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What is Higgs Boson?

Photo courtesy of Shing Yan/flickr

 

 

I have been reading articles trying to figure out exactly what Higgs Boson is and why it’s such a big deal. All the explanations I’ve been reading just make me think of Doc Brown in “Back to the Future.” Blah, blah, blah flux compositor this, blah, blah, blah gigga watts that. Or “Star Trek (The Next Generation)” with transporter beams and food that appears out of a magic microwave you speak to.

Some scientists in Switzerland claim to have found Higgs Boson, the famed “God Particle,” which is supposedly responsible for all the mass in the universe. However, this is not yet confirmed. They actually just found a particle that acts the way they think the Higgs Boson particle is supposed to act.

So, I guess “woohoo!” We may have discovered something that acts like something we thinks exists. Yeah for science! (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)

Another thing that I don’t get about this whole hulabaloo is that nobody can explain what this is good for. Does it cure cancer? Does it solve world hunger? From what I can tell, the answer is no. It can however, “point the way to new, deeper ideas, beyond the Standard Model, about the nature of reality,” according to The New York Times. What is that supposed to mean?

I am, however, finding some comfort in the fact that this discovery is “likely to end one of the longest, most expensive searches in the history of science,” according to The New York Times.(http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/science/cern-physicists-may-have-discovered-higgs-boson-particle.html?pagewanted=all) Maybe now scientists can work on curing that pesky little thing called cancer.

Joy Larson is a mother of four, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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