CERN finally released the long awaited news, the greatest physics breakthrough in a very long time – the Higgs Boson has been observed (or at least a new particle which seems to correspond exactly with it).
If you haven’t heard of the Higgs Boson before, or if you’re unsure of what it is, this video is a great introduction to the topic. Basically, it is the particle which works as a layer of friction in the entire universe, causing all matter to have mass. It is the reason for gravity, more or less. (This is the particle that for some annoying reason often is referred to as “the god particle” in the lay media.)
As just a short thoughts, I think it’s amazing to hear that (one of) the discoverer(s) of the Higgs Boson and its namesake, Peter Higgs, was still around to see this day. I have yet to see any video from the seminar, but judging by comments from those who were there he was extremely touched, and he himself never thought he would see the day in his lifetime. Seeing as the discovery of the Higgs Boson (notice the difference between discovery and observation by the way) was in the mid-1960′s, I had foolishly assumed that Higgs was long gone.
Read more! The live blogging from the seminar at Cosmic Variance; the press release from CERN.
I didn’t see this one until today. Brilliant.
Having gone off from traditional newspapers and TV reports more and more in the last few years, I’m now getting almost all of my news from RSS feeds (what is RSS?), anything from private blogs such as mine, to larger science blogs, news outlets and organisations such as NASA, and – let’s face it – a bunch of other stuff just for fun. I decided to make this post to go through all English language feeds I follow. Count all these feeds as recommended. In no specific order.
- xkcd: One of the best web series out there, with good nerd and science humour.
- Morito Ergo Sum: A promising, up and coming doom metal band.
- Richard Wiseman: A British psychologist, with lots of great visual illusions (like the one to the right), puzzles and interesting thoughts.
- SMBC Comics: Funny, skeptical comics from the SMBC team, which I’ve linked to several times in the past.
- To Posterity – and Beyond!: The blog of Cori Samuels, an audio book recorder I totally fell in love with after hearing her LibriVox rendition of William Morris’ “The Wood Beyond the World” (which I reviewed here). Her blog is extremely slow on updates, but still of interest.
- TorrentFreak: The best news source I’ve found concerning internet piracy and filesharing. Although extremely subjective (pro-piracy), they report a great deal on the recent news concerning police busts, laws, new technology, interviews and studies.
- Wuffmorgenthaler: Another web series, of much lower quality than SMBC and xkcd, but still fun sometimes.
- Dinosaur Comics: Yet another web series, much wordier than the other, but (most of the time) a lot of fun. Plus, it has dinosaurs.
- Just Bento: Cool pictures of and recipes for Japanese box lunches (like the one to the right).
- The Big Picture: With the tagline “News stories in photographs”, this is a news source which sort of focuses on the tragic events (such as the Japanese nuclear incident last March), and has a lot of excellent, provocative pictures to go along with them.
- WebUrbanist: Cool architecture. Sort of.
- Anton Nordenfur: My own blog. Just to see if the RSS feed is working properly.
- Ars Technica: The latest news in computer technology – computers, operative systems, smart phones, smart TV, tablets, et cetera.
- Astro-photo.nl: The astronomy blog of André van der Hoeven, the dude who took the Moon picture that I wrote about yesterday. Lots of cool space photos.
- Brainstorm Headquarters: The blog of Fredrik Bränström, rarely updated but excellent when it is.
- Discover Blogs: This feed includes multiple blogs under Discover Magazine, including the awesome Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy. A great way to keep up with science news from many different fields, some interesting and some less interesting.
- Explore. Dream. Discover. (and bring a parrot): The rarely updated blog of the fantastic Kaylee, a skeptic parrot owner. Sometimes in Swedish, sometimes in English.
- Hacking Chinese: A blog by Olle Linge on learning Chinese, which I’ve referenced a couple of times before.
- LROC News: News released from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, which produced the Apollo 11 photo I wrote about a couple days ago.
- NASA Breaking News: Constant updates about the work of the American Air and Space Administration.
- Neurologica: The blog of Dr. Steven Novella, probably most famous as the host of the podcast The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, which I follow avidly since a year past or so. A practicing neuroscientist giving a “daily fix of neuroscience, skepticism, and critical thinking”.
- Olle Linge: The personal blog of Olle Linge behind Hacking Chinese. Sometimes in Swedish, sometimes in English.
- Science-Based Medicine: A blog on scientific medicine, combating nonscientific medicine, basically. With editors and contributors like Steve Novella (who also runs Neurologica), Mark Krislip, David Gorsky and others.
- Skepchick: The skeptic women organisation Skepchick’s blog, with multiple contributors headed by Rebecca Watson (also of the Skeptic’s Guide, by the way).
- Universe Today: The best outlet for astronomy news, which is also the reason I’ve referenced them several times in the past. Headed by Fraser Cain of the podcast Astronomy Cast.
- VODO: VODO is a great source for films and TV series released online under a Creative Commons license. The feed gives a constant update on new projects.
- Pioneer One: The source for news about the VODO TV series Pioneer One.
- Quantum Diaries: News updates on particle physics and quantum theory.
- Astroblog: Astronomy news from Australian Ian Musgrave.
- Tom’s Astronomy Blog: Astronomy news from… well, Tom.
- Astronomy Blog: Another astronomy blog, this time British – okay, I consume a lot of astronomy news, so sue me. Following many different sources make evaluating and making sure not to miss anything much easier.
- Quantum blog: The personal blog of Jev Kuznetsov, a physicist and Matlab programmer.
- China Space News: News on the Chinese space programme, which is sadly rarely reported on on other astronomy news sources such as Universe Today, in spite of it being one of the most interesting programmes out there, definitely competing with NASA and the ESA.
- Reuters’ Top News: A good feed for staying up to date with the most important headlines out there. I also have a separate feed for Reuters’ science news, but couldn’t find a link.
I also follow a bunch of Swedish language blogs, mostly on Swedish politics. Yay.