Responses to the greatest scientific problem: how far have we gone?
On the nature of the universe itself much unknown. That curiosity, inherent in the people, leading to the search for answers to these questions, and moves science forward. We have accumulated an incredible amount of knowledge and successes of our two leading theories - quantum field theory describing the Standard Model and general relativity, which describes gravity - show how far we have come in understanding the reality itself.
Many people are pessimistic about our current and future plans of attempts at guessing the great cosmic mysteries that put us into an impasse today. Our best hypothesis for new physics, including supersymmetry, extra dimensions, Technicolor, string theory, and others were not able to get any experimental proof until now. But this does not mean that physics is in crisis. This means that everything exactly as it should be: the physics is telling the truth about the universe. Our next steps will show us how well we listened.
The greatest mysteries of the universe
A century ago, the biggest questions that we could ask, and included a very important existential mysteries, such as:
- What are the smallest constituents of matter?
- Are our theory of the fundamental forces of nature do or need to get a better understanding?
- How big is the universe?
- Our universe has always existed or appeared at some point in the past?
- How do the stars shine?
At that time, these puzzles occupied the minds of the greatest men. Many even think that they can find answers. In particular, they require investment so it would seem, the vast resources that offer simple content with what we knew at the time, and to use this knowledge for the development of society. Of course, we have not received. Investing in society is extremely important, but just as important to expand the boundaries of the known. Thanks to new discoveries and research methods, we were able to get the following answers:
- atoms are composed of subatomic particles, many of which are divided into smaller components; Now we know the whole Standard Model.
- Our classic theory of quantum replaced that unite the four fundamental forces: strong nuclear, electromagnetic, weak nuclear and gravitational interaction.
- The observable universe extends to the 46, 1 billion light years in all directions; observable Universe may be much larger or infinite.
- It took 13, 8 billion years after the event known as the Big Bang that gave birth to the known universe. It was preceded by inflation epoch indefinite duration.
- The stars are shining through physics of nuclear fusion energy converting substance in the formula of Einstein E = mc 2.
And yet, it only deepened the scientific mysteries that surround us. With all that we know about the fundamental particles, we are confident that the universe must have a lot of other, as yet unknown to us. We can not explain the obvious presence of dark matter, dark energy do not understand and do not know why the universe is expanding so, and not otherwise.
We do not know why the particles have a mass which possess; why the universe overflows matter rather than antimatter; why neutrinos have mass. We do not know whether or not the stability of the proton, whether it will break someday is whether quantum gravity is a force of nature. And although we know that the Big Bang was preceded by inflation, we do not know whether it was at the very beginning of inflation, or it was eternal. Whether people can solve these riddles? Can the experiments that we can carry out with the use of modern and future technologies, to shed light on these fundamental mysteries?
Answers to questions about science
The answer to the first question - perhaps; we do not know what secrets keeps nature, has not yet see. The answer to the second question - definitely "yes." Even if every theory we've ever brought to the topic that is beyond the known boundaries - Standard Model and general relativity - 100% wrong, there is a huge amount of information that can be obtained by performing experiments that we plan to launch in the next generation. Do not build all of these installations would be a great folly, even if it is confirmed a nightmare scenario, which feared elementary particle physics for many years.
When you hear about the particle accelerator, you probably imagine all these new discoveries that await us at higher energies. The promise of new particles, new forces, new interactions, or even entirely new sectors of physics - this is what love pogrezit theorists, even if the experiment is the experiment make a mistake and do not fulfill these promises.
There are a good reason: most of the ideas that you can come up with in physics, has been either eliminated or severely limited data that we already have. If you want to open a new particle, the field, the interaction or event, you do not need to posit something that is inconsistent with what we already know for sure. Of course, we can make assumptions that later prove to be incorrect, but the data must be in agreement with any new theory.
That is why the greatest efforts in physics are not new theories and new ideas, and experiments that will allow us to leave the limits of what we have already examined. Of course, the discovery of the Higgs boson could lead to the hype, but how much Higgs associated with the Z-boson? What are all these connections between these particles and the other in the Standard Model? How easy is it to create them? After creation, whether mutual decays, which will differ from the decay of the Higgs standard plus the standard Z-boson? There is a technique that can be used to study this: create electron-positron collisions with the exact mass of the Higgs and the Z-boson. Instead of a few tens or hundreds of events that create a Higgs and Z-boson, as does the LHC, you can create thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of them.
Of course, the general public greater thrill discovery of a new particle, than anything else, but not every experiment is designed to create new particles - so it is not necessary. Some are designed to investigate the matter already known to us in detail and study its properties. Large Electron-Positron Collider, LHC predecessor, and has not found any new fundamental particles. As an experiment DESY, which colliding electrons and protons. And the relativistic heavy ion collider, too.
And this was to be expected; the purpose of these three collider was different. She was to investigate the matter, which really exists, with unprecedented accuracy.
It's not like these experiments simply have confirmed the Standard Model, but all they found, in line with the standard model only. They created a new constituent particles and measured the relationship between them. Relationships were found decay and branching, as well as the subtle differences between matter and antimatter. Some particles behaved as their mirrored counterparts. Others seem to violate time-reversal symmetry. However, it was discovered that other mixed together, creating a related condition, which we never knew existed.
The goal of the next great scientific experiment is not to simply look for one thing or check out one new theory. You need to collect a huge set of data are not available in other ways, and allow this information to direct the development of the industry. Of course, we can design and build experiments and observatories, focusing on what we expect to find. But the best choice for the future of science will be a multi-purpose machine that will be able to collect large and diverse amounts of data that would have been impossible to collect without such huge investments. That's why Hubble was so successful, why Fermilab and LHC pushed the boundaries further than ever before, and why future missions like James Webb Space Telescope, the future Observatory 30-meter class or future colliders will be needed if we are to answer ever to the most fundamental questions of all.
In business, there is an old saying that the same applies to science: "Faster. Better. Cheaper. Choose two. " The world is moving faster than ever before. If we begin to save money and will not invest in the "best", it would be tantamount to surrender.
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