Monday, December 19, 2011

The God Particle

The Higgs ... Oh, Whatever: You may not know this, but, once upon a time, Abq Jew was very good at Physics.  Wave theory was his best topic within the Physics universe.

In fact, Abq Jew and his fellow Physics classmates (we were way too young to be called colleagues) at Marian A Peterson High School in Sunnyvale, California invented and created, yet failed to trademark or patent, the term "dry lab" - to refer to the practice (and we got a lot of practice) of performing wave experiments (while the teacher was out-of-lab) without use of potentially wet water to Physically observe them.

Which is to say - we knew the proper equations and we knew the expected results, so we developed "measurements" to corroborate them.  We were way ahead of our time.

Higgs Boson
And which brings us to the current search for the Higgs Boson, aka The God Particle.  If you want to know what the Higgs Boson looks like - here's a photo.

Actually, it's not a photo.  It's a Physicist / Artist's (never thought you'd see those occupations together, did you?) rendering of what the Scientific Community thinks the Higgs Boson oughtta look like, and where it might be found, if there is such a thing as the Higgs Boson.

Now is probably the right time for Abq Jew to clear up some confusion, primarily his own.

Mr Higgs's Bison
First of all, this is not a photo of the Higgs Boson.

It is, rather, a photo of Mr Higgs's bison.  Mr Higgs lives right here in New Mexico, aka the Land of Enchantment, and let us snap a photo of George while he was ... just standing around.

Mr Higgs, Boatswain
Second, this is is also not a photo of the Higgs Boson.

It is, rather, a photo of Mr Higgs, a boatswain (that's pronounced "bosun", ye landlubbers).  Mr Higgs let us snap a photo of him while he was just cruisin' around, right off the New Mexico coast.

Why, you ask, is the Higgs Boson called The God Particle?  Two reasons:
  1. The Higgs Boson is central to our understanding of the universe, and is the only explanation that makes sense, except for the explanations that do not include the Higgs Boson.  
  2. It sells books (specifically, Leon Lederman's book, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?).
Lederman said he gave it the nickname "The God Particle" because the particle is "so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive," but jokingly added that a second reason was because "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 it is causing."

Bar Refaeli
And furthermore:  this is all according to what Theoretical Physicists (the best kind) refer to as the Standard Model, which everyone hopes will look like this:

but which so far seems to look like this:

Standard Model

Abq Jew notes that, to date, the existence, location, and credit score of the Higgs Boson have yet to be confirmed experimentally, despite large efforts invested in accelerator experiments at CERN, Fermilab, and Yeshiva University.

1 comment:

Kevin Kenealy said...

Higgs Boson or the "GOD PARTICLE" could according to what I've read change the world. Now if that were the case we'd live in a world that's already changing so much because of the internet that places like Egypt and Russia seem to have some type of "God Particle" affecting like protestors that everything and every place is now in a flux. You are funny ABQ Jew. My hat is off to you ....