Wednesday, July 04, 2012
The God Particle
One of the big news stories of the last week or so, providing a bit of a distraction from blazing heat, wildfires, and Congressional ineptitude, was the claim by scientists to have discovered evidence of the existence of the so-called Higgs Boson*, also known colloquially as "The God Particle." This tiny particle, theory has it, is what allows other atomic particles to have mass, without which there would be no gravity, without which there would be no universe ... which would probably be a bad thing. You can read lots about the Higgs Boson - most of which is unintelligible to those without advanced degrees in subjects requiring the use of extreme mathematics and many Greek letters - at various locations online. This summary is a fairly good one ... if you are unable to make it bigger, you can find the original here ...
You can also read Andy Borowitz's interview with the newly-discovered Higgs Boson here.
The Higgs Boson obviously is pretty important, but it seems to me that it cannot exist everywhere. Scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) are searching for it using the Large Hadron Collider, an enormous and very expensive scientific device located deep underground on the border between Switzerland and France. Scientists are searching there because hardline Islamic governments do not permit the observation of mass in theologically enlightened garden spots like Pakistan, Iran, or Saudi Arabia.
You probably can't find Higgs Bosons in Washington, either, where many subatomic particles noticeably lacking in intellectual mass swirl aimlessly around Capitol Hill. These are referred to as morons.
Because the Higgs Boson allows other particles to have mass, it allows them to aggregate together to form elements, which are the building blocks of everything else. Thus, finding proof of the existence of the Higgs Boson may help limit other scientific surprises ...
So, join me today in celebrating the discovery of the Higgs Boson. It can be done indoors where there is air conditioning, as opposed to celebrating the Fourth of July outdoors in the sweltering heat. But happy Fourth, anyhow ... the fireworks and hot dogs - and even the bikinis on the pretty girls - you will enjoy today are made possible by the humble Higgs Boson.
Don't leave home without it.
Have a good day and a safe, happy Fourth of July holiday. More thoughts tomorrow.
* Not to be confused with the Higgs Bosun, which helps to organize activities on board ships.