The Quest to find the Higgs Boson: What are We Really Made of?

Today on Discovery Enterprise we join host Morgan Freeman in a quest that will take us into the very heart of matter to understand the basic building blocks of our material existence.

It is a quest that will also take us in search of the elusive Higgs boson, the particle thought to be the mediator of mass. Experimental detection of the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass in the universe. The Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon, which mediates electromagnetism, and the massive W and Z bosons, which mediate the weak force. If the Higgs boson exists, it is an integral and omnipresent component of the material world. Which is why, some physicists have referred to the Higgs boson as “The God particle”. While this title may have captured the imagination of journalists and general public alike and aroused interest in the work being carried out at CERN and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), many scientists dislike it because, they feel, that it overstates the importance of the particle. In a recent renaming competition, a jury of physicists chose the name “the champagne bottle boson” as the best popular name.

Our understanding of the universe and the nature of reality itself has drastically changed over the last 100 years, and it’s on the verge of another seismic shift. In a 17-mile-long tunnel buried 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border, the world’s largest and most powerful atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, is powering up. Its goal is nothing less than recreating the first instants of creation, when the universe was unimaginably hot and long-extinct forms of matter sizzled and cooled into stars, planets, and ultimately, us. These incredibly small and exotic particles hold the keys to the greatest mysteries of the universe. What we find could validate our long-held theories about how the world works and what we are made of. Or, all of our notions about the essence of what is real will fall apart.

Copyright Science Channel

Through The Wormhole – What are We Really Made of?


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