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  1. #1

    Explaining the Higgs Boson Once and For all

    I read an interesting article which explains the discovery of the Higgs boson in terms that are fairly easy to understand. If you are still confused about the excitement surrounding the Higgs boson, reading this may clear it all up.

    “Think of it a little like this: by smashing things hard enough, a little bit of the Higgs field got chipped off into a boson that could be measured before decaying. Sort of like throwing a rock really hard at a concrete wall -- eventually part of the wall will chip off. In this case, it was like a wall that only threw off a little bit of dust in response to a major collision, and then scientists were able to tell that the wall was there because they took a picture of the dust before it blew away. Except in this case the wall is also continuous and infinite, and invisible, and we all live inside of it, and it's what gives us mass, which is to say the quality of physical existence.

    Which kind of explains why some have called the Higgs boson the God particle.”

  2. #2
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    Higgs Boson, Higgs Boson, Higgs Boson - This is everywhere - but why should i care. It seems something for physicists to slap eachother on the back and then go back to more theoretical drawingboards.
    What is it actually going to do for humans in the real world?

  3. #3
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    Barry - you're not alone - when the news came out i had a look around - there are some interesting sources.
    The following explains it nicely: http://www.nature.com/news/higgs-tri...dreams-1.10970

    As for what it's going to do for you and me - i doubt anything.

  4. #4
    Quite right. To be honest it is everywhere because it is a big breakthrough in Physics, confirming some universal theories and giving theoretical physicists a more solid foundation upon which to base their work. However, beyond theoretical physics it currently has little use. It has little impact on modern applied physics and none whatsoever on the everyday life of your average Joe Bloggs.

    Another reason that it has been so well publicised may be the fact that it justifies (in the eyes of physicists) spending $9 billion on building CERN's large hadron collider (as one of the main motivations for building the LHC was to search for the illusive Higgs boson).

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    The Higgs Confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Arthur Henderson View Post
    Quite right. To be honest it is everywhere because it is a big breakthrough in Physics, confirming some universal theories and giving theoretical physicists a more solid foundation upon which to base their work. However, beyond theoretical physics it currently has little use. It has little impact on modern applied physics and none whatsoever on the everyday life of your average Joe Bloggs.

    Another reason that it has been so well publicised may be the fact that it justifies (in the eyes of physicists) spending $9 billion on building CERN's large hadron collider (as one of the main motivations for building the LHC was to search for the illusive Higgs boson).
    The Higgs is said to give Hadrons and Bosons their mass. That implies that it gives them their inertia. The massive objects are said to interact with the field and this "slows them down". Inertia does not slow anything down. It keeps it moving.
    The evidence for the Higgs is beginning to look as though it only affects Bosons. The picture is too blurred yet to say anything definite we cannot rule out Sypersymetry and this makes me wonder what the other "siggs" might do.
    Anti-inertia anyone? Anti-gravity? Maybe an invisable dark force that is causing the expantion of the cosmos? The fingure of suspicion is twitching.
    Last edited by Arthur Robey; 07-19-2012 at 12:33 AM. Reason: spelling error

  6. #6
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    The Higgs Confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Professor Arthur Henderson View Post
    Quite right. To be honest it is everywhere because it is a big breakthrough in Physics, confirming some universal theories and giving theoretical physicists a more solid foundation upon which to base their work. However, beyond theoretical physics it currently has little use. It has little impact on modern applied physics and none whatsoever on the everyday life of your average Joe Bloggs.

    Another reason that it has been so well publicised may be the fact that it justifies (in the eyes of physicists) spending $9 billion on building CERN's large hadron collider (as one of the main motivations for building the LHC was to search for the illusive Higgs boson).
    The Higgs is said to give Hadrons and Bosons their mass. That implies that it gives them their inertia. The massive objects are said to interact with the field and this "slows them down". Inertia does not slow anything down. It keeps it moving.
    The evidence for the Higgs is beginning to look as though it only affects Bosons. The picture is too blurred yet to say anything definite we cannot rule out Supersymetery and this makes me wonder what the other "siggs" might do.
    Anti-inertia anyone? Anti-gravity? Maybe an invisable dark force that is causing the expansion of the cosmos? The fingure of suspicion is twitching.

  7. #7
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    The search for the Higgs bosun is a reflection on what it means to be human. Money well spent in my opinion. If we ever stop being curious about such matters, it will spell the end for our development as a species. Anyone who disagrees with that should just keep banging the rocks together, unless they are still in the trees, of course, swinging from branch to branch and scratching their armpits day in, day out.

  8. #8
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    Such fundamental discoveries give us hard ground to stand on for the future engineers. For example when Einstein came out with his theory of relativity many were thinking the same way. But now, it appears that our GPS's we use every day couldn't be as precise as they are without the use of relativity. And our understanding of universe would have been much more limited and full of false alternative and fantastic theories in order to explain observable effects in universe.