As you probably already know, these last few weeks have been shaken by the discovery of the Higgs Boson. But, you may ask, what is the Higgs Boson?
The Higgs Boson is the quantum of the Higgs Field, which means it’s the smallest amount of the field you can get. It’s like saying an electron is the quantum of an electric field. It was the last elementary particle of the Standard Model to be discovered, and it gives the key to complete such Model.
Although its not been identified since the late 20thCentury, it plays a major role in the process of giving mass to particles. Without this boson, particles would all behave mass less, and would wonder around at the speed of light, like photons.
To keep it simple, the Higgs Boson and Field make particles interact with them and give ‘heavy’ particles mass. If, however, the particle hasn’t got mass, like photons, this particle will flow right through the Higgs Field, remaining unchanged.
The Higgs Boson was named after Peter Higgs, as his theories of the Higgs Mechanism predicted the existence of this boson and some of its characteristics.
There’s been lots of discussions about who predicted its existence as 3 groups of people published very similar ideas at the same time. However, Higgs was the only one to predict some of its theoretical properties.
In the media, this particle has also been called The Goddamn Particle, Lederman’s first option for the book: The God particle: If the Universe is the Answer, what is the question? as the Higgs Boson was so damn hard to find. In the end the boson was called The God Particle, as the publisher thought it was more commercial.