Thursday, January 03, 2013

Ahh, poor journalism and high energy physics. Again.

Well, apparently I should just retire.  According to this article at the National Post, "Higgs boson discovery may signal the world’s last physics experiment as scientists struggle to come up with next big question". This isn't just a case of poor headline scripting by some editor. The article itself says:
What modern physics knows about the matter in the universe (better at the end of 2012 than the beginning) is that it is basically shrapnel, strange bits that endure from an ancient explosive nativity, known as the Big Bang. What Melissa Franklin knows about modern physics (likewise better than ever, or pretty much anyone) is that it is finished. Done. Kaput.
I am going to assume that this is just a case of poor journalism, and that Prof. Franklin, the chair of Harvard's physics department, does not really think that all of modern physics is encompassed by collider-based high energy work.


Unknown said...

Weird. Last time people claimed "modern physics is done", they came out with quantum revolution.

nice blog, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I read the article, and it is definitely bad editing/bad headline writing.
Franklin never says something like the title insinuates.
The closest she comes is:

“If we don’t find anything other than this Higgs, and this Higgs is the Standard Model Higgs, and there’s nothing else in the data that we see, I don’t think anybody’s going to pay for us to build another accelerator,” Prof. Franklin said in an interview. (...) “But we could. There’s lots of plans.”

She limits her words to the physics of the Standard Model, and the experiments of accelerators.

I.e. Joseph Brean is an idiot that doesn't know what (physics) he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Brean being the journalist in the byline

Anonymous said...

My favorite part is the photo of the seminar at CERN. I think the future of the field may be in doubt for reasons other than funding..