Higgs not your average boson
Scientists announced the discovery of a Higgs boson subatomic particle five years ago this week.
An Associated Press story said scientists had been looking for the little devil since 1964 when it was first predicted to exist. Actually, far from a little devil, some people refer to it as the “God particle.” The theory is the tiny gem gives all matter size and shape.
Supposedly, the more other particles interact with Higgs bosom, the bigger their mass will be. Works a bit like sugary soft drinks, apparently.
In any event, the initial findings were made in 2012 by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. They have a $10 billion atom smasher called a Large Hedron Collider that they use to create “high-energy collisions of protons to investigate how the universe came to be the way it is.”
After one such smashup, the scientists announced discovery of a particle they described as “Higgs-like.”
“The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is,” said physicist Joe Incandela.
Other scientists concurred, saying the data “strongly indicates that it is a Higgs boson.”
While we wouldn’t recognize a Higgs boson if Tippi Hedren collided with it, the description makes it sound like a very small Lego, only capable of connecting with jillions of other tiny toy bricks.
In case you can’t tell, they didn’t have STEM classes when we were in school. Everything we know about the Higgs boson was learned by watching “The Big Bang Theory.” Well, anyway, congratulations to Peter Higgs — it looks like you were right back in 1964.
By the way, we looked up “boson” at dictionary.com and found the following: “Any particle that obeys Bose-Einstein statistics: bosons have integral spins: 0, 1, 2 . . . “
Oh, now we get it.
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