Great news everybody – they’ve found the Higgs boson! Yay.
Do try to contain your excitement. I know it’s difficult given how important a discovery it is, but I’d certainly recommend cancelling the street parties. For one thing, I’m pretty sure most people don’t even know what it is.
If you’re one of those people, maybe you’ve heard of “the God particle”? If you still don’t know what I’m referring to, then let me give you a brief explanation.
The Higgs boson is an essential component in what physicists call “the Higgs mechanism”, which is basically used to explain mass. It was dubbed “the God particle”, much to many scientists dismay (including Higgs himself), because of its elusiveness and its potential to explain so much (I also heard it was because they weren’t allowed to call it the Goddamn particle due to the trouble it caused – Personally I prefer this reason). Scientists hate this terminology because it’s misleading – it won’t explain as much as people seem to think.
It does mean, however, that now we know it really does exist, we can potentially use it to control mass. This is just a theory, but if that were possible, just imagine what it would lead to. Hovercars would become a reality. Huge weights could be made to be lifted with great ease. Gravity itself could possibly be reversed.
This is very much just a theory though. Personally I don’t really see it ever happening; more than likely this will stop at physicists having a better understanding of mass. But it’s nice to believe, right? And even if it does happen, it’s a long way off yet, so you may as well set those celebration plans aside for a while.
So now, if you hear this joke:
“A Higgs boson walks into a church, and the priest says ‘sorry, we don’t allow Higgs bosons in here’, to which the Higgs boson replies ‘if you don’t allow my kind in here, how can you have mass?'”
You will now be able to understand it. You may celebrate that as much as you like, if you so wish.