Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

thenewenlightenmentage:

5 of the Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics
The mysteries of the universe are as vast and wide as existence itself. Throughout history, mankind has searched and struggled to find the answers tucked away inside the universe and everything we see around us. As Deep Thought said in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.” True, we have yet to come up with the answers to life, the universe, and everything — but oh do we have questions! Solving these mysteries may help to explain not only the creation of the universe, but also how it works, why it works, and possibly how it will end.
1. The Higgs bosonThe Higgs boson is a hypothetical particle whose accompanying field is believed to be accountable for giving all other fundamental particles their mass. It is also the only elementary particle theorized in the Standard Model — the closest thing modern physics has to a “theory of everything” — that has not yet been actually observed through experiments. Why the difficulty proving this particular particle’s existence? The Higgs boson has such a rapid decay that its appearance in the world is ineffably brief. Instead, physicists look for evidence of the particle’s decay itself through experimentation.
Read More

thenewenlightenmentage:

5 of the Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics

The mysteries of the universe are as vast and wide as existence itself. Throughout history, mankind has searched and struggled to find the answers tucked away inside the universe and everything we see around us. As Deep Thought said in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”

True, we have yet to come up with the answers to life, the universe, and everything — but oh do we have questions! Solving these mysteries may help to explain not only the creation of the universe, but also how it works, why it works, and possibly how it will end.

1. The Higgs boson
The Higgs boson is a hypothetical particle whose accompanying field is believed to be accountable for giving all other fundamental particles their mass. It is also the only elementary particle theorized in the Standard Model — the closest thing modern physics has to a “theory of everything” — that has not yet been actually observed through experiments. Why the difficulty proving this particular particle’s existence? The Higgs boson has such a rapid decay that its appearance in the world is ineffably brief. Instead, physicists look for evidence of the particle’s decay itself through experimentation.

Read More

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