Picking the bones out of the Royal Society, Pall Mall, UK – Lecture 20th May 2014 – CERN Professors Ben Allanach, John Ellis, Tara Shears, Terry Watts – Chairman Alok Jha.

(The speakers used the analogy of the Higgs Field being a ski-slope, a snowfield. Massless particles such as photons skim rapidly across it with little resistance (mass); heaver particles stomp across it on snowshoes, slowed by the snow; very heavy particles wade through the snow without skis or snowshoes picking up snow as they go. The sticking snow is the extra mass added by the Higgs Field – which only adds mass to a small class of particles whose mass, for example, represent a single fingernail of the whole mass of a human body. In other words a very tiny percentage of the mass of matter is attributed to the Higgs Boson and Higgs Field. It does not create gravity, nor explain the “missing” mass in protons, neutrons and galaxies; and does not explain Dark Matter or Dark Energy). I emailed the learned Professors, who all work at CERN – and they replied – see the colored ARIAL text inserted:

CORRECTION – FOR THE SAKE OF CLARITY – THE HIGGS MASS IS ABOUT 125GeV NOT 125MeV. That is 125 Giga (Billion) Electron Volts – not 125 Million Electron Volts. Where I have mistakenly used MeV – please replace it. GeV is 1,000 times greater than MeV. My difficulty is that I cannot envisage either quantity – and have no clue as to what they might do, or look like. What is usually left off INFORMATION ABOUT MeVs and GeVs in particle physics is that to convert them to kilograms of mass, they have to be divided by the speed of light squared, 90 billion (kilometres per second) – which minimises the error gap.

Reply 21 May – Dear Noel
Thanks a lot, and we’re really glad you enjoyed the event last night. I’ve tried to answer your questions briefly below.
Q1 – I assume that Higgs Bosons do not exist today and only existed briefly just after The Big Bang?
Q2 – So there were no Higgs Bosons (snowflakes) with us in the hall last night? 
Basically no, only insofar as they are popping in and out of the “seething vacuum”
Q3 – But the Higgs Field (snowfield) did and does suffuse the hall and the entire universe – somewhat like the CMB?


About F4 below:

Strictly, it’s going up from 8 thousand billion electronvolts to 14 thousand billion… so not quite a doubling (but roughly)
All the best,

What I thought I heard last night that was new to me was:
F1). The colliding protons impact at about 280,00 kps
F2). Vacuum quantum fluctuations might add mass to the CERN-made Higgs Bosons (and other particles).
F3). The LHC has collected only 1% of the available (now or in the near future) data.
F4). You are doubling the power of CERN.

F5). Proposed – Super symmetric particles probably decay into dark matter.

F6). The Higgs Field does not create gravity.
F7). Dark Matter and Dark Energy most probably do exist.
F8). The Higgs field adds mass only to the force carrier particles. Human mass includes a “fingernail-full” of Higgs-enhanced particles.
F9). An uneasy cooperative symbiotic truce exists between airy theorists and solid engineers.

You most probably know of the Imperial College 2014 plan to collide high power lasers to create matter – electrons and positrons; originally postulated in 1934? For me this could resurrect that great free radical, Professor Fred Hoyle and his Steady State Theory. 

 In the early 90’s I met (now Sir) Tim Berners Lee on the Oxford-Heathrow bus and he told me of his hyper-links project at CERN.

Finally – do you take turns to pedal the CERN dynamos to power the LHC?

Thank you again for a most illuminating, stimulating and enjoyable lecture.


Noel Hodson

Original article – 9 October 2012.

We amateurs can be forgiven from all that has been reported, for believing that the Universe is joyously teeming with Higgs Bosons that attach themselves to atoms and parts of atoms to add weight to otherwise almost weightless or mass-less matter. Our belief is further fuelled by The Higgs Boson being dubbed “The God Particle” – without which, we are told, none of the Universe would have been possible.

But, our faith that the God Particle builds Universal reality is misplaced. None survive in nature. 


One reason The Higgs Boson is difficult to spot is that it exists only for 156 thousandth, billionth, billionth of a second or, in mathematical terms: a Decimal Point followed by 22 zeros, ending in 156. This short life makes it difficult – in fact utterly impossible – to see. As yesterday’s blog relates; its existence is inferred from the slight and elusive radio signals it leaves behind after it dies.
(I think, by the way, that all phenomena including we humans all leave behind a permanent radio broadcast in the minutest detail of our entire brief existences – and that the signals continuously in-form and re-form the “stuff of the Universe”, the Victorians’ Aether, my Aether-Matrix; and, as I currently interpret it, Professor Higgs’ Field. We all go on record and cannot delete it.)
The Higgs Boson dies tragically young and “decays” into two photons or other sub-atomic particles.  ‘Sub-atomic’ means smaller than the atom. To make any common-sense of The Tragic Tale of The Higgs Boson, we have to surface into the reality of the macroscopic world, your own house for example. It is worth repeating that in size people are about half-way between the smallest things and the largest things we know of; between the tiniest, the Planck Length and the most immense, the Observable Universe.  Philosophical sophistry aside, we are real. The bricks our homes are made of are real, are hard, are heavy, are relatively permanent – and live longer than The Higgs. Macroscopic objects have gravity and inertia – neither of which we understand. Many objects combine to make planets and stars and galaxies that exist in reality and reliably for billions of years.
The wondrous function of the Higgs Boson and Higgs Field is to bridge the ephemeral, wispy, non-material Stuff of the Universe, pure formless energy or light, with bricks. How can we (or God) make house-bricks from light? The Higgs Boson purports to do just that. If it can convert the immaterial into substance, spin straw into gold, it could be the “missing” Dark Matter required to glue the Milky Way Galaxy together and could reveal the mysterious mechanics of gravity. This is the Holy Grail that The Higgs Boson might lead to.
My own theory of the original particles, the transition from light into phenomena; and the (probably sentient) field of the entire universe; differs. I am now more and more inclined to revert to Prof. Fred Hoyle’s earlier (pre Big-Bang) Steady State universe, in fact a Dynamic and ever Evolving universe that does not require the currently fashionable gigantic collisions, explosions, implosions, huffing and puffing and banging about insisted on by mathematicians who theoretically wind us back, by reversing Hubble-Expansion and with gravity, to the Big Bang.  The ubiquitous, probably universal, much neglected, undeniable Lifeforce is far too gentle, complex, vulnerable, sentient, evolutionary and subtle for all that Thundering, Shuddering, Juddering and Ranting. Time will tell. 
In the meantime – we need to get to know The Higgs. 




Science further reading


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