Higgs Boson for Dummies

The Higgs Boson – what is it?

The Higgs Boson is a theoretical particle whose existence has been deduced according to the Standard Model of particle physics but remains unproven as yet.

Higgs Boson for Dummies offers information on this elusive and fascinating particle.

The Standard Model

    The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory which describes the relationship between matter (fermions) and force (bosons.) It was formulatied when quarks were first observed in the 1970s.
    Atoms are made up of tiny particles such as protons, electrons and neutrons. The nucleus is formed of neutrons and protons, around which orbit electrons. Electrons attach themselves to other nuclei to form new substances. The composite particles, called Hadrons, are themselves composed of much smaller particles called quarks. Quarks are always in pairs, and come in six ‘flavors’ – up and down; top and bottom;charm and strange.

    According to the Standard Model, all matter is held together by bosons. Bosons are each associated with a force; the three elementary bosons are known as gauge bosons and include the photon (possessing electromagnetic force),W and Z bosons (the weak force), and gluons (the strong force.) There are also two suspected though as yet unobserved bosons: the Graviton and the Higgs boson.

Higgs Boson Plush Particle

A plush subatomic particle which is easy to find

Matter and Mass

All matter is known to possess mass, however, particles are apparently massless – so how do particles then gain mass? According to theory, from the elusive Higgs boson.

In order for the supposed Higgs boson to exist, first something called the Higgs Field must exist. This field and its properties allow particles to move at varying speeds. Some move fast as they have little mass. Some move very slowly, as the Higgs Field slows them because they have large mass. It is the Higgs boson that gives particles mass.

Higgs Boson Guides

Higgs in Space

British Nobel prize-winning physicist Peter Higgs postulated the existence of the Higgs Boson in the 1960s.

According to the Standard Model, there exist two neutral and two charged components to the Higgs Field. The combining of one neutral and both charged components form the W and Z bosons, creators of the weak force.
The remaining neutral charge is responsible for the Higgs boson. However, most of the Universe’s mass originates from the strong force, without requiring explanation. It is the weak force which breaks the symmetry of the model. The Higgs Boson explains the mass of the weak force, which is why verifying its existence is so important.

Time for Higgs Boson

The Higgs boson is mostly just theoretical, even after the successful experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. But this watch is 100% real! The Higgs boson may have no spin, electric charge, or color change, but the Higgs boson watch has a nice imitation leather band and a spinning second hand that spirals around.

The God Particle – on Amazon UK

The God Particle – this is the nickname given to the Standard Model as it explains almost everything…

Higgs Discovery – on Amazon UK

On July 4th, 2012, one of physics’ most exhilarating results was announced: a new particle – and very likely a new kind of particle – had been discovered at the Large Hadron Collider, the huge particle accelerator designed to reproduce energies present in the universe a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

Particle Physics Guides on Amazon

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