Log Entry 3… 100?
It really takes a toll on you, spending hours and days floating around in space. The mind wanders and reminisces, thinking back to all the mundane days. I remember, it was a very cold day and I could barely get out of my bed that morning. With a lot of effort, I finally pulled myself out of the bed. I felt so weighed down and suddenly thought, how did so much of mass come into existence. I was weaving the story in my head and I saw the book kept on the desk, The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? I quickly turned the pages and suddenly my attention went on the word Higgs boson. Higgs boson, also called Higgs particle, particle that is the carrier particle, or boson, of the Higgs field, a field that permeates space and endows all elementary subatomic particles with mass through its interactions with them.
Higgs, it intrigued my attention. I quickly sat and started scrolling about its existence. I found that in an event recorded in 2012 by the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at the Large Hadron Collider in proton-proton collisions at a centre of mass energy of 8 teraelectron volts. In this event there was a pair of Z bosons, one of which decayed into a pair of electrons while the other Z boson decayed into a pair of muons. The combined mass of the two electrons and the two muons was close to 126 GeV. This implies that a particle of mass 126 GeV was being produced and subsequently decaying to two Z bosons, exactly as expected if the observed particle were the Higgs boson. I was bamboozled it was a breath-taking discovery. I was very curious to know more about it.
Over the decades, particle physicists had developed an elegant theoretical model that gave a framework for the understanding of the fundamental particles and forces of nature. One major ingredient in this model is a hypothetical, ubiquitous quantum field that is supposed to be responsible for giving particles their masses. This field would answer the basic question of why particles have the masses. This field is called the Higgs field. As a consequence of wave-particle duality, all quantum fields have a fundamental particle associated with them. The particle associated with the Higgs field is called the Higgs boson. Because the Higgs field would be responsible for mass, the very fact that the fundamental particles do have mass is regarded by many physicists as an indication of the existence of the Higgs field. We can even take all our data on particle physics data and interpret them in terms of the mass of a hypothetical Higgs boson. In other words, if we assume that the Higgs boson exists, we can infer its mass based on the effect it would have on the properties of other particles and fields.
This was one of the most iconic Nobel discovery of 21st century. I hadn’t realised that my coffee is no longer hot but my mind surely was with the extremely unique particle. Coffee, I miss coffee. The designers of my vessel didn’t think to add something like an ISSpresso. Sigh, I wonder what got me thinking of home and the God Particle, maybe it’s me hoping for a miracle.
Received by Harshit