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Sunday, 14-Apr-2013 12:07 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Beyond Higgs- 5 Elusive Particles That May Lurk in the Universe_

Beyond Higgs: 5 Elusive Particles That May Lurk in the Universe
With the recent confirmation of a Higgs Boson discovery, many physicists were at least a little disappointed. That's because all signs point to it confirming the Standard Model, the nearly 100-year-old theory that explains the tiny bits of matter that make up the universe.
But some physicists still hold out hope for results that could provide a bigger shake-up,nike blazers sale, looking for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and physics experiments at other facilities to reveal other hidden particles lurking in the universe. From gravitons to winos, here are five bizarre things that may exist beyond the Higgs:
1. Gluinos, winos and photinos
If a theory called supersymmetry is true, there could be more than a dozen particles out there awaiting discovery. The theory holds that every particle discovered so far has a hidden counterpart.
In the Standard Model, there are two types of particles: bosons, which carry force and include gluons and gravitons; and fermions, which make up matter and include quarks, electrons and neutrinos, according to Indiana University physicist Pauline Gagnon's blog Quantum Diaries.
In supersymmetry, each fermion would be paired with a boson, and vice versa. So gluons (a type of boson) would have gluinos (a type of fermion), W particles would have winos, photons would have photinos, and the Higgs would have a counterpart called the Higgsino. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]
Unfortunately for advocates of supersymmetry, the LHC has so far found no traces of these elusive particles, suggesting that it is unlikely they exist, said Peter Woit, a mathematical physicist at Columbia University in New York.
In 2012,jeremy scott chaussures, for instance, physicists discovered ultra-rare particles called B_s ("B-sub-S") mesons, which are not normally found on Earth, but which can sometimes exist fleetingly after two protons collide at near the speed of light. The rate at which they were observed fits with the Standard Model, meaning that any supersymmetric particles that do exist would have to be much heavier than initially hoped.
Another weakness of the theory: there are around 105 "free parameters," meaning that physicists don't have very good limits on the size and energy ranges within which the particles would be found. So scientists don't have a good idea of where to look for these particles.
2. Neutralinos
Supersymmetry also predicts that special particles called neutralinos, which carry no charge, could explain dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up most of the universe's matter density, but is only detected by its gravitational pull. In supersymmetric theory, a mixture of all the force-carrier particles except gluinos would create neutralinos, according to Gagnon's blog.
Neutralinos would have formed in the scorching early universe and left enough traces to explain the presence of dark matter whose gravitational pull is felt today,nike free danmark.
Gamma-ray and neutrino telescopes could hunt for these elusive particles in areas chock full of dark matter, such as the solar or galactic cores. In fact, physicists recently announced big news: a particle collector on the International Space Station may have found evidence of dark matter, though details aren't out yet.
3. Gravitons
It stumped Albert Einstein, and it's puzzled physicists ever since: How to create a single theory that captures all the fundamental forces, such as gravity, and the behavior of quantum particles. For instance, the reigning theory of particle physics doesn't encompass gravity.
That question has led physicists to propose quantum gravity particles known as gravitons, which are tiny, massless particles that emit gravitational waves. In theory, each graviton would exert a pull on the matter in the universe, but the particles would be difficult to detect because they interact weakly with matter. [6 Weird Facts About Gravity]
Unfortunately, directly detecting these shadow particles would be physically impossible with current technology. The hunt for gravitational waves using tools such as LIGO could reveal the existence of gravitons indirectly, however.
4. The unparticle
Recently, scientists found traces of another bizarre particle, called the unparticle. It could carry a fifth force of nature, that of long-range spin-spin interactions. On smaller scales, a short-range spin interaction is common: it's the force that aligns the direction of electron spin in magnets and metals. But longer interactions are much more elusive. If this force exists at all, it would have to be a million times smaller than that found between an electron and a neutron.
To find the unparticle, physicists are searching inside Earth's mantle, where tons of electrons are packed together, aligned with Earth's magnetic field. Any small perturbation in that alignment could reveal a hint of the unparticle.
5. Chameleon particle
Physicists have proposed an even more elusive particle, the chameleon particle, which would have a variable mass. If it exists, this shape-shifter could help explain both dark matter and dark energy.
In 2004, physicists described a hypothetical force that could change depending on its environment: in places with tightly packed particles such as Earth or the sun, the chameleon would exert only a weak force, whereas in sparsely packed areas it would exert a strong force. That would mean it would start out weak in the densely packed early universe, but would get stronger as galaxies flew outwards from the center of the universe over time.
