Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Higgs Mania - Any Chem Headlines Worth 'Camping Out' For?

In case you've been traveling - or living in the woods with limited 'net access - you may have heard that a massive press conference will be staged in Switzerland in just a few hours already happened. Speculation runs rampant, but many believe that CERN researchers may finally announce their "5-sigma-certified" confirmation of the Higgs boson, the mysterious missing link in the physics Standard Model. The whole thing's taken on a rather rock-concert feel, as evidenced by this tweet, from particle physics blogger Jester:
"Higgs seminar kicks off 9am but people queuing to auditorium from midnight. Now it's about 100 people waiting in front of closed door"
"Dude, artificial photosynthesis?!? We have to be there!"
Source: Patrik Giardino | evolve
(The author even runs a New Year's Eve-style counter on the site, reading Higgs Discovery in...)

So, I thought back to Philip Ball's prescient 2011 "Chemistry Grand Challenges" list for inspiration. What kind of chemistry headline would be so amazing that you'd be willing to camp outside the building for 9 hours?

"Human Brain Chemically Mapped; New,  Targeted Drug Cures Blindness, Alzheimer's, Dementia in Single Easy-to-Swallow Gelcap."

"Artificial Photosynthesis Shatters Expectations: Up to 10% Efficiency...and Guess What? It's Iron-Based!"

"SETI Detects Space Dinos in Faraway Galaxy; Opposite Life Chirality Confirmed. Defense Dept. Consults with Preeminent Paleontologists."

"Cosmochemistry Made Easy: Harness the Power of Cold Fusion for your Fireplace!"

"Quantum Computer Outraces Google PageRank for Search Speeds....and Guess What? It's Iron-Based!"

Update, 7/4/12 - Looks like 5-sigma results are in, according to multiple news sites. Houston, we (probably) have Higgs!


  1. "That weird TLC spot you spent 3 weeks isolating and analyzing? Guess what? It's iron-based!"

  2. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.