always raises a smile with his articles. By articles I mean stories, not his testicles.
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful particle punisher ever assembled by the human race, say that experiments there are going well. In particular, they have managed to create out of pure energy a thing which they describe as a "beauty" featuring an antimatter bottom. LHCb Beauty particle collision …
Yes, the b quark is occasionally referred to as beauty. It is one of a duo with the t quark and depending on who you ask they are "truth and beauty" or "top and bottom". But you have to pick one set of names and stick with them.
Whoever named this beauty particle clearly belongs to the truth and beauty crowd, so I suggest there is no bottom on display here. Sorry to disappoint.
... that this should be an anti-beauty not an anti-bottom? Then may i be the first to propse we rename the anti-bottom an "Essex Lass"?
"Dave i think we've created a beauty"
"Wait Tom, nope its not a beauty, its the opposite of a beauty!"
"No! Not an Essex Lass!"
"Yep, 'fraid so. Still im sure she'll put out a lot.... (of energy)"
Nor an antibottom, mores the pity. I understand (in the loosest possible sense of the term) that the antimatter partner to a bottom quark is a "bottom anti-quark".
I wonder if they're beginning to regret their nomenclature.
Boffin [indicating screen]: This is a top quark.
Joe Public: And that's the opposite of a bottom quark?
Boffin: No. That would be a top antiquark.
Joe: That's strange
Boffin [pinching bridge of nose]: No, it isn't. [Indicates other part of screen]. That's strange.
Joe: Why, what is it?
Boffin: Strange, dammit! It's a strange quark, you idiot!
Joe: Charmed, I'm sure.
Boffin: [head explodes]
"STANDARD REG SCIENCE QUALITY WARNING: The chance that we are following this correctly is roughly equivalent to that of a man with no arms throwing a handful of jelly through a falling doughnut at fifty yards without touching the sides."
Doesn't matter - it's Friday and it says 'bottom', that's all we need to know.
I find it interesting that:
Proving E=MC² involves drawing lots of esoteric symbols, then some complicated engineering and results in a big hole in the ground.
Proving M=E/C² involves digging a big hole in the ground, then some complicated engineering and results in the display of a lot of esoteric symbols.
Preferably in 'Captain Dummy Talk' [tm].
I'd really like to understand some of this stuff, but I think I'm pretty much reduced to, "ooooh look at the pretty lights", with maybe a side order of, "wubble".
Still, keep up the good work. While I continue to read the articles, I can continue to pretend to myself that I'm a scientifically literate renaissance man, rather than a knuckle-dragging, biomass harvest unit to feed our inevitable machine overlords.
Funny you should mention jelly donuts --- as we should all remember from physics (or maybe cooking) class, 1 jelly donut gives about 1 megaJoule, thus about 6e15 GeV.
So you'd need around 1.2 trillion anti-bottomed beauties to get that jelly into that donut.
My conclusion: the LHC is not as effective as a stationary bicycle for weight loss.
You think the nomenclature of quarks is in a mess? Try something as prosaic as one's sexual proclivities if you want to witness confusion on the run.
Now as most readers of El Reg know, some gentlemen prefer the company of other gentlemen when engaging in the relief of internal glandular pressures, and deploy a range of activities (generally known as "play", except to fundies, who call it all a "deplorable lifestyle") to accomplish depressurization of certain internal glands. Many of these activities clearly have one partner taking the leading role, and the assignment of players to the epistemological categories "top" and "bottom" is easy. But some types of play don't lend themselves to such easy description because they embody a conflict between the psychological reality and the physical reality.
All of which adds up to a plea for gay men not to use "top" and "bottom" when describing their unspeakable, deplorable, unnatural lusts, but rather to use phrases such as "I prefer to be Xed" and "I prefer to X", for various values of X.
Postscript: I'm wondering if it's possible to build a Large Gay Man Collider (LGMC) and fire highly energetic dudes in pink feather boas and fluffy sweaters at highly butch dudes kitted out in High Leather. What would be the lifetime of the resultant particles? Would flashing disco lights be an essential part of the apparatus???
Wonderful stuff and good reporting. We Need More.
As an aside, reading the article, having just returned from Slims Throat Emporium, the mention of muons and anti-muons seemed to settle in my brain. Could this be a covert reference to cats? Mewing and anti-mewing or simply mews and anti-mews. Schoedinger knew all about cats and by association mewing or muon(ing). The chaps at LHC might need to stand back from their discoveries just to apply Schroedinger's and Heisenberg's theories. I'm sure they do, but do they really/
I'd suggest that bottoms and tops exist simultaneously until one attempts to investigate one of them.
Ok, Back to the pub.
"The chance that we are following this correctly is roughly equivalent to that of a man with no arms throwing a handful of jelly through a falling doughnut at fifty yards without touching the sides"
Piece of piss that, so I reckon you must've done well. You should do guest spots in The New Scientist, it would liven up the tone a bit :)
I fucking love the Reg, don't know what I'd do without it. Along with my webmail and a motorbike forum, it's one of the only three sites I visit *all* the time, and you only have to read this article to see why.
Please can I have my free t-shirt now :)
I wonder what the church punters have to say about it? I'm just that tipsy that I'm not afraid to ask.
Anonymous because separation of church and state applies only to the government - or that part of it that still honors the Constitution at more than face value, at least. Tee-hee?....
"the sooner the missing 96 per cent of the universe can be tracked down - perhaps hidden in another dimension or something."
well, to keep it simple, we CANNOT see all the universe.. Until we make a craft to get out there, that is.. *sight* is limited by the speed of light, so the farther away something is, the older it is...
A bit like shining a very weak torch into a LARGE darkened warehouse, you will not be able to see the far wall, until you get much closer...
I like the torch/warehouse analogy, but it's not just a matter of being able to see what's very far away. What the scientists allude to here is that we can't see everything that's right here, around us.
There is some stuff that we know is around us because it interacts very sparingly with the stuff we can see (neutrinos through a tank of cleaning fluid, for instance). However, there is a lot of stuff out there that we THINK exists, but we're not sure because we haven't yet figured out how it would interract (if at all) with the stuff that we can see.
Don't use comments like 'pretty much the whole of physics is wrong' - it just panders to the nut jobs that don't know what the word 'theory' means.
To take a stupid example, if all of our understanding of physics was wrong, would wouldn't have been able to build the collider in the first place. Or a car, a radio, a lightbulb or a hammer. Or boil water for a cup of tea. At the very least, most people understand enough physics to know that if you heat up water enough it will boil, and they'd be right. Admittedly most people can't do the maths.
Mostly, the Standard Model is incomplete and will be replaced with one that explains everything at least as well as the current theory and hopefully more bits besides.
I agree. The problem with being an honest physicist and saying "This is a theory" is that many hear this statement as "Even I have doubt in this, and I'm the scientist who came up with it!!!" before using it as an argument in the next anti-evolution conversation they have.
Namely "Aha, even SCIENTISTS doubt evolution really happened!".
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021