To find the elusive force, physicists would need to discover evidence of a chameleon particle when a photon decays in the presence of a strong magnetic field. So far, the search hasn't yielded anything, but experiments are ongoing.
Follow Tia Ghose @tiaghose.


Sunday, 14-Apr-2013 12:06 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Germany warns Cyprus "playing with fire" as aid deadline looms

Germany warns Cyprus &quot,nike blazer femme;playing with fire&quot,nike free dk; as aid deadline looms
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Ex-general Yaalon named as Israeli defense minister_1

Ex-general Yaalon named as Israeli defense minister
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose Moshe Yaalon, a right-wing former armed forces chief, to be Israel's defense minister on Sunday, saying his experience was needed to tackle challenges in a turbulent Middle East.
Yaalon, 62, belongs to Netanyahu's Likud party and spent the past four years in his inner circle of ministers, publicly backing his reluctance to give up the occupied West Bank and make way for a Palestinian state.
The former general has also supported the premier's threats to attack Iranian nuclear sites - though, behind closed doors,nike free intersport, officials say he has urged Netanyahu to give U.S.-led diplomatic pressure on Tehran more time,nike free sko.
Yaalon has argued that with the rise of Hamas in the other Palestinian territory of Gaza, and of kindred Islamists in neighboring Egypt and Syria, the Jewish state is at risk and must focus on defense before diplomacy.
"At such a decisive time for the security of the State of Israel,nike free run dame, when the region all around us is stormy, it is important to have a man who is rich in experience, like Moshe Yaalon, in this post," Netanyahu said in a statement.
He nominated Yaalon and other cabinet ministers two days after agreements were signed to form a new coalition government, which is expected to take office on Monday.
Danny Danon, a Likud lawmaker considered especially hawkish on the Palestinians, got the deputy defense portfolio.
In a Facebook statement, Danon said he would "preserve the values of the nationalist camp" - a likely reference to Israel's West Bank settlements, which the defense ministry oversees.
The Palestinians and most world powers see the settlements as illegal and major obstacles to reviving peace negotiations.
Yaalon will replace Ehud Barak, who headed a center-left party in the outgoing coalition and took over the defense ministry in 2007. Barak did not stand as a candidate in a January 22 national election.
Yaalon was vice prime minister in charge of strategic affairs before his latest appointment and served as armed forces chief from 2002 until 2005.
His period at the head of the armed forces was not extended after he opposed Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip that year.
Israel and Western powers fear Iran is working to develop the ability to build nuclear weapons - a charge dismissed by Tehran.
(Additional reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)
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Friday, 22-Mar-2013 21:46 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Analysis- Netanyahu gambit appears to backfire_0

Analysis: Netanyahu gambit appears to backfire
JERUSALEM (AP) ? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to bring a dovish rival into his Cabinet appears to be backfiring, drawing heavy criticism both in Israel and from the Palestinians and suddenly complicating the task of forming a viable coalition government, to the point where rivals are openly threatening to force new elections.
It is now uncertain whether Netanyahu will meet an initial deadline next week for forming a new coalition, and it is possible that he will fail altogether and the task will be assigned to a rival, most likely former TV anchorman Yair Lapid, a new political star who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party.
Rivals are also openly talking about the possibility of forcing new elections, just a month after a parliamentary election ended in virtual deadlock.
Polls Friday suggested that if repeat elections were held, Lapid, an amateur boxer, novelist and former actor who has never held public office, might be elected prime minister.
Netanyahu has been scrambling to build a majority coalition in parliament since the Jan. 22 election. As leader of the largest faction in parliament, Likud-Yisrael Beitenu, he has been charged with the responsibility for forming a new government. But with just 31 seats under his control, he is far short of the 61-seat majority, out of a total of 120 seats in parliament, needed for a coalition,nike blazers sale.
The array of rightist and religious parties considered Netanyahu's natural allies did eke out 61 seats in the Jan. 22 election ? but that informal alliance has long been strained over a host of internal disagreements and it is showing signs of collapse. That has forced Netanyahu to look elsewhere, outside of his political comfort zone.
This week, the hawkish leader seemed to find an unlikely new ally, announcing his first coalition deal with former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, appointing her justice minister and chief negotiator with the Palestinians.
The appointment was meant to signal that Netanyahu, who has come under heavy criticism internationally for the past four years of deadlock in Mideast peace efforts, is preparing to take a softer line toward the Palestinians in his new term. Livni is a former peace negotiator who has a good relationship with the Palestinian leadership and who is well respected internationally. The alliance also was meant to pressure other potential coalition partners to join him.
So far, Netanyahu's gambit appears to be missing out on both counts. The appointment is generating little excitement, and Livni, who campaigned on a platform almost exclusively pushing for peace with the Palestinians, has been accused of selling out to the hardline Netanyahu.
Livni's new political party, "The Movement," won just six parliamentary seats in last month's election. Critics said that after spending the past four years lambasting Netanyahu's policies, Livni appears desperate,cheap nike blazers.
"Tzipi Livni is no less trustworthy or cynical than other politicians who broke their word, bent over backwards, put away their slogans and election speeches and galloped into the arms of the one they had described as the mother of all sin," wrote commentator Yossi Verter in Haaretz newspaper.
Livni has said she thinks being inside the government gives her the best chance to influence policy.
The Palestinians, meanwhile, have accused Livni of becoming a "fig leaf" for Netanyahu. Officials said that unless he changes his policies, particularly continued settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, there is no hope for progress.
Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, said Netanyahu brought on Livni to "give the impression that he is serious about peace" ahead of a visit next month by President Barack Obama.
"We know very well that Livni has a good image in the international community, and now Netanyahu is using her in order to improve the image of Israel," he said. "I know very well that Livni as a person wants peace, but at the end the decision is not hers. The decision is up to Netanyahu and his inner Cabinet."
During his previous term, the Palestinians refused to negotiate with Netanyahu while Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim both areas, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, for a future state. The Palestinians also want Israel to accept the 1967 prewar lines as the basis for a future border.
Netanyahu has rejected these demands, saying talks should begin without any preconditions. But the international community has shown growing impatience with him.
In November, the U.N. General Assembly recognized a Palestinian state in the lands captured by Israel in 1967. The decision, while symbolic, marked an overwhelming international endorsement of the Palestinian position on borders. When Israel responded by announcing plans for new settlements, it came under fierce international condemnations.
Livni, who served as Israel's chief negotiator under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from 2006-2009, takes a far softer line toward the Palestinians. But there are already indications that Netanyahu will keep her on a short leash.
According to the text of the coalition agreement obtained by The Associated Press, Netanyahu will be responsible for outlining the terms of the negotiations. While Livni will manage the negotiations, a representative of the prime minister will be present in every meeting she runs.
Gilad Erdan of Netanyahu's Likud party played down Livni's role in peace talks with the Palestinians to Channel 2 TV on Friday. "She is not in charge of negotiations but rather part of a team of ministers that will of course be led by the prime minister. I think it is obvious to everybody that the prime minister is the one who will lead in these issues and will be the one to determine policy," he said.
Netanyahu billed the alliance with Livni as a step toward building a broad and stable coalition. Yet her appointment may end up having just the opposite effect.
With Livni on board, Netanyahu now controls 37 seats, still far short of a majority. He is now expected to court a pair of ultra-Orthodox religious parties. In the best case scenario, Netanyahu would still be several seats short of a majority.
It will be virtually impossible for him to form a government without support of either Lapid's "Yesh Atid" Party, or the "Jewish Home," a nationalist party close to the Jewish settler movement.
Both parties campaigned on a key issue popular with the public ? ending a controversial system of draft exemptions given to ultra-Orthodox seminary students. They have both been cool to sitting in a government that includes the ultra-Orthodox, who oppose any changes in the draft.
For now, they are maintaining a common front, signaling they want to serve together in the next government. Netanyahu is expected press Jewish Home hard to join him.
But so far, Jewish Home's leader, Naftali Bennett, shows no signs of bending. If anything, the Livni appointment appears to have pushed him further away. Bennett, who opposes making any concessions to the Palestinians, reacted angrily to Livni's appointment.
"I don't care about Abu Mazen," he told a party conference this week, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I'm not interested in making him stronger. I care about the people of Israel."
Ayelet Shaked,Nike Trainer sale, a member of Jewish Home, said Thursday the party still hopes to join the coalition, but that she could not rule out the possibility of forcing new elections.
"Maybe we'll be in the opposition. Elections are also an option," she said. "We are prepared for every option."
Netanyahu has been given until March 2 to form a coalition. After that he can ask President Shimon Peres for a final two-week extension. A failure to reach a government by then could give Lapid a chance to form a coalition, or could trigger new elections.
