Can Someone Explain Higgs Boson?

Dear Commons Community,

I just did a search on the CUNY Commons on Higgs boson and there was but one result that  was written in French.  As an academic community, I thought that one of our physics colleagues would have provided some discussion on the discovery this week of the “God Particle” by scientists using the large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.   I also did a google search on Higgs boson and the simplest definition I could find was:  “A hypothetical, massive subatomic particle with zero electric charge whose existence would explain the masses of the elementary particles.”   A second more extensive definition in layman terms was provided by Prof. Stefan Soldner-Rembold, from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, England,  who explains that Higgs boson “can help us understand the big universal question, which is what are we made out of” hence the name God Particle”.   We can still use a bit more help with this so if anyone wants to chime in, please feel free to do so.

If you are happy with having a fuzzy understanding of Higgs boson but would like to have a chuckle or two, I suggest you read Gail Collins column today in the New York Times, where she spoofs various politicians providing their commentary on the Higgs boson discovery.  Here is a sample:

“President Barack Obama told a crowd of blue-collar workers that there have been more Higgs bosons discovered during his administration than during those of both George Bushes combined.

Mitt Romney said today that when he called for an American effort to beat the Europeans in particle physics research, he did not actually mean spending money to build a supercollider, but merely “the need for our physicists to think harder.” The Republican presidential contender said he believed this could be accomplished by “the elimination of onerous, physics-research-killing regulations.”

Donald Trump told reporters that “my people in Hong Kong” have uncovered evidence that America’s failure to take the lead in subatomic particle research was because of a conspiracy between the Obama administration and unnamed Chinese industrialists. He also said that he had invited the Higgs boson to be a contender on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.”





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