Higgs Boson (P)Article
Raise up your oscilloscopes and calibrate your spectrometers in celebration, because today is a great day for physics, and Brian Cox’s twitter account!
That’s right, we’ve done it! The pesky particle that inspired the construction of a collosal donut-shaped doomsday device on the French-Swiss border has finally been found. And that’s no mean feat; it’s as elusive as car keys that have fallen down a sofa cushion crack so deep that expensive spelunking equipment is needed to recover them.
The whole story began in 2008 when the Large Hadron Collider (or LHC, if you’re worth your constituent carbon atoms) was built amongst media driven apocalypse theories, since the thing is supposed to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang. What they seem to have missed is that the explosions are designed to be too minute to be humanly perceptable. The same risks of armageddon are achieved every time a toy cap gun is fired, and they don’t have elaborate safety procedures.
Even so, the scientists were, if you ask me, tempting fate by making their discovery announcement on Independence Day. One accidental intergalactic hyperportal and BAM! This happens:
The boson was nicknamed the ‘God Particle’ in order to distract religious people whilst scientists vandalised their way into God’s domain and had a good old rummage round. But what it actually is is the smallest part (or quanta, if you want you loved ones to respect you) of a field called the “Higgs Field” which permeates the universe. It’s basically like the force but you can’t use it to levitate things (YET). This field is responsible for giving particles their mass. Obese people across the planet, you owe your ridicule to this fundamental physical law.
In any case, it allows particles to experience gravity and hence is vital to the formation of the universe and life on earth. Then again, so is heat, magnetism and matter but screw those, this is the God Particle, THE GOD PARTICLE!!!
I for one am excited because any discovery to do with gravity shifts us another step closer to hoverboards. We have to invent them in the next three years or Back to the Future part 2 will be wrong. And frankly, I don’t want to live in that world.
So revel in the glory of scientific discovery and give yourself a toast- FOR SCIENCE! I’ve certainly heard worse excuses to drink…
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Or for a related article, try The Everyman’s Guide To The Placebo Effect
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