The Infinite Machine

Dec. 19, 2013 — Though it was hailed as a triumph for the "Standard Model" of physics -- the reigning model of fundamental forces and particles -- physicists were quick to emphasize that last year's discovery of the Higgs boson still left gaps in our understanding of the universe.

But in making the most precise measurements ever of the shape of electrons, a team of Harvard and Yale scientists, led by Harvard professors Gerald Gabrielse, the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics, John Doyle, Professor of Physics and Yale colleague David DeMille, has raised severe doubts about several popular theories of what lies beyond the Higgs boson. Their study is described in a December 19 paper published inScience Express.

"We are trying to glimpse in the lab any difference from what is predicted by the Standard Model, like what is being attempted at the LHC," Doyle said.

Science has always caused us to ask more questions than has given us answers. Many see science as the art of knowing and understanding, but in truth it's the art of seeking that which we do not understand. We recently discovered and observed in enough length and detail the Higgs Boson, AKA "The God Particle", and despite the answers it has given it has raised yet more questions.

Do we still have smaller particles to observe and find? If so, how much smaller can they get? Can they get so small that we can never observe them? If so, what do we do when we hit the wall of what our technology can do? How will we keep observing? What else will there be to know, or understand?

How can we make a model that explains the things we don't know? Can we ever do that? Is it possible that the particles get infinitely smaller, creating an Asentote effect? Just as the Universe is expanding, can it go the same for particles? Can it be expanding and getting smaller as well? How will we know?

The point I'm trying to make, is Science has always given us many answers to our questions. But the true beauty in science is that it continues to cause us to ask questions, no matter how much we learn or understand. Personally, this is what makes life beautiful. We will never know everything, but we will always have something to work towards! This idea makes our every day struggles seem a little less important... or more important. 

It's all about perspective. There is no Universal Level of importance. I am no more important to any of you than you are to me. But you are still important! Important within your own life, your own world. So the next time someone says you're living in your own little world, change your response. Maybe reply with "Why yes, thank you for noticing!" instead.