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Close Only Counts in Horseshoes, Hand Grenades and Higgs Bosons

Suppose you come to the 72nd hole in regulation at the Masters golf tournament and you are tied for the lead with only a 2 foot birdie putt separating you from victory.  You drop down, line up the putt and maybe circle the area to survey the break, etc.   Then, just as you assume your stance and are about to stroke the putter and drop the ball into the cup, the awards committee walks out on to the green with the green jacket and trophy...to shove it in your face.  You quickly mark your ball and back away because now the entire tournament committee, the press, your family and friends are surrounding you to give you the award.  But wait a second, the tournament isn't over yet. The 2 footer still needs to be made and never mind that you've been making them all week.  The TOURNAMENT is NOT OVER!!!

This rationale did not stop the Nobel Prize in Physics from being awarded this week to Peter Higgs and François Englert who in 1964 theorized about a sub-atomic particle subsequently called the "Higgs Boson" and later referenced as "The God Particle."  These two geniuses have surely earned many accolades because to be blunt their "theory" about the existence of the Higgs Boson is beyond stellar.  In fact, it is a great, great and dare I say very great theory.  There's just one little problem. It is still just a theory.  Yes, the Higgs Boson is not unlike a short gimme putt that must be made on the last hole of the Master's.  

I say it's a great theory because after all shouldn't I assert such a thing given all of the numerous billions of dollars spent all over the earth trying to locate or prove the existence of this theoretical particle? (For example, the Large Hadron Collider alone cost $10Bil to build) What a wonderful theory this one is given all the cash spent chasing physical proof that the theory is correct.  And don't get me wrong, I'm sure one day soonish physicists will be immanently discovering said particle definitively and yes, perhaps maybe even in the near term. Ahem.  But it ain't done yet, folks!  And why are we giving away this precious, holy, sacred, noble Nobel unless we're 100% certain that the final putt is in the bottom of the cup? 

Sure, I'm the crazy lone person pointing this out to you. I accept it. But let me prove it to you now. Just let me prove to you that we are on the final hole of the Masters and the putt is not yet sunk.  This all started back in March of this year when the scientists around the Higgs research started dancing around declaring not that they had found the Higgs but that they had PROBABLY found it.  I'm not kidding!  Here's an example from Joe Incandela from the CERN team:

The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we

are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs

boson it is. 

The CBS News article I'm quoting goes on to point out that "whether or not it is a Higgs boson is demonstrated by how it interacts with other particles and its quantum properties, CERN said in the statement. After checking, scientists said the data "strongly indicates that it is a Higgs boson."

STRONGLY INDICATES??  WTF?!!??  When you toss a hand grenade and get close to your target, the blast ensures that close is sufficient to destroy it.  In horseshoes, when your tossed ring lands near the target, you get to flip it up to see if it touches the target. This is why the phrase "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades" came into circulation.  Now, we must amend that phrase to read "close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and Higgs Bosons." 

Of course, the media can't be troubled with all of the detail about whether or not we have data proving the existence of the Higgs Boson. They just openly declare it found and point to all the March 2013 articles as proof. Here's a New York Times example.  Well, we assume there are idiots in the media but what about the Nobel Prize committee itself?  What exactly are they awarding this year's prize for anyway?  Sit down, you're going to love this. It is taken straight from the official Nobel Prize website:

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the

origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider"

Oh....... my........God. 

They are getting the award for a "theoretical discovery!"  :-) (snort) They should have just stopped right there because the rest of the sentence is false. No one at CERN is confirming the existence of the Higgs Boson, ie "the predicted fundamental particle."  All that has been claimed is that it is likely the predicted particle.  Look even the good people maintaining the Higgs article at Wikipedia understand the distinction:

The Higgs boson or Brout-Englert boson is an elementary particle initially theorised in 1964,[6][7] and tentatively confirmed to exist on 14 March 2013.[8] The discovery has been called "monumental"[9][10]because it appears to confirm the existence of the Higgs field,[11][12] which is pivotal to the Standard Model and other theories within particle physics. It would explain why some fundamental particles have mass


For the record, I have highlighted in bold italic underlined RED the key elements of the statement expressing the lack of certitude inherent to the status quo. In plain english: they haven't found it yet!!! The theory is not fully confirmed!

This of course hasn't stopped the Nobel Prize committee from telling Higgs and Englert to simply pick up their ball and that the final putt has been conceded. Here is the committee in its own words:

On 4 July 2012, at the CERN laboratory for particle physics, the theory was confirmed

by the discovery of a Higgs particle. CERN’s particle collider, LHC (Large Hadron Collider),

is probably the largest and the most complex machine ever constructed by humans. Two

research groups of some 3,000 scientists each, ATLAS and CMS, managed to extract the

Higgs particle from billions of particle collisions in the LHC.

Only one problem here: CERN isn't claiming what the Nobel committee is claiming they are claiming. To distract, we are told the Collider is complex and confirmed to not be the result of a little help from aliens from outer space.  In case you missed it, this is "a Higgs particle" not "THE Higgs particle."

