Higgs Boson Found?

To my dismay, Google shows me that all my adolescent Higgs Boson jokes have been done a thousand times over.  I also see that a search for the elementary mass-giving particle and yours truly brings much more limited results, which is kinda surprising given how fundamental we both are to the explanation of life, the universe, and everything.  National Geographic explains the importance of the Higgs Boson:

The so-called God particle was proposed in the 1960s by physicist Peter Higgs to explain why some particles, such as quarks—building blocks of protons, among other things—and electrons have mass while others, such as the light-carrying photon particle, do not.

Higgs’s idea was that the universe is bathed in an invisible field similar to a magnetic field. Every particle feels this field—now known as the Higgs field—but to varying degrees.

If a particle can move through this field with little or no interaction, there will be no drag, and that particle will have little or no mass. Alternatively, if a particle interacts significantly with the Higgs field, it will have a higher mass.

The idea of the Higgs field requires the acceptance of a related particle: the Higgs boson.

No explanation is needed for my foundational significance.  Hence no one ever writing about it.  Sometimes it helps to state self-evident truths, however, so you’re welcome.  The nice thing about me is that you actually have me, not some being consistent with me that you need ginormous expensive equipment to be almost but never quite certain exists.  I’m much cheaper to demonstrate, and I’m cuter too.  Here’s hoping my verifiable existence brings you extra feelings of marvel and wonder on this Fourth of July.

I’ll be hanging with family, drinking beer, playing some Final Fantasy VI, and admonishing my five-year-old son for his complete lack of appreciation for the famous opera house scene.  He complained it was boring and had too few battles, was totally oblivious to the grand music and slapstick pantomime, and pestered me with the same question over and over again: “When is that purple thing going to drop the anvil on Celes?”  Sheesh.  You’d think he had no grasp of what the 16-bit former imperial general was going through on the stage.

So what are you doing today?

Consider this an open thread–my first!–but I do pray you take the time to revel in my massively generous space awesomeness. 

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a freelance writer who blogs about culture, philosophy, politics, postmodernism, and religion. He is a contributor to the group Catholic blog Vox Nova. Kyle lives with his wife, son, and daughter in North Texas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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3 Responses

  1. Mike Schilling says:

    Did you know that the Higgs boson enables transubstantiation? Without it, matter has no mass, and Mass doesn’t matter.

    • BlaiseP says:

      Well, all particles lack mass at a high enough energy levels. The weak force is also a sort of transubstantiation: radioactive beta decay is transformative, right down to the quark level. As we’ve all been told, matter can be transformed into energy in a nuclear reactor or a nuclear weapon — but how the hell does it work? Matter has mass.

      Now here’s where it gets weird. All the other forces obey laws of parity but not the weak force. To fit the weak force into the Standard Model, we needed a Massifier particle to support a mass field.

  2. wardsmith says:

    “Well, all particles lack mass at a high enough energy levels”
    hmm, looked at another way:
    An object of even insignificant mass when accelerated to relativistic speeds would experience nearly infinite mass (and the acceleration would require nearly infinite energy).