the other more personal. First, the standard model, as remarkably successful as it has been, leaves open more questions than it answers. What causes the Higgs field to exist throughout space today? Are there other forces that dynamically determine its configuration? Why doesn’t the same phenomenon that causes the Higgs particle to exist at the mass it does cause gravity and the other forces in nature to behave similarly? Over the past 40 years or so, a host of theoretical speculations have been developed to answer these questions. But like those who are sensorially deprived, we may just be hallucinating. The cold water of experiment may now wash away many of our wrong ideas and, perhaps more importantly, could point us in the right direction. In the process I expect what we will discover about the universe may currently be beyond our wildest dreams.

More than this, however, the Higgs field implies that otherwise seemingly empty space is much richer and weirder than we could have imagined even a century ago, and in fact that we cannot understand our own existence without understanding “emptiness” better. Readers of mine will know that as a physicist, I have been particularly interested in “nothing” in all of its forms and its relation to something—namely us. The discovery of the Higgs says that “nothing” is getting ever more interesting.

This demystifies nothing. In fact, it magnifies the mystery. But it sort of brushes up to my child-like notion of Aloneness, something I have since called 'a hole in my soul'.

Interesting to me, this.

Take care,

Joe

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

It's hard to wrap my brain around the discovery, what I have been able to understand it seems to say that due to natural forces, something CAN appear from nothing. I am not surprised that this is possible. There is so much that we do not understand and like you mentioned, it does magnify the mystery.
I wonder if this will have any far reaching implications beyond the scientific community (i.e. The "R" word)
Probably not, it will likely be compared to the dinosaur bones being planted to throw us off track...
Good post Joe. Thank you.
-p

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Actually, Phil, while the cited author disdains the term, this is often referred to within the community as the "God particle".

Take care, my friend,

Joe

katenorwood
Posts: 1862
Joined: May 2012

Joe,
Interpetation....hmmm. Aloneness in itself is not always a bad thing. But being a si-fi addict, I would love to see other life forces. Yeah it could shake the r-factor to its core. But my question would be why ? Are we wanting to be alone...and there fore perfect and undefeatable ? Just my insight, and good article. Warmest regards, Katie

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

I think you answered your own question with the R-Factor. Of course we're special (according to scripture.)
If Copernicus and Galileo were such threats to the way of thinking in their time, I can only imagine how something like this will be greeted. I certainly believe life exists outside of Earth. Maybe there's even intelligent life out there somewhere!
I think at times that we're dropping the ball...
-phil

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Katie, I agree that aloneness is not always a bad thing. In fact, I relish it from time to time. At the time I was referring to mankind in a rather primitive state, say, when the first religions or superstitions were established, and there was not even a remote thought of beings from other planets, star systems, since we weren't even really aware of the planets or the star systems, other than to perhaps call them gods themselves.

In that respect, it was collective Aloneness that I was referring to, and our collective reluctance or inability to accept that. There is more to it than that, but you would not want to be bored with it.

Take care,

Joe

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

This article is very interesting and exciting article as you say Joe, deepens the mystery. There is so much that we don’t know and don’t understand.

Could this have something to do with the ‘emptiness’, ‘vast spaciousness’, ‘resting in the empty spaces between the thoughts’, the ‘nothingness’, ‘the void’ that mystics of several different traditions talk about? When they talk about it, ie, the emptiness or nothingness is huge and fulfills that ‘hole in the soul’ and gives one a sense of expansion into the universe.

The ‘R’ word, it seems, offers a way of life for people but it’s presentation often falls short on the deeper mystical aspects of life the universe and everything. At least that is my experience.

Thank-you so much for posting this Joe.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

You are quite welcome, mariam. Frankly, I find much that is mystical in your posts, from prosaic posts to some of the lovely poetry you provide (FYI).

For me, the PROBLEM is the 'vast spaciousness', the 'emptiness', the 'nothingness' and the 'void': I insist on filling that vast spaaciousness when it is likely impossible to do so. I would call it an enormous knowledge gap, not being quite so mystical as you (and I am not being facetious) or, as I do above, 'the hole in my soul'.

Even so, your response gives me hope: maybe I am looking at this in the wrong way? We shall see.

Thanks for the post.

Take care,

Joe

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