Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Big Bang Day

Today is the day!
...scientists here will embark on their biggest experiment ever, the hunt for a particle which gave the universe its form.Its scientific name is the Higgs Boson, but because it is so fundamental in shaping the universe, others have called it the God particle.It is a particle that is supposed to endow other fundamental particles with mass. Without it there would be no gravity, no universe as we know it - no "let there be light" moment.No-one has seen it, but physicists have invoked it because it is the simplest explanation for how the universe evolved.

Click here for the rest of the BBC News article.
If you can get BBC Radio 4, they are having Big Bang Day programming today, with special features such as:
Physics Rocks
Celebrities appearing on Physics Rocks

Is particle physics the new rock n’ roll? The extraordinary questions that particle physics hopes to answer has attracted some very high profile fans. Also Alexandra Feachem, the series producer, gives a unique insight into the making of the series.

What sounds most interesting to me is the special Women's Hour program on Switching Women on to Science. I'll be listening to that on the 'Net later.

Happy big bang day!
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Vanessa Gebbie said...

From a non-scientist, though - what will they DO with the Higgs Boson when they find it? Why is it important to find it at all? Why wouldnt these countless millions have been better spent on healthcare or eductation?

Tania Hershman said...

Well, I imagine that the answer from the physicists would be along the lines of increasing our knowledge about the universe. This is "pure science" right now, which means they haven't necessarily found any practical applications of the discovery, but it is the missing piece in the jigsaw, something physicists believe MUST exist and they are just dying to prove that it does. They're very antsy about it.... But it is a damn expensive way to complete a jigsaw puzzle, I grant you. However, scientists would also argue, rightly that much comes out of this research, we learn about other things along the way that most definitely lead to practical applications. Can't give any examples off the top of my head, though.

Nik's Blog said...

I think it's quite cool, not that I understand it. But finding new stuff out's pretty exciting in my book, even though it won't have any immediate benefits. And going off on a slight tangent... might it actually, in some way shape or form, have some educational use in the future?


SueG said...

I left you an award on my blog today. Enjoy!