This great theory is supposed to explain where Mass comes from.  Forgive me if I'm just not there with these great geniuses just yet. I prefer we all agree to be there before we declare we're there.  The way this theory is being rewarded despite the missing confirmational data required to put the nail in the coffin certainly reminds me of a "God Particle." And that's why, we can all safely conclude that science has finally joined religion in declaring the supremacy of the likeliest explanations...even if they aren't yet confirmed.  Welcome to the party, science.  OK, that's an aside. 

Since the Nobel Committee has declared the Higgs Boson located based on work done by CERN, you may wonder what does CERN actually say about all of this? (I mean besides congratulating this year's winners)  CERN says:

           A problem for many years has been that no experiment has observed the Higgs

           boson to confirm the theory. On 4 July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at

           CERN's Large Hadron Collider announced they had each observed a new particle

           in the mass region around 126 GeV. This particle is consistent with the Higgs boson

              but it will take further work to determine whether or not it is the Higgs boson

           predicted by the Standard Model.

Ahem. Is it sinking in yet?  Are you following me?  All of these Higgs press releases, speculations, media articles, awards, etc are all premature.  In a sense, they are almost worse than an EEStor press release with it's missing parameters to declare objective merit. 

Ok, I'm going to end this article now with a concession. I concede that WHATEVER it is that Higgs and Englebert actually contributed theoretically is with merit and deserving of the award.  But!  You can't tell me the theory is proven until they confirm locating the actual Higgs Boson predicted by the model.  And until it is confirmed, I won't be 100% certain their likely merit is actual merit. I will follow the herd and honk appreciation like everyone else but I have no clear understanding of why I would be doing that with the rest of the herd.  What I will confirm is that close enough is good enough for the Nobel these days. But you already knew that given how they throw around the peace prize at just anyone. 

Views: 1118

Tags: eestor, nobel, physics, prize, zenn

Comment by jimbobway on October 9, 2013 at 11:42pm

I sense anger.

Comment by Y_Po on October 9, 2013 at 11:58pm

jimbobway, me too

Comment by Horshu on October 10, 2013 at 12:36am

Yeah, particularly when the results are at 5 sigma. Yeah, it's not technically "proof", but you do realize how definitive that degree of certainty is, right? That is not the same as horseshoes/hand-grenades.

Comment by Y_Po on October 10, 2013 at 1:21am

5 sigma is 99.9999426697% sure.

For comparison , Matt's y-po scale is 98 %, it's about 2.33 sigma.

So Matt is 2.33 sigma at Y_Po being right about Dick Weir being full of shit.

Comment by B on October 10, 2013 at 6:34am
Bah, math!
Comment by eggdescrambler on October 10, 2013 at 7:14am

Hi B

Good point. And good picture you've put up of a recent "Nobel Prize" winner who's promoting wars. LIke they might have given this peace prize a bit too fast.

Now, if you will apologize this post from a "moron" who does not drink the government kool-aid, here is an article from a guy who would somewhat agree with you, he just go once step further and actually don't believe an inch of it.


Statist researchers, who have sucked down billions of tax dollars in research funding, have recently declared that they found the notorious “Higgs Boson” that supposedly proves the standard model of physics.

Or did they?

From the NYT:

…He and others said that it was too soon to know for sure, however, whether the new particle is the one predicted by the Standard Model…

So far, the physicists admit, they know little about their new boson. The CERN results are mostly based on measurements of two or three of the dozen different ways, or “channels,” by which a Higgs boson could be produced and then decay.

There are hints, but only hints so far, that some of the channels are overproducing the boson while others might be underproducing it, clues that maybe there is more at work here than the Standard Model would predict.

From Reuters:

What scientists do not yet know from the latest findings is whether the particle they have discovered is the Higgs boson as exactly described by the Standard Model. It could be a variant of the Higgs idea or an entirely new subatomic particle that could force a rethink on the fundamental structure of matter.

The AP tells us a little more about what they are actually seeing in the data:

Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, say that they have compiled vast amounts of data that show the footprint and shadow of the particle, even though it has never actually been glimpsed…”You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don’t actually see it.”

Why all the hedging of bets if they have a “5 sigma signal” (99.9767% probability)?  The articles throw in some tidbits of truth along with a mountain of propaganda.  The truth is quite simple – the physicists have no idea what they are looking at.  Contrary to the propaganda, the results show deviations that are not consistent with the standard model’s theory of how the Higgs should behave.

Stephen Smith provides us a more detailed overview of the standard model:

In 1964, Peter Higgs speculated that space is permeated by a “field,” similar to an electromagnetic field. When particles travel through space, they encounter this field, acquiring “mass.” The concept can be illustrated by particles moving through a viscous fluid: the greater interaction of particles with the field, the greater their mass. The existence of the Higgs field is an essential component of his hypothesis.

As previously mentioned, quantum theory requires that fields be associated with carrier particles, so the expectation is that there must be a particle carrying the Higgs field: the Higgs boson. For the last few years, LHC’s focus has been to “find” the Higgs boson and determine if this mass origin hypothesis is correct.

