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This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Seemingly...god don't play dice..

I was woken this morning (somewhat less than my necessary 8hrs of sleep) by my excited partner, Ida who, barely crawling in the dense and chaotic Nairobi traffic, held her smartphone to the car radio and relayed the news that the HIGGS BOSUN (or strangely called 'The God Particle') had been 'discovered' at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Cern. I may as well have downed a cuppa greek coffee and plunged into icy waters at the same time, such was the wave of emotions coursing through me. But in an instant I saw the question in my Heads Up Display: So what!? What exactly is a Higgs Bosun anyway? How do I share this sense of awe with those close to me, those who understand the emotion of a sunset and the pain of the sudden death of a loved one. So here is my attempt to make something of all this, in a way that I can give some of the magic to those who either simply don't care or, in wondering, seek gods.
Here are some of the more compelling contributions from others which I share whilst I ponder my own understanding thereof.

'Once upon a time in a far away land, there were two rival families: Fermions and Bosons. Fermions were famous for their peculiar half spin dance. Electrons, protons and quarks were all Fermions.

The Bosons however were into full spinning though and despised half spin. Photons and Gluons were Bosons. It was rumored that Bosons had a long lost elder brother called Higgs Boson who had been missing for a long long time.

One day a wise old man came to the land of the feuding families. He told them they should stop quaerlling over half spin and full spin, since they all used to be the same, and that they all used to be massless.

The old man said that, in the beginning of time when the universe was created, everyone was born the same, but then they were immersed in a mysterious field called the higgs field making each of them different except for Photons who remained the same.

He said this mysterious field was made up of the Higgs Boson - the long lost Boson brother.

The families ofcourse refused to believe all this hogwash, and so the old man set about trying to prove his story and bring the Higgs Boson out of his hiding place.

To do this he asked for help from the scientists at CERN.

The family feud is coming to an end, at last'.


Prof.Brian Cox's Rock Star explanation of the LHA...


Fabiola Giannotti is the leader of the 3,000-strong group that works on the collider's five-storey Atlas detector.

Ian Sample wrote a little piece about her and her work at the LHC last year.

The appointment put her in the top ranks of a profession dominated by men. She came to physics from an education steeped in ancient Greek, philosophy and the history of art – she had also trained as a pianist at the Milan Conservatory.

But she ultimately chose physics to answer the big question of why things are as they are. "Physics is, unfortunately, often seen as a male subject; sterile and without charm or emotion," she told the Cern magazine. "But this is not true, because physics is art, aesthetics, beauty and symmetry."

AND....How about the HIGGS BOSUN? Check this out from the Guardian Media House Canteen.

This is all a bit like a game of rugby. The FERMIONS are the players, the mulchy sodden ground, the HIGGS FIELD and the ball is a BOSUN.

The small and fast players are the ones that are less held down by the mud. The big buggers have more mass and go slower. Every so often they collide with each other with a great outbursting of energy. At other times one passes a ball to another, or their momentum is visibly changed as they give away or take the ball. The ball is the agent of interaction. From far off we just see little dots running around and changing direction. The agent of change, the ball, is too small to see. But it has to be there. So it is with the microworld of everything we know. Energy amd mass are much the same thing. Concentrated energy shows as a particle, but can equally be transfered back to unfettered energy again as in nuclear explosions. These particles or bundles of energy exchange little rugby balls of particle-like energy which impart or detract momentum from the interacting particles. Ever thought that magnetism or gravity is spooky magic at a distance? Can't be. There has to be some kind of interaction that transfers the energy. And that is why I called this blog...God don't play dice...There really is an explanation for everything...the nature of science is such that our acknowledgment of our ignorance is rewarded by answers to our predictions....if we can persuade the politicians that they need to spend 59 billion dollars on a large tube under the ground whose sole mission is to find something we don't even know exists....(well, the opinion out there today is that we now know that it, or its twin, does exist.)