Thursday, 5 July 2012

Higgs boson – its damn complicated

Without the Higgs boson, the universe and everything in it – including you, me and the computer you're reading this on – could not exist. Because the Higgs Boson is “cosmic treacle”, the glue that joins it all together…

At least, that is according to the “Standard Model” theory that describes all the particles, forces and interactions that make up the cosmos.

The Standard Model is a mathematical construction that seems to be a good reflection of reality.

While nearly all the building blocks of the universe it predicts have been observed, one very important particle is missing – the one that makes energy turn into mass.

Professor Peter Higgs theorised that this missing particle – the Higgs boson – or rather the field associated with it, is the sub-atomic particle that gives matter mass and weight.

Without it, all our atoms would not be able to stick together and would simply turn into energy – meaning we would all float away like balloons.

Describing how the Higgs gives matter mass requires some imaginative analogy.

As we said, the Higgs field has been described as a kind of all-pervading “cosmic treacle” spread throughout the universe.

Particles moving through the “treacle” stick to it, slow down, lose energy, and become heavier.

Tadaahh!! Simples

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