The New Year is already turning out to be a good one for science. Already, early though it is in the lifespan of the Large hadron Collder, we can say that this massive and costly experiment is well worth the money and effort spent on it.If it were only the narrowing down of the possible mass of the Higgs boson, we would be happy enough with the results, but particle physics is a well-defined science, even if the basic theories on which it is based are somewhat shaky But the results we have help us see that there may be super-symmetry out there and not the simple Standard Model we are used to. We can only expect greater and more interesting results from the LHC over the coming months and years.
New Year, new plans and changes
With the New Year we also see changes here at Changed Times – appropriately enough. Keeping up with the news has been tricky in past weeks simply because so much happens every week and there are so few of us – namely myself – working here at Changed Times.
Those who have tried to submit articles to us, few though they be, have pointed out our contributions page does not make the job easy (we have one such submitted article in this issue about the origins of life) and does not let them add their own name as a byline. It simply is not possible at the moment to keep to a weekly schedule and have the time to fix the problems on the website so until we can fix that it will be vital for the schedule to be no more than one issue every two weeks.
Please give us time – and keep trying to submit articles – while we get the issues fixed.
Its life Jim, but not as we know it
While astrophysicists work on the nature of the universe, particle physicists work on the fundamental structure of everything and technologists give us ever greater power, biologists have been working on the nature of life on Earth.
Far in our past, so says our existing theory of how life developed, there was a single form of life that was more successful than all the others and from which everything that now lives on Earth evolved. Now, studies on the common ground between all of present life have begun to pin down details of this Last Universal Common Ancestor of us all.
Noises of war
Meanwhile, as technology marches ever onward, we find ourselves almost back in the bad old days of the “browser wars” but this time with the “operating system wars” or perhaps it is better to say the “smartphone wars”.
We have already seen Apple launch a few preliminary attacks such as the recent one against the Samsung Galaxy Tab in its prefered proxy-battleground of the German courts and now we see Motorla strike back in the same ground with a strong reponse against all of Apple’s main products.
The wise, of course, know that while Apple is using a proxy battlefield the victims of its attack and the striking back at Apple are proxies for Google and what we see is an Apple versus Google’s Android war – with poor old Microsoft left waching from the sidelines.
- OU researchers predict the next big thing in particle physics: Supersymmetry (eurekalert.org)
- 2012: The year that the Higgs boson is discovered (oup.com)