Polls published Friday show that Likud would take a beating if a new election were held.
The daily Maariv published a Maagar Mohot poll that showed Likud-Yisrael Beitenu losing three seats from 31 to 28 compared to Yesh Atid winning five more seats from 19 to 24 and Jewish Home getting an additional seat at 13 from 12.
Yediot Ahronot published a prognosis by pollsters Panels Politics that suggested even more worrying results for Netanyahu should a new election be held. It showed Yesh Atid getting 30 seats compared to just 22 for Likud-Yisrael Beitenu.
Results of that poll show the biggest bloc could be the center-left together with Arab parties with 65 seats, Yediot reported.
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Friday, 22-Mar-2013 21:43 Email | Share | | Bookmark
AP's Honduras correspondent navigates violent land

AP's Honduras correspondent navigates violent land
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) ? Every Saturday morning, one of my taxi drivers pays about $12 for the right to park his cab near a hospital, about two blocks from a police station.
But it's not the government that's charging.
An unidentified man pulls up in a large SUV, usually brandishing an AK-47, and accepts an envelope of cash without saying a word. Jose and nine other drivers who pay the extortionists estimate that it amounts to more than $500 a year to park on public property. During Christmas, the cabbies dish out another $500 each in holiday "bonuses."
Meanwhile, Jose pays the city $30 a year for his taxi license.
"Who do you think is really in charge here?" Jose asked me.
It is an interesting question, one I have been trying to answer since I arrived here a year ago as a correspondent for The Associated Press. Is the government in charge? The drug traffickers? The gangs? This curious capital of 1.3 million people is a lawless place, but it does seem to have its own set of unwritten rules for living with the daily dangers.
Jose, who did not want his last name used for fear of reprisals, says his extortionists are from "18th Street," a powerful gang that started in U.S. prisons. The taxi drivers don't bother to report the crime, he says, because they suspect police are involved in the racket. In the first six months of 2012, 51 taxi drivers were killed in Tegucigalpa ? most of them, Jose's colleagues believe, for failing to pay extortionists.
When I moved to Tegucigalpa last March several friends back home in Spain wanted to know why. The big story was in Egypt, Libya and Syria; what was I planning to do on the other side of the globe? "Bear witness," I said, "to the most violent place in the world, to a country in crisis."
I am the only foreign correspondent here, with no press pack to consult on questions of security, or to rely on for safety in numbers. I fall back on instincts honed in war zones, but they are not always sufficient when you are covering a failing state.
When you are in the trenches of Libya, you generally know where the shooting comes from. But in Honduras, you never know where danger lurks.
Three weeks after I arrived, I attended a ceremony in the capital where U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield delivered 30 motorcycles to President Porfirio Lobo to help Honduras fight crime. A neighborhood leader, however, had complained to me that the narcos had bribed some police officers to look the other way,nike blazers sale. I asked the officials if they weren't afraid the motorcycles would end up in the hands of the bad guys.
I got no answer. Instead a Honduran reporter wrapped his arm around my shoulder and whispered, "We don't ask questions like that here." If I wanted to survive in Honduras, he said, "Keep a low profile."
More than two dozen Honduran journalists have been killed in the last two years. Some reporters carry weapons to protect themselves, others use the armed guards that President Lobo offered after a prominent Honduran radio journalist was assassinated last May ? reportedly in retaliation for a government crackdown on cartels.
It is not hard to become a fatality. A few months ago, I interviewed a lawyer, Antonio Trejo, who was defending the peasants of Aguan Valley in a land dispute against agribusiness tycoon Miguel Facusse, one of the most powerful men in the country. Trejo had warned repeatedly that he would be killed for helping the campesinos. Two days after I interviewed him, he was shot six times as he was leaving church by two men on a motorcycle.
In August, I took a walk on a Sunday with a couple of friends in a sad dilapidated park ? one of only two in the city. I got a call on my iPhone. I stepped away from friends and began to walk as I talked, as you would in a normal city, a normal park. Suddenly two teenagers approached me, asking first for a cigarette, then for the phone. I hung up, put the phone in my pocket and shouted over to my friends, who helped me chase the young men away ? once we realized they weren't armed.
But I learned my lesson. Unwritten rule: Do not walk around talking on an iPhone, which costs about three times a monthly salary in Honduras. And forget the park.
Like most Hondurans who can afford it, my family and I live behind high gated walls with a guard out front. After the park episode, I gave up my morning ritual of newspapers and espresso at an outdoor cafe. I don't go out at night.