The Higgs is the standard model’s answer to the aether concept.  The aether concept is, like the Higgs, a field which gives particles their form.  Simple logic declares that such a field must exist.  Think of the aether like an ocean.  In order to have a wave, you must have a medium for the wave to pass through, and you must have a medium which gives the wave its form.  A sound wave cannot form or travel without air, and likewise, logic dictates that light cannot act as a wave unless it has a medium for the light wave to propagate through.  Presently physicists reject this notion that light requires a medium of propagation.

The aether concept throws up a lot of roadblocks to the religion of the standard model.  For starters, an aether precludes a “dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux” (“And said God let there be light, and there was light”) Big Bang type of universe creation.   An aether would demand all physics be conducted using closed form classical physics, which would also preclude such things as black holes and dark matter.

From a CERN press release:

All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure.

You see, because the standard model does not explain the universe accurately, physicists are forced to dream up novel forms of matter and energy in order to make the standard model fit with what they observe in the lab and out in space.  If dark matter does not exist, then the standard model is off in its predictions by an astounding amount.  Dark matter is not something that the standard model predicted would be there from the start.  Dark matter simply something physicists dreamed up, ex post facto, to make their equations balance.  Without it, the entire model collapses on its face.  Physicists simply assume that dark matter must exist, because assuming otherwise means the entire standard model is a colossal failure.

While most physicists think that the aether concept has been completely debunked, they could not be more wrong.  While it is true that a litany of experiments have demonstrated results which disprove the aether, those results are interpreted with some faulty assumptions.

For example, in the Michelson-Morely experiment, physicists interpreted the null result to mean that the aether doesn’t exist.  But what they failed to consider is that the interferometer really undergoes a contraction in the direction of motion.  Physicist Gabriel LaFreniere explains how the results could have been misinterpreted here, if one assumes that the interferometer itself were distorted by the movement through the aether.

So back to the main point of the article.  The statist researchers know that money is getting tighter and tighter, so they need big propaganda coups to keep the cash hose pointed their way.  They have repeatedly wasted hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prove their phony theories, and they are realizing that when the budget squeeze comes, they will be first on the chopping block if they don’t come up with some major propaganda.

A few points of note:

• The CDMS project has never detected any observational evidence of dark matter despite years of trying, nor has the much more sensitive Xenon 100 experiment.  This directly refutes the notion that dark matter exists and is the supposed “missing mass” of galaxies. This non-detection directly refutes previous theory and stands in direct contradiction to predictions made by the theory of general relativity.

• A recent study of Quasars shows them to be devoid of all effects of time dilation. This non-detection directly refutes previous theory and stands in direct contradiction to predictions made by the theory of general relativity. Article on the subject here.

• The cepheid mass discrepancy problem has no solution in the standard model of stars. Recent findings by the ESO confirm that the standard model of stellar evolution is wrong.

• Frame dragging has never been definitively proven despite numerous attempts to look for it using numerous satellites. The most famous of which is Gravity Probe B. The final report issued by the Gravity Probe B team highlights problems created by the effects of “contact potential difference” induced error on the gyros.  The raw data showed no signs of any frame dragging at all.

comment on the findings by an astrophysicist:

Of the 4 gyroscopes (centering on the frame-dragging effect) 3 of them (#1,#2, and #3) show errors that admit values compatible with predictions closer to 0 mas/yr than to the -39 mas/yr prediction. One of them (#2) is compatible with a null result. Gyroscope #4 is compatible with -60.6 mas/yr . And these are the numbers achieved after more than 5 years of fitting the raw results to something tolerable.

A 2008 NASA review of the GPB project gave it a failing grade and made the point that:

“the reduction in noise needed to test rigorously for a deviation from general relativity ‘is so large that any effort ultimately detected by this experiment will have to overcome considerable (and in our opinion, well justified) scepticism in the scientific community’.”

The geodetic effect can be explained within a steady state Lorentz relativity.  The failure of the experiment to definitively confirm the Lense-Thirring effect calls General Relativity into question.

In short, don’t believe anything a statist scientist tells you.  Like any good fraudster, they are simply spinning great yarns in order to pick your pocket book.  Fundamental breakthroughs in science lead to fundamentally life altering improvements in technological advancement.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for these physicists to bring some kind of improvement to your life with this discovery.   Since it’s nothing more than a sham, nothing functional will result from it.

Comment by B on October 10, 2013 at 8:38am
Scientists who lie. That's very easy to believe.
Comment by eggdescrambler on October 10, 2013 at 8:41am

They might be lying to themselves. When you create new element fudge factor so your equation fits, it's more like a religion than science.

Comment by Y_Po on October 10, 2013 at 8:50am

You assholes are ridiculous.

Comment by cman on October 21, 2013 at 2:16pm

I agree B, annoying to say the least. This weekend i was in a discussion about the Nobel Prize winner was for finding the Higgs Boson. I went along with it because i simply thought i completely dropped the ball on missing the report that it was confirmed.

Turns out nope, i was right, no ball dropped here.


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