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It's SCIENCE, Bitches!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    This appears to have some legs over in the drunk thread. Rather than clogging up drunken debauchery with pseudo-science, let's bring it over here:

    Focus: How important is the Higgs boson discovery to science, and to our world? Discuss Higgs boson.

    Alt. Focus: What are the most important scientific discoveries?


    I think "discovery of the century" is a misnomer, because it's '12. We've only had thirteen years within this particular century. No temporal limits are given in the focus.
     
  2. CharlesJohnson

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    I think Higgs-Boson will be the important find of this decade. The repercussions will extend for the rest of this century. This isn't just about origins. This is about the fabric of the world, of time. In more practical uses we're talking about the breakdown of the mechanics of mass, and thus: ENERGY. A reliance on traditional sources will come to an end this century. Not biofuels or electricity, but fission.

    This is like the invention of the microchip. It was a big deal in the 50s ('58?), but more practical innovation came in the decades to follow. The microchip might be the most important breakthrough in our lives right now. Try and think of one application not powered by a chip. A book, a musical instrument. Maybe an oven.
     
  3. Crown Royal

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    If what they truly have found is the subatomic particle that is our universe's Rosetta stone, we could be in a wild ride of discoveries coming up.

    I remember being in France when they first fired up the Large Hadron Collider (it borders with France and Switzerland) and remember the incredible buzz it was generating over there-- and fear. a lot OF people thought this thing could destroy the planet, and when you think about how powerful it is, it's incredible that we as a species could design a project like the LHC. In a seventeen mile loop, when they throttle this behemoth it fires two beams of protons at 17,000 rotations per second and smash into each other in a detector called ATLAS that has a magnet in it the size of the Goodyear Blimp. At nine feet per second slower than the speed of light. Incredible.

    And now, it sounds like it's starting to earn its $10 billion price tag. I'm glad it's generating a buzz as scientific discoveries should more often in the news. It's too bad so many of them are too complex for the base population to appreciate.

    My country is known for big-time medical breakthroughs, and I remember as a little kid they did the first successful lung transplant. A doctor in Toronto named Joel Cooper became a medical rockstar by performing the first single and double long-term lung transplants. He also performed the first long-term double transplant to rid cystic fibrosis. Not the greatest scientific discovery per se, but one the still burns my memory for sure.
     
  4. ssycko

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    i'm going to preface this with the obligatory "I'm no scientist, but...."

    I'm not sure that the discovery of the Higgs boson is as practically groundbreaking as it's being made out to be. If they have indeed found it, all it is doing is essentially confirming the theory that's been the standard for the past 50 years and is already widely accepted by the scientific community as "close enough to fact that we might as well continue forward with research assuming so."

    Obviously this is a big deal if they can confirm it, but we won't be seeing its implications for many, many years. What would actually be crazier is if the partticle they found wasn't the Higgs boson and was some unheard of new particle that turned the standard model upside down- that'd be a bit nuts.
     
  5. awwwSNAP

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    I don't have the technical understanding, but from what I know from watching the science channel and reading Brian Greene, Michio Kaku, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, actually finding the Higgs Boson would be HUGE. Actually even if this isn't it, it's probably huge - but if it is, it should have an effect on our understanding of how matter and energy interact on par with Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation. Yes, the standard model has been taking for granted for some time that it does exist, but if it's something we can actually observe and study it could go a long way towards explaining how dark matter and dark energy work, or what the hell those things even are. And while right now they're generally detached-seeming astronomy things, google tells me that dark energy makes up 70% of everything in the universe and dark matter accounts for another quarter of it. It seems like if the Higgs could help us understand how to access or interact with some of that, the possibilities would be quite literally endless.
     
  6. R_Flagg

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    Alt Focus: Gunpowder, antibiotics/vaccines, the mechanics of fixed wing aircraft, rocketry, steel, and higher mathematics (anything beyond grade-school arithmetic).

    Gunpowder... It evened out the battlefield. Swords take training and skill to use effectively; it's a steep learning curve. Guns still require a certain level of instruction to use effectively, but not to the extent that a sword would. Following up on the earliest cannon to say... The AK-47 family or modern artillery and it's hard to say gunpowder hasn't played a part in changing the world.

    Antibiotics; cure common infections that would have otherwise killed millions. Vaccines are hard to ignore as well; smallpox is nearly eradicated, and polio from my understanding mostly just kills people in the third-world now.

    Fixed-wing aircraft ain't a hard choice either. While not a game changer at the level of antibiotics or gunpowder, it's simplified global travel, which is significant in its own way. Rockets equal satellites, which leads to GPS, communication, further scientific discoveries; and of course humans walking the surface of the moon.

    Steel and mathematics are a little more questionable, but as far as engineering the rest of the stuff on this list (to say nothing of the skylines of just about every important city in the world) goes they're arguably the most important.
     
