2012 Jul 9

written by Sherri Joubert

In light of the fact that the Higgs Boson exists, we need an explanation of The Standard Model of Particle Physics. Higgs Bosons are important because they are the last fundamental particles predicted by the model we hadn’t found, the ones that give all matter mass.

I would try to put all this into my own words, but these short videos will have you understanding a big-picture overview of The Standard Model much more quickly than I could.

Symphony Science Explanation:
For the musically inclined.

Note: Albert Einstein didn’t believe in quantum theory. One of his contemporaries, Niels Bohr, was a strong proponent and investigator of quantum physics. It turns out Einstein was spot-on with gravity and relativity, but he was wrong about particle physics. If you can’t wrap your head around it, remember Einstein couldn’t either.

MinutePhysics Explanation:
Physics in plain language in a minute or two with full transcripts for every video.

The Standard Model is the theory of almost everything. We haven’t figured out a way to include gravity in the quantum equations. We haven’t found a quantum gravity particle (the graviton), among other problems.

If we try to put a quantum version of Einstein’s equation of general relativity into the Standard Model, the whole thing falls apart. Nature is smarter than we are. Gravity may not even be quantum. No matter what, we still have a lot to learn about how gravity and the quantum world of particles work together.

From CERN:
Some of the folks who work at CERN on the LHC particle accelerator.

Now that we found the Higgs Boson, our standard model is complete, but it doesn’t explain everything. We realize from all the other discoveries throughout time that we will find more particles and we will have more questions, mostly of the nature “how?” and “why?”. How does it work and why does it work that way? Another question is from our own impatiences, “when will be find it?”.

That annoying question our toddlers bombarded us with, “why?”, is the whole basis of science. Scientists get to continue to ask “why?”, and the only time we get in trouble is if we stop asking. Every time we explain something, it causes us to ask more questions. That is why science is so fascinating!

Please leave your questions in the comments. I’ll do my best to explain the answers, or (more likely) I will send you to a credible source that explains what you want to know in as plain a language as I can find. If questions seem to be grouped, I’ll write another blog post to explain the groups of questions.

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