Science Frontiers – Higgs Boson Particle

Frontiers of Science – Higgs Boson Particle

Leo Piilonen: It’s hard to put your hand on the field. The only way that you sense the presence of the field is as stuff moves through it and it interacts with it and is, in some sense, slowed down by it.

Remember “The Force” in Star Wars? It surrounds us and binds the universe together? Well, add some molasses to The Force and you’re on your way to understanding The Higgs Boson Field. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet

Leo Piilonen is chairman of the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech.

Piilonen: The Higgs Boson was a particle that was was announced in July of 2012.

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle and the mysterious field that it apparently proves the existence of.

Piilonen: Well, this particle is the manifestation of a field that permeates all of space. It’s the Higgs Field that is sort of like molasses throughout all of space. It fills space, and it impedes the passage of all particles through this so-called molasses – this Higgs field. And the heavier a particle is, thats a measure of how much it’s impeded in its motions through the ‘molasses’. That’s a sign that it interacts more often than a lighter particle. So, for instance, a proton moving through space, moves more slowly than an electron would of the same energy because the protons bouncing and colliding with this Higgs field more often.

Until a year ago, it was an unproven idea. But a year ago, this particle called the Higgs Boson was discovered, and its the physical manifestation of the presence of this field. So, that’s the evidence that it’s not just an idea, but rather a thing – a thing that we can reach out and grab.

We’ll find out why the Higgs Boson particle and the field are so important in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation, I’m Jim Metzner.

Science Frontiers - Higgs Boson Particle

What's The Higgs Boson Field? Well, take "The Force" from Stars Wars and add a little molasses.
Air Date:12/02/2013
Scientist:
Transcript:

Frontiers of Science - Higgs Boson Particle

Leo Piilonen: It's hard to put your hand on the field. The only way that you sense the presence of the field is as stuff moves through it and it interacts with it and is, in some sense, slowed down by it.

Remember "The Force" in Star Wars? It surrounds us and binds the universe together? Well, add some molasses to The Force and you're on your way to understanding The Higgs Boson Field. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet

Leo Piilonen is chairman of the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech.

Piilonen: The Higgs Boson was a particle that was was announced in July of 2012.

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle and the mysterious field that it apparently proves the existence of.

Piilonen: Well, this particle is the manifestation of a field that permeates all of space. It's the Higgs Field that is sort of like molasses throughout all of space. It fills space, and it impedes the passage of all particles through this so-called molasses - this Higgs field. And the heavier a particle is, thats a measure of how much it's impeded in its motions through the 'molasses'. That's a sign that it interacts more often than a lighter particle. So, for instance, a proton moving through space, moves more slowly than an electron would of the same energy because the protons bouncing and colliding with this Higgs field more often.

Until a year ago, it was an unproven idea. But a year ago, this particle called the Higgs Boson was discovered, and its the physical manifestation of the presence of this field. So, that's the evidence that it's not just an idea, but rather a thing - a thing that we can reach out and grab.

We'll find out why the Higgs Boson particle and the field are so important in our next program. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation, I'm Jim Metzner.