In the daytime,cheap nike Griffey, I use trusted drivers like Jose to guide me through Tegucigalpa's chaotic streets, past its barbed-wire fences, mounds of garbage and packs of dogs. I keep the tinted windows up, the doors locked, and we don't stop at the lights, so we won't get carjacked.
I vary my routes. I try not to fall victim to the permanent sense of danger that hangs over the capital, where the conversation is invariably about whose relative was just killed, or what atrocity happened on the corner. Yet I constantly check the rear and side mirrors of Jose's car for approaching motorcycles. Honduras has the world's highest murder rate, and paid gunmen almost always travel by motorcycle to make a quick getaway through impossible traffic.
The violence is a stark contrast to the friendly feel of a land where many have a Caribbean attitude about life, happy and easygoing. Once you leave the cities, the landscape is amazing ? wild, healthy, and savage, from the waterfalls of La Tigra National park, just half an hour from the capital, to the islands of the Caribbean and the world's second largest coral reef.
___
Our babysitter, Wendy, sells Avon products door-to-door to make extra money after her child's father disappeared on his clandestine journey to the U.S. to find work.
Last month, she was on her way to deposit her Avon earnings in the bank when a robber pointed a knife at her waist and told her to hand over the cash. He took 5,000 lempiras ? about $250 ? which was everything she had earned, including the money she owed Avon.
Again last week, Wendy encountered thieves, this time as she left my house about 7:30 p.m. Half a block away, she passed a group of basketball players just as three gunmen threw them up against a wall, stealing their money and phones. "They looked like police," she said of the gunmen.
Two days later, a neighbor in her poor barrio of ramshackle huts and dirt roads was robbed by an armed drug addict. The neighbor escaped, went home for his own gun and returned to kill the drug addict. "Police thanked him for the favor," Wendy said.
___
My best friend here is a man named German who studied art and opened a tattoo parlor with a business partner. They were talented and developed a good clientele, particularly among youths looking to leave the street gangs and get rid of the signature tattoos. German learned how to convert numbers such as 18 into pirate ships, and to turn other gang symbols into random designs. He saw this as a kind of social service, removing a stigma from the skin of a gangster who wanted to return to civilian life, and he asked to borrow a camera of mine to take pictures of their work.
Some days later, German's partner was walking home when a black car drew near. He tried to run until the front-seat passenger screamed at him to halt. "Get in and put this on," the man said, handing him a black hood.
They took him to a dark room where they removed the hood and claimed he spied on them. They tortured him for several hours before letting him go, with a broken rib.
My friend closed his shop and moved to a new house. He knows they are looking for him.
German comes from a family of means. Here, violence is democratic.
___
Honduran officials receive aid from the U.S. to fight the trafficking of cocaine headed for the U.S. market. The country has 640 kilometers (400 miles) of northern Caribbean coastline, with plenty of tree cover and great uninhabited stretches for moving drugs. It is flanked by the port town of Puerto Lempira in the east and San Pedro Sula in the west.
While Hondurans blame their police for much of the crime, police say they are overwhelmed and outgunned by the drug traffickers and criminals. AP photographer Esteban Felix and I decided to see this for ourselves, and rode with police in San Pedro Sula, the country's largest and wealthiest city.
In one night, we saw the bodies of two bus drivers who had been killed for refusing to pay a cut to gangs, a police officer executed on a highway with a single shot to the head, and three people shot dead in a pool hall for what was described as "a settling of accounts."
The hospital emergency room looked like a scene out of a civil war, with mop-wielding orderlies failing to keep up with the blood pooling on the floor.
The owner of the bus company urged his employees to remove the drivers' bodies and collect the fares from the bloodied bus before police did. Once again, I made the mistake of asking a question,Air Griffey on sale, this time of the owner of the bus company. He turned in anger and ordered me not to publish what I had seen, while asking me repeatedly, "Where are you staying?"
Needless to say, I did not stay the night in San Pedro Sula.
I returned to the capital, which, despite the violence, has become my home. My two-year-old daughter can say Tegucigalpa ? which is not easy. And every time she sees the flag, she waves and says "Honduras," as she was taught in her preschool.
Somehow, we already belong to this country. After 10 months living here, I have learned the rules of survival. If Jose pays his weekly extortion fee, chances are he'll survive.
And since I'm usually sitting in the passenger seat, chances are so will I.
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