  7. RCGT

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    Copypasting from PM:
    TL;DR It's a big fucking deal. Mass manipulation? Oh man. This is the kind of thing where practical applications haven't even been thought of yet.
     
  8. Crown Royal

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    This is the largest experiment at the LHC, the ATLAS detector. This thing is INSANELY massive. Let's face the facts here: People are awesome.

     
    #8 Crown Royal, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  9. TJMax

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    I think that this is the meat of it. We can haz reactionless drive?
     
  10. Crown Royal

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    When this started off, I thought that we were finding out where we all came from. Now, we're actually talking about being able to break the Conservation Of Momentum. Perpetual motion? This is shit they would only dream up in cheesy science fiction films. Exciting stuff.
     
  11. DannyMac

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    It's going to be awesome if they can actually build the Inertialess Drive from the old Lensman space opera series because of this.
     
  12. Assur

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    Alt. Focus: Man-made tools with sharpened edges.

    Focus: Wave-Motion Gun.
     
  13. PeaMan

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    As someone with a qualification in physics (but, as a disclaimer, no expertise in particle physics) I think that this discovery has been somewhat blown out of proportion by the media. If this is indeed the Higgs boson, it doesn't by itself mean anything. Its not like we can suddenly play with the mass of objects. It is more of a 'we have been on the right track all of this time'. Indeed I don't expect anything practical to come out of our increased understanding of particle physics in the next 25 years - at least.

    It is however an important discovery, because the standard model underpins a huge amount of work that is done, and what will eventually lead to crazy sci-fi tech. I'm sure. It's important like the formulation and subsequent proof of any physics thing, like for example gravity, or the proof of quantised charge. We didn't suddenly make an electron gun, but it paves the way for subsequent scientists to do cool shit without them having to worry about proof of their assumptions.

    Alt Focus: Lasers. Because we use them in everything and they are awesome. Also because they were a solution for a bunch of problems that never even existed. Their discovery shaped industries in ways that nothing else I can think of did. And that last sentence is probably just hyperbole that I can be corrected on.
     
  14. Misanthropic

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    I've got your Higgs Bozo right here:

    [​IMG]

    What's that? Oh . . Higgs Boson.

    Sorry.
     
  15. Stealth

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    The discovery of refining Petroleum/Crude oil.
     
  16. lust4life

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    The g-spot.
     
  17. ow3n

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    I work in nuclear power, and have been to ITER in France to see how things are going there. The discovery and understanding of the HB has nothing to do with fission, that shit's happening anyway.

    I don't think the discovery of the HB is the interesting thing about this period of time, the interesting part to me is the questions that this discovery allows us to ask. "OK so now we can use our understanding of the HB as a foundation, where can we look now?". It's the destination versus journey approach.
     
  18. Crown Royal

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    I'm not one to wake up dead threads but I didn't know how to start a thread to this. This happened the same day as the American election so it was almost completely eclipsed, but it happened in my hometown and I thought it was pretty important:

    So, what has happened here in the past few days is they have used the vaccine on actual people afflicted with HIV and/or AIDS and it has been proven to have killed the virus in them. That is their "Phase One" which it has passed. It yet has to pass its "Phase Two" which is testing the vaccine on non-afflicted people as a preventitive (and to watch for side effects), but the scientists involved are certain it will pass it as well. It has a "Phase Three" as well to get it's official green light but I don't know what it involves unfortunetly.

    This really could be it, within the next five years. You young fuckers might have another sexual revolution yet.
     
  19. lust4life

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    And you'll be able to order it on the cheap, from those Canadian drugstores!
     
  20. Durbanite

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    Am I the only one saddened by this development? Africa *finally* develops a method of population control and the Western pharmaceutical companies go and take that away.

    In all seriousness, the "more than 35 million" number they came to that are infected with HIV/AIDS... where did they get this number? It's 10+ million just in South Africa, since it's grossly under-reported here as it's a "human rights" violation and you're not required by law to disclose whether you have HIV and also, as of a few years ago here, there were AIDS Denialists in government (well done there, former President Thabo Mbeki and now deceased Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang*). This is a communicable disease - it should be illegal for you to NOT disclose your HIV status, not the other way around. Way to go, stupid fucking government. It's supposed to be about protecting others from catching the fucking disease, not protecting yourself. There are still idiots here who refuse to use condoms, despite the government pumping millions of Rands into awareness campaigns, which have largely been as effective as pissing into a hurricane. The lack of common sense is fucking frightening sometimes.

    I think the number is closer to 80-100 million worldwide, since the whole of Africa has a rampant AIDS problem, due to under-reporting (government bungling and people simply refusing to disclose their status). I heard from someone else that the Far East also has a bad AIDS problem (Vietnam, Laos, etc.).



    *It would be fucking funny if it was AIDS that killed her, but no, it was the whiskey. She did a George Best (i.e. drank her way through her own liver and a transplant). What a fucking waste of space she was.