Thought for the month

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Probably W.L. Sheldon, US lecturer on ethics (1858 – 1907) rather than Ernest Hemingway.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Big physics costs big numbers

As the large hadron collider (LHC) powers up after two years of maintenance and upgrading, I thought that I would re-visit the Standard Model, Higgs Bosons and Supersymmetry. With echoes back to Lord Palmerston and the Schleswig-Holstein question, finding, understanding and then retaining meaningful explanations about why the LHC and Higgs et al are so important to us all quickly becomes somewhat complex and confused. Popularizing intrinsically difficult to understand concepts is not easy but as the LHC has an annual budget of around $1 billion the job needs doing. Rephrasing a more recent UK Prime Minister, perhaps rarely have so few spent so much to discover something so important yet been unable to communicate its importance to so many.

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