Higgs Boson and Me

As a senior person committed to life long learning, I’ve always been fascinated by physics. And though I usually feel my images of the subject are fuzzy figures a bit farther than my vision can decipher, the struggle seems worth it. Who doesn’t want to better understand the nature of our universe?

In trawling through the vast amounts of data in my own body/mind/spirit, I remember that adult’s learn something new by connecting it to something we already know. And through the years I’ve noted that new insights often emerge when someone from one academic discipline crosses fields to become a neophyte in another. So allow this dancing social worker to venture forth.

Higgs Boson Graphic
A Little God In each Part of Us

On July 4th, the physics world launched their own particular fireworks. The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider announced that after a long search for the Higgs Boson particle, it has been found.  The particle only exists for a septillionth of a second, which gives new meaning to the expresson, “in the blink of an eye.” No wonder they had to trawl through enormous amounts of data to find it. (15 million gigabytes per year x many years)

Since the Higgs Boson process starts as a movement, it seems to me to be a kind of dance. A dance in which energy is only transferred, never created or destroyed. When the movement begins interacting with the Higgs field, the kinetic energy slows down and is converted to mass. (Remember Einstein’s E=MC2)                                                          Sonification Of Higgs BosonHiggs_Boson_Atlas

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I loved hearing that researchers in GEANT, a European Academic Communications Network turned the data points of Higgs Boson into a melody. And staying true to the intervals in the data, they created a piece of music.  The results of this “sonafication” process resemble a Habanera, like the well-known aria from Carmen. Makes me want to shout Ole!


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