Two scientists have won the Nobel prize in physics for their work on the theory of the Higgs boson. Peter Higgs, from the UK, and Francois Englert from Belgium, share the $1.2 M prize. In the 1960s, they were among several physicists who proposed a mechanism to explain why the most basic building blocks of the Universe have mass. The mechanism predicts a particle – the Higgs boson – which was finally discovered in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, in Switzerland.
I have written several articles on The Higgs Boson and the Higgs Field and read many others, but I still have no grasp on what it does or how it is alleged to work “adding mass to massless particles”; particles that combine to make atoms, that make the universe. HIGGS BOSON ARCHIVE UPDATE SEPT 2013
For example, here from Huff Post is one of the more accessible descriptions: By: Natalie Wolchover Published: 07/03/2012 07:58 AM EDT on Lifes Little Mysteries
I do not find it comprehensible or clear, but it is slightly clearer than other explanations I’ve read.
As a hobby – over the last 50 years I have been reading popular science and slotting the information into my own TOE or Theory of Everything. In the 50 year process I have become wary of theoretical mathematical physics – including I am afraid being now suspicious of The Big Bang, Inflation, Multiverses, String theories with limitless dimensions, Branes, and doom laden extrapolations from thermodynamics of our inevitable Universal Heat-Death.
The Standard Model (of the atom) even with The Higgs Particle, is still missing 80% to 90% of its mass (weight /energy). Galaxies, such as The Milky Way, are missing 90% of their mass. The foundations of our measurements and calculations, The Universal Constants, are probably not constant. We do not understand gravity, inertia (what keeps things in place), Blackholes (if they exist) or how your mobile phone waves /signals retain their coherence, data and identity in a universe seething with powerful radio signals. We have no understanding of Life – and science still treats life as an inconvenient truth; an anomaly. The Higgs Boson lives for a billionth of a billionth etc of a second before disintegrating into two (allegedly massless) photons. So, in constructing theories of everything, there is still everything to play for. It is as valid to describe The Universe in words as mathematically.
I picture an evolving, so ever changing universe, which emerges and exists (stands out) in a field (no parts) of light waves. Light is a visible small part of the complex electro-magnetic spectrum. Everything, including ourselves, is made of light; we see this when we explode uranium – in a brilliant flash of light. We can explode material things but the deepest mystery is how is light compressed to make particles. Did matter emerge only once, at the beginning, or is it a continuing process? I hope The Higgs addresses this question – but so far, I haven’t found a description that makes the link, in terms I can understand. Now that the two main Higgs theorists have found their particle – and deservedly received their prize – would they be so kind as to take up Einstein’s mantra “If you cannot explain it simply – You haven’t understood it well enough” and simply explain the life and times of the elusive Higgs Boson and its invisible, undetectable field.
On the other hand an equally famous physicist and teacher said: If I could explain it to the average person, I wouldn’t have been worth the Nobel Prize. Richard P. Feynman
HIGGS BOSON ARCHIVE UPDATE SEPT 2013
PS – Article from New Scientist Magazine – This accords with my TOE, as it might be part of the answer as how light is compacted into primary particles – requiring minimal energy. I emailed it to an expert on atmospheric refraction.
2 OCT 13 NO GRAVITY REQUIRED: This experiment bends light into a black-hole-equivalent, via refraction. As black holes have masses of gravity (and thus matter), is this how light converts to matter? Or is it still the job of the Higgs Boson /Field? Is refraction a cause of star light bending as it skims the Sun’s “atmosphere” – traditionally ascribed to gravity? Best wishes – Noel