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Tim HuttonTim Hutton - 2012-09-17 10:35:55+0000 - Updated: 2012-09-17 10:35:55+0000
Originally shared by Cliff HarveyBasic concepts in Higgs & particle physics for #sciencesunday  
There was no shortage of press coverage during this last, most climactic phase of the Higgs boson search, but very few articles managed to do a decent job explaining what any of the key words (like "mass") actually mean. It's frustrating to watch because without at least beginning to describe how the language of particle physics – quantum field theory –  represents a departure from the usual framework of concepts for understanding the world, there's no hope of conveying any real understanding of what the Higgs boson is or why it is significant. It was also frustrating because I know many of those basic ideas can be explained to a non-expert audience, but just not within the 3 lines most articles were willing to devote.

This longer article by a former member of the +CMS Experiment is a really nice exception. It actually starts from the proper beginning by explaining the basic ideas of quantum field theory, and only when this necessary vocabulary is in place does he explain the vital role played by the Higgs field and its famous excitations, the Higgs bosons. So I highly recommend this article for anyone looking to take the first steps into understanding the basics of particle physics.


The Bouncing Baby Boson

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