Thursday, July 5, 2012

Higgs Boson Excitement

I've been excited about the LHC (Large Hadron collider) for years, as an armchair physics nerd (i.e. I like to read the wild and crazy stuff but I wouldn't know what to do with an actual formula) so I was beside myself with joy when I heard the announcement yesterday that they are pretty darn sure that they can confirm the discovery of the Higgs boson.  Now, rather than have me explain what this is if you're not familiar, let me just recommend you to this video to do the hard stuff.  Got it? Okay!  So basically this opens up a whole new world for physicists in understanding the universe.  The fact that they built this enormous $10 billion 17-mile-long machine to discovery something that is invisible and undetectable by any other means, is pretty amazing, and to have it basically confirmed, is tremendous.  And it's wonderful to think that its namesake, Dr. Peter Higgs, is still alive to see all of this happen.

Several years ago when they were getting ready to start the experiment I did this little drawing to illustrate my enthusiasm:

I also did some sciencey art, such is this concept of a hydrogen atom (the deuterium isotope, with one proton and one neutron) -- the human-like figures represent quarks.  I made prints of this available on Etsy today:

I'm not the only one excited though, a perfume company I enjoy, ZOMG Smells, which has a lot of science and nerd-inspired scents, also made their Higgs Boson scent a permanent part of their catalog yesterday. I have two bottles of it and it is one of my favorite scents ever!!!  Dark, deep rich tea and smooth, glossy woods.  It's a masculine fragrance by most standards but it's totally me and I highly recommend it and their other fragrances!

I'm reading a book by physicist Dr. Lisa Randall to continue my little personal celebration, since it was her book "Warped Passages" that got me interested in all of this in a big way a few years ago.  I want to make sure I don't forget all this complicated stuff so I want to refresh myself on it a little bit.  It's not exactly information I need in day to day life, but more information and knowledge is not a bad thing!

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