Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Thursday, July 05, 2012

If you don't understand what the Higgs boson particle is you're not stupid

You just haven't heard it explained the right way.

[I hate that so many people feel stupid about math and science. Math and science are beautiful]

Gary Corby, my amazing client, who writes mysteries set in the mean streets of ancient Athens also writes beautifully about matters of the modern age.

Here's his blog post on  the Higgs boson.  Since I'm one of the folks who tweeted to Gary about this a while back, I take 15% of the credit for his fun elegant explanation.


GillyB said...

I have never read an article on a subject with which I am wholly unfamiliar (I'm one of those math-science-dumb-people... I really wish I weren't) and understood it so thoroughly. I just love the idea that physicists everywhere were going, "Nope, we're done, this is the tiniest unit in the universe... oh wait." And that everything is made up of something else, which is made up of something else...!

Well. My mind is blown.

And now I can actually hold an intelligent conversation with one of those freaky math-science people and not seem like a total idiot! I can actually go, "Oh, the Higgs boson? I happen to know all about that" instead of quickly changing to topic to books or something.

Wry Wryter said...

Higgs Boson Particle, amorphous blob...if anyone told me that at 6:30 in the morning on July 6th I’d be reading about this stuff, and liking it, I would have told them to have another treacle and screw the drive home.
The whole thing sounds like a foggy day at a Chicago baseball field in Boston.

This was like listening to NPR. I love NPR you get to learn stuff you never thought you’d be interested in, like quarks and sharks.

stacy said...

If only Mr. Corby had been one of my Physics teachers in high school and/or college. Might have gotten better grades. : )

Bill Plante said...

Yowza - familiar?

Patchi said...

Check out the rap video for a variation on the theme:

Cheers from a science geek :)

Steve Stubbs said...

Tell Gary a Higgs Boson is a guttersnipe who sells flowers until she gets tutored on how to be a lady in a play by George Bernard Shaw. Shaw cleverly left his playgoers hanging and people were asking him for years afterward if Eliza and Higgs ever got married. Sort of like Carly Simon reusing to tell who is the subject of her song "You're So Vain." It is a clever gimmick for making sure your work is never forgotten, but the catch is, the work has to be unforgettable in its own right.

Janet Reid said...

Patchi, that may be the best Youtube video ever! Certainly the next track at our office dance party!

thanks for the link!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Very cool. Thanks for the link.
(Is it bad that the only reason I'd heard of the Large Hadron Collider was from watching Big Bang Theory?) :)

Steven J. Wangsness said...

I still have trouble with the whole light is sometimes a particle, sometimes a wave thing.

And my dad is a theoretical physicist. I have him explain all this stuff to me -- the other day I forced him to tell me what "quantum foam" is -- but it still doesn't help...

The Writer Librarian said...

Very useful, understandable scientific info. I've always believed that most anyone can understand left-brained concepts like math and science if they are explained in the right way. I'm reminded of the following quote:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

― Albert Einstein

Amber, Storytime Librarian said...

Enjoy this excellent explanation too: