Posts Tagged Peter Higgs
The search for the Higgs Boson took a bizarre turn this week with the announcement that there could be at least five different kinds of the God Particle, maybe more. Not so long ago the scientists at Cerne were confidently predicting that they would find the elusive Higgs Boson this year, now it seems the search could go on forever.
What’s going on here? Are the little devils breeding like rabbits or are the scientists simply trying to ensure that in these cash straightened times they will retain their funding. After all, once they find the God Particle, it will be a case of job done and so long professor!
You have to admit, it’s a pretty good wheeze. Anytime the boffins at Cerne feel their jobs are under threat they can simply increase the population of Higgs Bosons awaiting to be discovered. I doubt that Sherlock Holmes or even his arch enemy Professor Moriarty would stand much chance of unravelling this mystery.
An article in The Sunday Times the other week suggested that the elusive Higgs Boson, the so called God particle, may have been found 11 years ago. What’s going on here? Did an absent-minded professor put it down for a second and then forgot where he’d put it, or did some disgruntled employee steal it?
Scientists have been searching for this particle since the 1960’s, when Professor Peter Higgs first proposed its existence. So you can imagine the consternation at Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider (a misnomer if ever there was one – it’s not just large – it’s enormous), when this oversight came to light.
Picture the scene: the head of Cern summons the entire complement of scientists and technicians to a meeting. Stepping up to the podium, he gazes out over the sea of expectant faces.
‘I think you all know why I have asked you here today,’ he intones sternly. ‘I don’t want to involve the police in this matter, unless I have to. So, if the Higgs Boson is handed in before the end of the day, we’ll say no more about it.’
Not quite how it was, but far weirder things go on in the world of physics. It’s full of strange theories, backed up by mathematics that ordinary human beings find totally incomprehensible. We just have to take the physicists’ word for it when they say that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42, or whatever it turns out to be.
And the names they give to these things: quarks, gluons, worm holes (essentially short cuts to other parts of the universe), string theory and the rest. It’s even been suggested that there could be an infinite number of parallel universes where each of us has a doppelganger living out a different version of our lives.
What if one of these doppelgangers was to stumble into a worm hole and end up in the wrong universe: the same supermarket even as oneself. Bit of a shock coming face to face with an identical twin you never knew existed. Which begs the question: would it even be possible for the two of you to occupy the same cosmic space, or would it be a case of this universe ain’t big enough for the both of us?