Posted on 08 July 2012 by The Bucket Editorial
With the recent confirmation of what we at The Bucket correctly predicted months ago – the finding of the Higgs Boson- the public was once again assaulted by the sorry excuse our media provides in lieu of scientific journalism.
Not only was the coverage of this discovery ill informed, it was offensively misleading. Despite the indignation of pretty much the entire physics community, journalists persist in using a sensationalist misnomer for the higgs boson- calling it ‘the God Particle’. This plainly shows that our media would prefer to beat up a good story than provide the public with truthful information. In fact, the name ‘the God Particle’ is a shortening and corruption of a quote by the Nobel laureate, Leon Lederman, who described the higgs boson as ‘that goddamn particle’ because it had been so elusive to detection. Using this moniker may stimulate the imagination and sell papers, but it does the enormous disservice of pushing science out of the reach of the layman and into the minefield that is spirituality and religion.
I was personally made to cringe at one line from The Age’s report on this step forward in particle physics. The Age thought it appropriate to publish, on their front page no less, the ridiculous line that the higgs boson was ‘difficult to track down as it can’t be seen’. Oh really? Is that it? That explains why it was so easy for us to discover the electron back in 1896, because a scientist must have seen one whizzing around…
Posted on 30 April 2012 by The Bucket Editorial
by Dave Macindoe
For those of you who have missed the occasional media coverage of the LHC, it is a piece of equipment the size of a small European country located near the Franco-Swiss border that makes little pieces of matter have head-on collisions with each other at mind-blowingly high speeds.
You may ask, apart from the obvious reason that watching high speed collisions is cool, why build this enormous instrument? Unsurprisingly, 111 different countries wouldn’t have spent €7.5 billion so a couple of scientists can giggle as they commit sub-atomic particle genocide.
In actual fact, CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (yeah, I know, that doesn’t abbreviate to CERN; you can add this acronym to the list of things that the French have ruined)) is using the LHC to attempt to answer some questions that underlie the foundations of theoretical physics. Typical of physics questions, these ones would not only have never been contemplated by most people, but also, the average Joe probably wouldn’t even see the merit in finding an answer to them. The most profound question being tackled by the LHC is: why does matter have mass? I’m sure many of you would be more likely to ask why your belly has so much mass, but that’s really a question for your weekly 3am McDonald’s runs rather than one for an international coalition of scientists.