So , if you haven’t been living under a rock or aren’t ‘too cool for science’ , you have definitely heard about the Higgs Boson or , as it is often called , ‘The god particle’
You may be wondering what all the big fuss was about , since the people who theorized it shared a prize of $1.2 million this October.
I am talking about Peter Higgs and François Englert . The rock stars who bagged the Nobel Prize in physics this year “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider”
Relax , I’m getting to it .
Okay , so they said that there was this field , that existed as a medium in vacuum. This field was said to be completely invisible to us and we move through it freely. So how do we know it exists? How can we tell? Well , we can tell that by the nature of the forces.
Remember when we said it exists as a physical medium , and hence a physical medium is bound to affect the way the forces operate. What happened was that in the 1970’s physicists discovered that the Electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force were symmetrical counterparts
Just like the magnetic field affects Electromagnetism , the Higgs field affects the weak nuclear force.
The Higgs basically hides their symmetry . It binds up the weak nuclear force inside atomic nuclei and the electromagnetic force is free to move.
It basically affects the particles that depend on the weak nuclear force , like the electron . The weak nuclear force can transform the electron into a neutrino , however the Higgs field prevents this from happening.
And hence , ordinarily , they are both distinct from each other.
The Higgs Boson , is the excitation of this field.
The Higgs field has another property that has been quite popularized.It gives elementary particles their mass.
Okay stop blaming the poor thing for your weight , you must understand that the reason you even exist is because of the Higgs.
Just after the big bang , particles had no mass , which made all of them travel at the speed of light! That was until the higgs field condensed out forming a water like medium between particles and slowing them down.. Just like you slow down when you are in a swimming pool.
If you want more information on this check out the minute physics video about the Higgs boson here
And another brilliant explanation by fermilab scientist Don Lincoln
Also , you absolutely must check this out .. A brilliant music video by AcappelaScience called ‘Rolling in the Higgs’ ( Originally : Rolling in the deep by Adele)
Read more at: http://home.web.cern.ch/about/physics/search-higgs-boson
Also , if you want to know more detailed stuff leave a comment below.
The current article was written for the general reader and to spread scientific knowledge to the public. Let me know how I am doing so far. Criticism is welcomed with open arms.
– Rishikesh Jani