Friday Nuclear Matinee: The Higgs Boson, Explained

The probable discovery of the Higgs boson, announced on Wednesday, July 4, 2012, marks a great achievement in the history of science (news clips here).  So… exactly what was it that was discovered?

Thanks to MinutePhysics.

 

2 thoughts on “Friday Nuclear Matinee: The Higgs Boson, Explained

  1. Andrew Gahan

    My close friend asked me why this was so important. What can we do with this wacky little particle now that we’ve found it. In response I pointed to his cellphone and told him that that small miraculous device would not be possible without understanding of quantum mechanics that allowed its semiconductors to be designed. As to what we will create with knowledge of the Higgs Boson I cannot envision with any more certainty than an 1970’s electronics experimenter could predict the modern cell phone. Lets have this discussion again in 30-40 years and I’ll tell you.

  2. James Greenidge

    Cute film! Good work!
    Well, I won’t pretend to be anywhere near a nuclear physicists, yet I had a seed of an idea bouncing around my head ever since visiting that “working fusion reactor” exhibit at the GE pavilion at the 65′ Worlds Fair. If it’s an old hat concept I’ll just shrink away but if it’s novel then I take all the patents! :)
    Maybe in truth there is no such thing as “matter”, but atoms and elementary particles are really just repulsive “force field” domains within the structure of space. We all know how ‘force fields’ react in fiction when encountering a physical body, so perhaps such is the microstructure principle in the building blocks of matter. The Higgs particle is ‘just’ a critical key “wavelength domain” that endows an atom’s assembly of sub-particles that final “force-field wavelength” that “mimics” the qualities we regard as matter. If this concept holds water then in one shot you have the “link/tie-in” between matter and energy (because they’re the same thing) and answers the unified field theory in that space itself generates “matter” by this process. There is no ultimate tiniest particle of matter because matter (as we think and feel it) doesn’t really exist, only as the repulsive micro-“force fields” of spacial domains which are subatomic particles. Maybe these domains are even created by energy concentrations or “puckers” in space itself. It might mean that at its heart that the universe really is literally only all space and radiation. Ah, can’t go any further without going off half-cocked here, but just a wild musing of mine!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY