On March 23, 1882, a girl named Emmy Noether was born in Erlangen, Bavaria. The daughter of a mathematician, she would turn out to be a mathematical genius and make one of the most important contributions to physics in the twentieth century.
Today's scientists as well as archaeologists reach farther and farther into the human past as well as further and further into the past of space, or future?, perhaps depending on which end of the telescope they are looking through.
The big idea emerging from the meeting -- and it is projected that it will take 10 years to actualize -- is to create an Origin of Life center at CERN.
The rock star status of today's scientific celebrities encourages aspiring scientists to focus on the retail possibilities that can result in fast fame and wealth. While understandable, this unwittingly neglects a crucial part of the scientific equation.
With the Large Hadron Collider safety issue now settled in the German court, the way is clear for a strategic meeting in February on Origin of Life at CERN. It's aimed at finding an answer to the big question that interests every one of us -- who we are and where we came from.
While the "why" part may elude us, perhaps forever, the Large Hadron Collider has over the last six weeks already supplied us with two important pieces of information about the "where" and the "how." Physicists tell us that this is just the beginning.
The story of the Higgs boson involves a major quest that began with the Babylonians and Egyptians and continued to the ancient Greeks, the Arabs, medieval Europe, and on through the 19th century to our own time.
Climbing up on a roof during the sultry city summer can be liberating, and it turns out to be a prime place for painting too. Away from the cacophony...
Our ancestors were obliged to accept maintenance of their health and well-being as a baffling, random struggle where chance routinely overrode knowledge and skill. Medical science is teaching us that we can reverse that relationship.
Peter Higgs had published the paper that was to bind him forever to the particle that bears his name in 1964, and had waited nearly fifty years for some kind of vindication. "I'm relieved it's coming to an end. It will be nice after all this time to be proved right."
"Why are we here?" is a universal question, and to answer it, you must ask "Why are we conscious? Where did mind come from?" After all, if the observer plays such a key role in turning waves into particles, you can't get very far if you don't know what the observer is actually doing.
What is the universe? What are we made of? What is our future fate? Do we live in more than three-space dimensions? These and many other questions like them can inspire the next generation.
It cannot credibly be denied that much good has come from scientific exploration. But in achieving such results, scientific discovery has also unearthed numerous problems, some with serious moral implications.
This week, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (aka CERN) found God. Or at least "the god particle." A Big Bang of Higgs boson jokes ensued -- many of them involving a priest and a play on the word "mass." With the god particle out of the way, maybe the CERN folks can try to isolate Mitt Romney's position on health care next. Speaking of Romney, he took a break from competing in the "Romney Olympics" and riding jet skis on Lake Winnipesaukee to criticize President Obama for the dreary June jobs report and promise to create an economy where more Americans can "take a vacation now and then with their loved ones." HuffPost's Jason Cherkis offered a suggestion for a new Romney campaign slogan: "A jet ski in every pot." Finally, don't believe those sources: Chief Justice Roberts didn't write any of this Sunday Roundup.
The discovery of a new particle at CERN is the just the beginning, not the end, of the scientific work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). What is the significance for humanity?