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Physicists may have broken a law of nature for a tiny instant - researchers at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed.

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level 1

That is fucking cool! This needs more research.

level 2

I bet 5 bucks that a good number of black holes in the universe were the end result of intelligent civilizations.

level 3

And we could do the Universe a favor by emulating them?

level 1

If you can break it, even for a tiny instant, it's not a law of nature.

level 2

Doesn't mean it's not a law of nature, just means that they were wrong about it and need to rethink that part.

level 3

Upvotes for you, we hear this kind of stuff far too much - you cant break nature, but you can be inaccurate in your existing descriptions. Almost winds me up as much as "scientists say" ... (some crap) on the news

level 3

Just means that there are ways around it in certain circumstances.

"Gravity" is pretty darn reliable, but I can jump into the air for a fraction of a second.

level 4

You are wrong sir. ( Gravity will LET you jump in the air, but the laws of gravity says you will come down.

level 5

Well, same with whichever "law of nature" was "broken" in the article (didn't read).

We briefly created a "a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity no longer existed".

Obviously, the laws of nature will LET us do that (briefly).

level 6

Like I said, technically there was no law broken. We were wrong about the law in the first place.

level 7

Not "wrong" so much as slightly off. In this case we can say "True for all cases except where energies are >=< to E. or whatever. Which does not invalidate the law, simply amending it (as we do all the time to various things) as we receive more data.

level 2

Yes, it should be, "...what is thought to be..." Maybe he ran out of characters.

level 1

I like my laws of nature, and these damn particle physicists keep fucking them up!

level 2

Don't worry. I'm sure they'll get a ticket in the mail.

level 1
3 points · 8 years ago

I'm 38 and what is this?

level 1

Well, let me know when they cause a false vacuum collapse.

level 2

Since it would propagate out at light speed, you'd find out pretty fast. Too bad you probably wouldn't survive it though.

level 1

Wait a minute.... They know that strong force parity is broken because different quarks are following magnetic field lines in opposite directions? But magnetic fields are part of the electromagnetic force (or the electro-weak force at this high of an energy). How do they figure the strong force is playing a role? Are they proposing that they've unified the strong and electro-weak forces? (I don't think they are -- that would be more significant headline.) So what gives?

level 1

That's really not a good title.

Parity is a symmetry, not a 'law' like conservation of energy(*).

So it's not the case that a law has been broken, more that it was thought that the strong nuclear force had this symmetry, but now it seems it may not. This is following the same track as the weak nuclear force which is has been known for over 50 years to be parity-violating.

(*) For those thinking that conservation of energy isn't much of a law either, because of virtual particle pairs popping out of the vacuum, that's more about uncertainty than energy violation.

level 2
1 point · 8 years ago

Parity is a symmetry, not a 'law' like conservation of energy.

Is there a difference?

level 3

Wasn't arguing conservation doesn't arise from underlying symmetries.

Note the quotes to indicate reference to the original colloquial 'law of nature' from the title.

level 1
-1 points · 8 years ago

Awesome, thanks for the link. Kez

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