NERDgasm; Higgs Boson Discovered
We’ve all heard about CERN; the super-computer madmen who’ve been building their very own doomsday machine beneath the beautiful mountains of Switzerland. This device is named the Large Hadron Collider, and has had science buffs and non-nerds alike chattering for the past couple of years; what’ll it do? Will it work? How will it affect our economy? Will it create billions of tiny black holes in quick succession that’ll ultimately envelop the earth and destroy everything we ever knew or loved and erase our entire existence from the face of the universe? – Just some of the key questions asked by naysayers and speculators.
The answer to the latter (the one you all really wanted to know the answer to) is no, thankfully. Upon its completion, many were concerned that the LHC might signal the end for humanity, myself included. I was one of those who, despite knowing that nothing terrible could come of the activation of the thing (Stephen Hawking himself said so) there was still a tiny little fear niggling in the back of my mind as to what might happen; there’s always danger in the unknown, after all.
The whole point of the LHC was to prove the existence of a particle known as the Higg’s Boson (not to be confused with Higg’s Bosom, which is completely different thing altogether). The Boson is described as the ‘God Particle’ by many due to its apparent ability to multiply of its own accord and essentially ‘create mass’. It was believed, prior to its discovery, that this type of particle would unlock the key to how our universe was created.
The good news is that the Higg’s Boson does exist. The not-so-good news is that it sticks around for so short a time that scientists at CERN have been unable to study it for anything more than about a trillionth of a second. Hit the jump below for a slightly less rambled explanation of the whole situation, delivered excellently by CERN’s own Professor John Ellis (don’t worry, we can trust him; look at that beard).
More news on this as it develops. Unless the ol’ Boson decides it wants to create a whole ‘nother universe on top of our own with our humble planet at its centre, thus creating a parallel within a parallel and causing us to question the entire sanctity of our existence anew. By this point, it is likely my head will have exploded. Too many thinkings.
Video courtesy of CERNTV, thanks, CERNTV.