Quite a juggling act!
Featured in BREAKING the BOUNDARIES
(A light-hearted look at the discovery of the so-called ’God Particle" (Higgs boson) as announced yesterday by CERN.)
So, what is it with the Higgs and why all the fol-de-rol?
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Scottish physicist Peter Higgs predicted the existence of the particle in the 1960’s. Scientists have done their best to find it ever since.
Higgs theorized that the universe is filled with an energy field through which all particles must move ~ in much the way an airplane has to push its way through a headwind. The greater the potential mass of the particle, the greater the resistance it encounters. (It’s theoretically possible for a particle to have no actual mass at all, as indeed, the photon is massless. But that’s the exception). All other particles — protons, electrons, neutrons, neutrinos — are eventually pinged by the Higgs bosons that suffuse the field. That tiny collision converts the particle from a packet of energy to a packet of matter. Thus, matter – solid stuff – is born.
(The Higgs acquires its own mass through its own interactions with the field.)
From Time, July 4
The theory would explain how particles clump together to form matter: stars, planets, galaxies and life itself. Without it, the universe would have remained a formless soup of particles shooting around at the speed of light ~ so the theory goes ~ and we wouldn’t be here to talk about it, now.
What scientists do not yet know is whether the long-sought particle they found is actually the Higgs (as Higgs predicted and described); it could be a variant, or even an entirely new sub-atomic particle which could force a re-think on the fundamental structure of the cosmos.
Either way, physicists in general it would seem, dislike the term God Particle. Higgs himself never called it that. The term was coined by author and Nobel-prize winning physicist, Leon Lederman who first dropped the term in his 1993 book, “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?” When asked recently, “Why God Particle?” Ledermen said, “The publisher wouldn’t let us call it the Goddamn Particle! Though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense its caused.” He also cites the Bible as a source of inspiration… but not the Genesis account, as one might think. He referred instead to the Tower of the Babel and the “intellectual stress” its building caused.
The Higgs may be the Prime Celebrity today, but there are other critturs in the Particle Zoo yet to be discovered or confirmed; so many, some believe the number could be almost infinite. Others say, “That’s it, there are no more.” As always, there are disagreements in the field.
Quarks have been confirmed (the up, the down, the charm, the strange, the top, the bottom.)
Leptons are confirmed (the electron, the election neutrino, the muan, the neutrino and the tau).
Both Quarks and Leptons are Fermions
Fermions and Bosons are the two fundamental classes of sub-atomic particles. Other bosons include the photon, the W boson, the Z boson, the gluon, the Higgs — and possibly the Graviton.
No gravitons have been detected yet. Neither have the following:
neutralinos – chargalinos – photinos – winos – zinos – Higgsinos – gluinos – sleptons – s-neutrinos – squarsk – axions – axinos, saxions, branons, dilatons, graviscalars, dilatinos, X-bosons, Y-bosons, magnetic photons, or majorons to name a few.
Then there’s the tachyon! Another theoretical particle which if it exists, moves faster than light. That one should be interesting… !
In the meantime, “Whew!” It’s a complicated Universe! And we didn’t even get to the Dark Matter yet – or the Dark Energy! Which make up most of it.
As for what that BOW TIE’s doing there — !?? Hmm! There may be a certain “Doctor” who would know, but I don’t have a clue. LOL!
(Note: if you like Einstein and you liked Dr. Who with David Tennant, see the movie “Einstein and Eddington!” Or even if you don’t know David Tennant and you don’t know much of Albert. It’s a great movie either way!)
And… it seems Stephen Hawking’s out $100-bucks… lost the bet! He did not believe they’d EVER find the Higgs. Which only goes to show, the smartest of us can be wrong!
“God” in this scenario is played by Juggler 01 from Axy-stock. Although he wasn’t juggling quite so much as this!
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Albert Einstein from a vintage news-clip
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