Sep

22

BunsenBwog: Science is Fiction

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Doing science.

Science is back! Bwog’s resident test tube aficionado Zach Kagan reports.

After an exhaustive series of tests at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, Scientists have ruled out all possible masses for the elusive Higgs Boson between 145 and 466 GeV with 95% certainty. Professor Peter Woit vented his frustration, saying “a malicious deity has carefully chosen the Higgs mass to make it as hard as possible for physicists to study it.” Come on, Higgs Boson, be a team player.

Speaking of illusive matter, some physicists are beginning to doubt dark matter’s existence. Columbia’s XENON100 lab in Gran Sasso, Italy has found no evidence of the particles that theoretically make up dark matter. However, the dark matter detector next door, Gran Sasso National Laboratory’s CRESST-II, has published data suggesting that WIMPS are indeed out there. XENON100 physicists doubt CRESST-II’s data, so the fate of dark matter is unsure, baring some sort of decisive cage match between the labs.

World War II may have seen the greatest generation, but ours certainly knows how to party harder, or so says a new Columbia study. Those born in the past half of the century are more likely go on binges and develop drinking problems. While the jury is still out over the cause of the spike in drinking, but the past year’s Billboard top 40 hits certainly aren’t helping.

The freighting plausible and star-studded epidemic thriller “Contagion” is winning praise with critics and audiences alike partially due to efforts of Columbia epidemiologist W. Ian. Lipkin. Professor Lipkin designed the (thankfully fictional) virus that wrecks havoc on Minneapolis and trained the actors how to  effectively act its symptoms. His help was so appreciated that a writers created a character based off of him.

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    What is it about physicists chasing after invisible particles???

    • Anonymous  

      Seriously... when I learned about the idea of dark matter in Frontiers, I honestly said to myself 'wtf.' Seems like kinda fuzzy logic to just assume something is out there just because the universe should have more mass. This may just be a liberal arts major talking but, if you apply Occam's Razor to this, there doesn't seem to be much there. Couldn't we just be... you know... wrong about something else?

      That being said, the only experience I have with physics is AP Physics B in high school. Frontiers doesn't count. :P

      • Anonymous

        sometimes i wonder how people get admitted here...

      • Fellow liberal arts major  

        You're basically right. The fact that things are moving faster than the calculations predict means that the standard model is incomplete. "Dark matter" and "dark energy" don't refer to actual mysterious particles or energy; they're just a placeholder name of sorts for whatever unobserved phenomena are causing our observations to differ from our predictions.

        If a theoretical physicist came up with a whole new model that explained both the things we don't understand (like what causes "dark matter" and "dark energy") as well as everything we've already observed, then I'm sure people would abandon the Standard Model. But that's not going to happen. It's much more likely that people will find small modifications to the general model (which works extremely well) that explain "dark matter" and "dark energy."

        It won't be Copernicus obliterating the Ptolemaic model of the solar system so much as Einstein's theory of relativity supplanting and supplementing Newton's Laws. Make sense?

    • Anonymous

      Hey, Einstein, what's with the speed of light: slowing down, speeding up, under review ?

  2. Anonymous

    Really guys, you should warn what you link to, now I need a drink

  3. Anonymous

    Is this reporter a dead head cryptocynic suggesting that we are a delusional generation indulging in visions of dark matter and God's particles, doomed to an epidemic eradication, or has he drank too much tea?

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