Monthly Archives: July 2012

‘Life from Water’- Life on Enceladus?

Plumes spurting ice particles, water vapor and trace organic compounds from the surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

1400 years ago, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was vouchsafed the revelation that, “…we made of water every living thing.” (21:31) Today, this same principle is used as the basis for the the search of extra-terrestrial life! What a marvel that an unlettered dweller of the Arabian desert was given this knowledge on account of his spiritual perfection, whereas it took well over a millenium for the rest of the world to even conceive of the idea of extra-terrestrial life- let alone devise the means for finding it! Continue reading

Why the Higgs Boson Matters

By STEVEN WEINBERG | Published: July 13, 2012 | New York Times Article Link

The July 4 announcement that the “Higgs boson” had been discovered at the CERN laboratory in Geneva made news around the world. Why all the fuss? New discoveries of elementary particles have been made from time to time without attracting all this attention. It is often said that this particle provides the crucial clue to how all the other elementary particles get their masses. True enough, but this takes some explanation. Continue reading

Higgs Boson: My new best friend

“For more than three decades, the Higgs has been physicists’ version of King Arthur’s Holy Grail, Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, Captain Ahab’s Moby Dick. It’s been an obsession, a fixation, an addiction to an idea that almost every expert believed just had to be true.”

I should be preparing for labs tomorrow and not thinking about the Higgs. But since everyone is having an opinion piece, I thought i write something on the higgs particles as well. That’s right, its the Higg’s Particle, and not “the god Particle”.

So some of the interesting questions from my non-physicist friends about Higgs Bosons are: what is it? What is the point of its discovery? How can we use it? How does it make any difference to my life and my health? Will you now be able to cure cancer? Can we build wormholes? Can you make man fly? Will it mean the end of physics? Where did that $6.19 Billion go? Why did it cost that much? and the list goes on…

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Dr Abdus Salam: Pride Pakistan does not deserve

Express Tribune by Anam Khalid Alvi on July 7, 2012

Why take pride in his achievements now when he is gone? What suddenly makes him eligible to be a pride for Pakistan? GRAPHIC: SUNARA NIZAMI

Professor John Womersley, Chief Executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London that they have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson

I’m sure that strikes a nerve with many knowing Pakistani’s. The Higgs’ boson, in Pakistan, is synonymous for Dr Abdus Salam; a scientist who was at the fore of this frontier of discovery in the 1970s. But rather than appreciation for his magnificent achievement, he was shunned and sidelined.

Why?

Dr Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s first and only theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate, was also an Ahmadi. Continue reading

Dr Abdus Salam’s contribution towards the Higgs Boson Particle – The Guardian

Higgs boson physicist shunned in Pakistan – The Guardian

Man whose work made discovery of elusive particle possible scorned in homeland because of his religious affiliation

higgs-boson-pakistan-scientist

Abdus Salam won the Nobel prize for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson. Photograph: AP

In what is perhaps a sign of the growing Islamic extremism in the country, Pakistan‘s only Nobel laureate, who helped develop the theoretical framework that led to the apparent discovery of the subatomic “God particle” last week, is being largely scorned in his homeland because of his religious affiliation.

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Salam and the Higgs Boson Particle

Whilst the Higgs Boson particle is credited primarily to Professor Higgs, several scientists, both living and dead, can be credited with the pioneering research that led to its proposition and eventual discovery. Two of these scientists are Prof. Tom Kibble of Imperial College, and his former colleague, Prof. Abdus Salam- the first Muslim and only Pakistani Nobel laureate. To read an exclusive interview of Kibble on Salam, click here

To read more on Pakistan’s contribution to this discovery read Farooq Tirmizi’s article on The Express Tribune, reposted below: Continue reading