4th of July, is a day of fireworks for Americans, but for scientists or people interested in particle physics, it was a day when their dreams were about to come true, literally.
Rather than gathering with their families for cookouts or go out to a park across the country, physicists either gathered in the auditorium in CERN laboratory, or watched the live video feed of the presentation.
The Journey Begins
A new discovery was anticipated in the year 1964. Three different papers written by 6 different scientists, proposed a previously unsuspected Energy Field in the universe.
Dr. Peter Higgs, in 1964, proposed a theory that there is a field floating around in the universe. But why?
The reason he proposed this theory was that nobody understood that why different subatomic particles have different mass. Some of them are heavy, some have light weights, while others have no mass at all.
The energy field that Higgs proposed, would interact with the subatomic particles, giving them their masses.
To better understand what he meant, we can use the analogy of water and swimmers.
Water serves the role of the Higgs field. A barracuda fish is very slim, and hence can move easily in water, which is similar to a lower mass particle. While a big fish can move slowly because of it’s more interaction with water.
The lightest of the familiar subatomic particles is the electron, while the heaviest is the Top Quark, weighing as much as an atom of gold, which is about 350,000 times more than the electron.
Not that the Top Quark is bigger in size than the electron, in fact, both of them are of the exact same size( 0 size). It’s just that the Top Quark interacts with the Higgs field more.
Moreover, if the Higgs field didn’t exist, neither of these particles would have any mass at all.
What is Higgs Boson?
To put it simply, Higgs Boson is the smallest bit in the Higgs Field.
The Higgs Field, which gives mass to various subatomic particles, consists of countless number Higgs Bosons, just like water is made of individual molecules.
The Beginning Of New Era
Technically, what the scientists claimed in July 2012, was that a new particle has been discovered. In order to prove if the new particle was Higgs Boson or not, researchers performed various tests, to see if the particle had the right properties.
Every test that was performed, showed that the particle acted, as the Higgs Boson was predicted to act. For example the predicted 0 spin and the predicted positive parity were proved.
0 spin means, that if the particle decays or splits, it has equal probability to go in any direction after splitting, which was found true. Positive parity means the mirror image is same as the particle itself, which was also found true.
“The newly discovered particle is consistent with being the Higgs Boson.”
A standard theory suggests only one Higgs Boson, while various other numerous theories suggest that there are many types of Higgs Boson out there.
Research is going on with the Large Hadron Collider.
You might be wondering why? Why so much trouble? Let’s look at some of the applications it might have in future.
1. Artificial Gravity
2. Anti-Gravity (Higgs Shield)
3. Massless storage
4. Better particle accelerators
5.Plausible construction of Dyson Sphere
1. Increasing mass to destructive levels
2. Planetary destabilisation and de-orbiting
3. Star destabilisation
4. Blackhole creation through Higgs field
5. Super massive blackhole evaporation
The discovery is amazing, no doubt, and every person involved in the process, including the accelerator scientists and physicists should be appreciated and congratulated.
But will it lead to something greater, or will it be used to create something more destructive, as we humans have always done with our finding?
What do you think?