Can someone offer me some practical or applied significance to this discovery? I get that it might confirm string theory, and indicate that the standard model is incomplete or wrong, but how would this affect us directly? Would it lead to amazing new technologies? FTL? dimensional travel? Help me out here guys.
Missed the edit… Wanted to add that I’m being hyperbolic in my suggestions, but I DO want to know HOW this would be materially useful.
What are you talking about? Link maybe?
I’m assuming this. I’m going to go with “probably nothing at all” materially.
Yep that’s the one.
Yes, “probably nothing at all.” It is most certainly NOT a “discovery.” It is probably just a mis-measurement of background, along with a statistical fluctuation.
Understood, but suppose it is confirmed. What would that mean practically for physics and us in general? I’m okay with indulging in speculation here since we are discussing cutting edge science. After all, there must be some point to this type of work other than abstract knowledge that has no application whatsoever.
If the ‘bump’ turns out to be real, it would mean that there is something new and interesting that we need to ‘add’ to the Standard Model in order for it to correctly describe physics at high energies. It would very likely have no practical use whatsoever. But it would increase our understanding of the universe we live in. And it would be exciting to physicists – it has been quite a while since anything unexpected turned up at a collider.
This type of work is pure science – the point is to increase understanding of the natural world, regardless of potential application.
There has already been a thread on this subject:
It is wise to remember the words of Robert Wilson, when asked to justify the construction of the lab at which those results were obtained (now called Fermilab, then called the National Accelerator Laboratory).
In 1967 he took a leave of absence from Cornell to assume directorship of the not-yet-created National Accelerator Laboratory which was to create the largest particle accelerator of its day at Batavia, Illinois. In 1969, Wilson was called to justify the multimillion-dollar machine to the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy. Bucking the trend of the day, Wilson emphasized it had nothing at all to do with national security, rather:
It has only to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.
Or less poetically but more succinctly, the words of Richard Feynman:
Quantum mechanics was discovered decades before the transistor was invented.
Heron discovered steam power two thousand years before James Watt made a practical steam engine.
It might take a while, but knowledge will get used.
Google is my friend:
According to this website, that quotation is frequently attributed to both Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday, but there’s no good source for either attibution: