Wednesday, December 9, 2009
In Honor of Nerds Everywhere
Last night, I was feeling stuck about what I could possibly blog about today. I put a status update on Facebook, asking for ideas, and Jeff's best friend, Brian, jokingly suggested The Higgs-Boson... AKA "The God Particle." I guess he thought I wouldn't take the bait. That I would laugh and move on to something of interest to me instead of something so readily known by people like Jeff and Brian. People who are... nerds. Do you watch Big Bang Theory? If you don't, you should. Especially if you have a nerd in your life. The show is hilarious, the writing is brilliant, the characters are fantastic. I'm Penny- but not hot and less uneducated. I'm smart. I can learn and problem solve and all that jazz. But I don't have this deep understanding of how the earth works, how the universe works, of physics or whatever else. So I'm taking Brian's Challenge and we're gonna get all scientifically edju-ma-cated today! Higgs boson. It's actually a current event! See, it's a particle that's existence hasn't been actually proven. But there's this lab that started doing experiments back in November. This particle, according to scientist Peter Higgs, is responsible, essentially, for determining the mass of all other matter. OK hold on. So Higgs is the scientist guy. What the heck's a boson? Boson are sub-atomic particles that obey Bose-Einstein statistics. And what that means is that bosons can be in the same place. As opposed to fermions- only one can occupy a space at a time. This Higgs guy believes there is this one subatomic particle that could occupy the same space with other particles of the same energy and that one particle is responsible for imparting mass to all things. That's a big deal! So these scientists have this super-duper particle accelerator, right? And they apparently began running experiments in the last few weeks. And it is going to take decades to determine the existence- or non-existence- of Higgs boson. So does that lead us to Schrodinger's cat? OK... I gave it my best shot. Could I pass for a nerd? Could I have a guest spot on Big Bang?