Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Higgs Boson Discovery Upheld

Peer review is vital to the proper application of the scientific method. Even the most impressive-looking set of data is always subjected to criticism and analysis by other scientists in the field, to see if any mistakes might have been made during its collection. In July, I posted an article on the probable discovery of the Higgs Boson, the quantum particle that was hypothesized in the 1960's as a possible mechanism by which elementary particles acquire mass. After subsequent peer review, the discovery now stands. The Higgs Boson is for real.

Two articles by the teams at CERN, about 30 pages each, include 19 pages of single-spaced text with roughly 6,000 names of researchers who peer-reviewed the results of the experiments, making the discovery of the elusive God particle valid.

The papers conclude there is a one-in-300-million chance that the Higgs does not exist, thereby validating the theory on why elementary particles have mass.

This is exactly the sort of process we should have as magicians for evaluating our models and results. The only problem is that pesky issue of measuring states of consciousness in an objective fashion. We finally were able to gaze into the quantum world through the use of enormous particle accelerators like CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which was used to take the measurements demonstrating the existence of the Higgs. The pace at which consciousness research is currently progressing is encouraging, and the discoveries we've made about the brain since I earned my psychology degree back in 1991 are staggering. I'm hoping that means a viable "consciousness measure" is just on the horizon.

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