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The Higgs Paradox: A Phenomenal Finding Leads To Many More Questions

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by Michael Keller

Finding the Higgs boson, a breakthrough in fundamental science that in 2012-2013 revealed an elementary reality about how the universe works, has highlighted how much more physics needs to be done.

Discovering the Higgs boson plugs a large hole in the standard model, the highly tested theory that shows all matter is made of a number of elementary particles that interact through four fundamental forces—strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational forces. Together, these comprise everything we currently understand about matter.

"The standard model provides a consistent explanation of the subatomic world," said Jonathan Bagger, a high-energy physicist who is the incoming director of Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. "The Higgs boson is at the center of the model. It’s the linchpin. But there’s plenty of the universe that the standard model doesn’t address."

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Arise, Brahe And Bohr: Higgs Boson Takes Bow Before European Scientists

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by Michael Keller

The spirits of Denmark’s greatest scientists were invoked to usher in the start of Europe’s largest general science meeting in Copenhagen this Sunday. Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe 2, called on a long tradition of empiricism from 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe to Niels Bohr, the 20th century physicist who unraveled the hidden structure of the atom and helped found quantum theory.

"We take great pride in hosting this conference," she said to hundreds of scientists and engineers who packed a hall for the opening of the 2014 Euroscience Open Forum.

Soon after her remarks, José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, threw down a challenge to the rest of the world while also holding out a hand. He said Europe’s commitment to the pursuit of science is evident by the fact that the continent produces two times as many science and technology graduates as the U.S.and invests the most in scientific advances.”Science does indeed matter to the future of Europe,” he said.”Many solutions to the problems today in Europe will come from science.”

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Oldest Star In The Universe Discovered
Australian National University astronomers have found the universe’s oldest known star. They say it formed shortly after the Big Bang around 13.7 billion years ago.
"This is the first time that we’ve been able to unambiguously say that we’ve found the chemical fingerprint of a first star," said astronomer Stefan Keller in a university statement. 
The discovery, a relatively close 6,000 light years away from Earth, is letting researchers study the chemistry of early stars and giving them a better idea of the universe’s beginning. It was later confirmed using the Magellan telescope in Chile.
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The ancient star, called SMSS J031300.36−670839.3, was discovered at the Siding Spring Observatory using the SkyMapper telescope. Its discovery is part of a broader five-year project to produce the first digital map of the southern sky. SkyMapper has already photographed more than 60 million stars during its first year of operation.
The composition of their find indicates it formed in the wake of a primordial star that was 60 times the mass of our sun.
“To make a star like our sun, you take the basic ingredients of hydrogen and helium from the Big Bang and add an enormous amount of iron – the equivalent of about 1,000 times the Earth’s mass,” Keller said. “To make this ancient star, you need no more than an Australia-sized asteroid of iron and lots of carbon. It’s a very different recipe that tells us a lot about the nature of the first stars and how they died.”
Their work so far and further research into ancient star composition may resolve a long-standing discrepancy between observations and predictions concerning the Big Bang.
“The stars we are finding number one in a million,” said discovery team member Mike Bessell.
The discovery was published in the latest edition of Nature.
Top image: Stefan Keller with the SkyMapper telescope, courtesy of Australian National University. 

Oldest Star In The Universe Discovered

Australian National University astronomers have found the universe’s oldest known star. They say it formed shortly after the Big Bang around 13.7 billion years ago.

"This is the first time that we’ve been able to unambiguously say that we’ve found the chemical fingerprint of a first star," said astronomer Stefan Keller in a university statement

The discovery, a relatively close 6,000 light years away from Earth, is letting researchers study the chemistry of early stars and giving them a better idea of the universe’s beginning. It was later confirmed using the Magellan telescope in Chile.

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Who Will Win In The Fight Against Superbugs?

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by Txchnologist staff

Survival of the fittest has served humans and our ancestors well for millions of years. We have developed sophisticated defense mechanisms, like highly specialized senses and immune systems that can thwart many of our greatest threats. And for the things our immune systems can’t defeat, we have developed advanced medical techniques to combat infection and disease.

Of course, we’re not the only creatures capable of adapting. Like all other living organisms, bacteria are constantly evolving. And because they multiply quickly and in large numbers, their rate of change dwarfs our own.

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