Friday, July 06, 2012

Higgs Boson?

An example of simulated data modelled for the ...
An example of simulated data modelled for the CMS particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Here, following a collision of two protons, a is produced which decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. The lines represent the possible paths of particles produced by the proton-proton collision in the detector while the energy these particles deposit is shown in blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There was important science news this week. Two research groups announced they have found a particle which looks very much like the Higgs Boson Particle. You can read about it here and here.
I understand that this is an important discovery- a once in a lifetime event for physicists. But I'm no physicist, so I went looking for articles to help me understand what these physicists have found.
Here is a graphic to help explain things.
Here is the first part of a multi part video series to help.
Here is a Q and A with a physicist from Cambridge.
One of the most interesting things about science is that scientists can make predictions about what ought to be and then go looking for "it".  Forty eight years ago, Peter Higgs wrote a paper where he suggested that what come to be called the Higgs fields and the Higgs boson must exist. This week, two groups have most likely "found" what Higgs predicted. That we can understand the universe, to the point of looking at what is and predicting what then must be, is absolutely amazing.
If you are wondering, "so what?"  This video from Berkeley Lab provides some answers to that question and to the question what if this new particle upsets what we think we know?
If you are wondering whether this discovery end the science and religion debates, here is what Philip Clayton thinks.
And here  (from the Clayton article) is how Steven Colbert resolves the science and religion debate.

cross posted at Conversation in Faith.

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