This morning, the New York Times published an op-ed piece by WSF co-founder and theoretical physicist Brian Greene. In it, he explains the origins of the now famous Higgs boson, and Peter Higgs, who hypothesized its existence in 1964.
The emptiest of empty space, vacuumed clean of matter and radiation, would still be permeated by the Higgs field. Higgs thus suggested a rewriting of the very definition of nothingness, filling otherwise empty space with a substance capable of bestowing upon particles their mass.
Nearly 50 years later, CERN made the announcement that they may have found traces of the Higgs. The announcement has physicists all over the world on the edge of their seats; waiting with equal anticipation to hear whether the Higgs can be confirmed or not.
While the official line is, rightly, one of cautious optimism, the excitement, especially behind closed doors, is palpable.
Read the entire essay in today’s New York Times
Brian also appeared on CNN to talk about the December 13th CERN Announcement. Watch now
Editor’s Note: Please forgive the multiple references to the “God Particle”