Introduction to the Higgs Boson

By John Conway | July 2, 2012 11:03 pm

Who was that guy?

Rereading this gave me the willies, actually…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Miscellany
  • Terry Bollinger

    Well whoever he was :), I sure hope he posts some more stuff like that here! That was a great Higgs 101, and I loved the informality of it. Made it both more interesting and more “real”!

  • Matt_M

    Lovely video. But the bit I don’t get is the explanation of what the Higgs field does — what seems to be the standard metaphor of the Higgs field being a kind of molasses that slows massive particles down.

    To me as a layman, this sort of account seems to represent a very strange view of mass and motion — almost pre-Newtonian or something. Heavy things are things that are sort of naturally slow, or that get slowed down quickly, while light things can zip around without being slowed down much. It seems to throw the idea of conservation of momentum out the window.

    Is it that the Higgs field kind of interacts with other fields to interfere with how they change a particles’ velocity? — i.e. massive particles require more (electromagnetic, or whatever) force to change their velocity by a certain amount? Is there some other metaphor for explaining what the Higgs does that doesn’t give the impression that if you push something heavy in empty space it will eventually slow down and come to “rest”?

  • http://picophysics.org Vijay

    May I invite you to review my essay at http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1326
    I look forward to your comments and rating of the essay.
    The essay is a beginning to unfold an alternative to standard model.

    Thanks & Best Regards,
    Vijay Gupta

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