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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Part 2: Northern Irish Scientist Works to Prove Higgs Boson Exists

In the last blog post, I discussed how Steve Myers is a physicist from Northern Ireland who is part of the team which is accumulating evidence of the Higgs boson. Then we found out some things about elementary particles that are smaller than electrons, protons, and neutrons, those old standbys of the particle world.

At the end, I said we ought to look at why we should care about finding the Higgs boson and while we are at it, see if the technologies on Star Trek are really possible.

As to why we should try to find the Higgs boson, let's look at the contributions of looking at small particles and elementary forces have produced in the past.

For instance, when radio waves were discovered, one of their discoverers thought they had no useful purpose. Now of course we have cell phones, microwave ovens, broadcast receptive radios and TVs, weather radar, wireless computing, and radar enabled speed traps! Or have they totally moved on to lasers?

Also, I joked/implied that Higgs boson might make some of the technologies in Star Trek possible.

I don't really know that, but imaginations and technology development have a habit of leap frogging off each other's backs.

Today's cell phones look suspiciously like the communicators on Star Trek. I've often said into my cell, "Scottie, beam me out of here."

The other side of the physics of elementary particle research is the implications beyond our confined lives.

I find spiritual comfort in the fact that each time we press the curtain to one side, we discover the creator of the universe has another exquisite wonderous layer which was working to make this universe the way it is.

Next post: who is this Northern Irish bloke, Steve Myers, who is in search of the Higgs Boson?

Did you miss the first post? Click here to go back to the first post.

Click here to see an interesting lecture by Lisa Randall on Extra Dimensional Particle Resonance at the Large Hadron Collider.

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