Doing the Higgs Jig into the future

Well what an exciting start to the day it has been.  CERN have officially announced the discovery of something which looks like, behaves like and appears to be the theoretical Higgs Boson.  Over the last couple of years the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland has been cranking up the power and crashing protons into each other and observing the ‘debris’ of resultant particles.  Professor Higgs from Scotland theorised back in the 60’s that for some subatomic particles to have mass whilst others do not there must be some sort of field with which certain particles interact with more strongly than others.  The Higgs Boson being the particle prevalent in the aptly named Higgs Field.  One can imagine a magnetic field caused by a magnet and observing certain metals and materials interacting with that field weakly or strongly according to its elemental design.

Billions have been spent on building the machine and running it which the cynics like to point out seems like a waste of money for something they don’t regard as important.  I happen to find no scientific endeavour as being wasteful as they tend to be undertaken to better our understanding, confirm our understanding or broaden our understanding of everything from life on other worlds in space to quantum mechanics.  Physicists want to unite all the four forces of the universe (Electromagnetism, Strong force, Weak force and Gravity), at the moment all they can unite is Electromagnetism with the Weak force but when they do unite all the forces they hope to have the Grand Unified Theory of everything.  An accurate explanation for everything in the Universe at its fundamental level and perhaps even a better picture of the big bang and how it came about.  Science is not about money, planets were not discovered to line someones pockets with gold nor was DNA discovered to fill someones bank accounts.  It is an area of curiosity and endeavour for the bettering of human life.  Carl Sagan once said that with the evolution of the human brain came the time for the Universe to know itself.  You can’t separate yourself and say I am this and the Universe is that, no, you are the Universe.  Everything that you are made up of was forged in dying stars and the atoms that make you up will pass on and on without you ever knowing or losing what you are.  Like a river flowing, the water droplets are constantly moving but the picture remains the same, it appears as one tangible thing.  We are much the same, particles come and go through us as we are intertwined with the Universe – how could you put a price on knowing yourself?

The human desire to explore and understand is our best tool and certainly the thing that allowed us to evolve to climb to the top of the food chain above all the stronger, quicker and more dangerous animals.  Exploration gave rise to intelligence and wisdom, something which over time we have used to cure diseases, create great machines and even put a man on the moon.  It is easy I admit to negate discoveries in particle physics as it is very complicated and can seem irrelevant in day to day life.  I myself, have a very limited understanding of it and I doubt many really truly grasp the implications of it besides the professionals at CERN.  However I do understand the importance of stepping forward with our understanding of the Universe and if it proves a few fundamental creationists wrong along the way then even better.  But hey, it might not be the Higgs Boson but rather another particle previously undiscovered, however they have found this particle in the exact spot and it seems to behave like they theorised the Higgs Boson would.  If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck…

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One thought on “Doing the Higgs Jig into the future

  1. You could certainly see your skills within the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

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