The God particle* hasn’t gone away, you know!
It’s just over a year since the world of science was shaken by the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson. On July 4, 2012, a room full of particle physicists at CERN got very excited at the news – not One Direction-fan excited, they applauded politely while Prof Peter Higgs shed a tear or two.
The universe changed that day, but not many people noticed. One reason for this is that most people didn’t have a clue what was going on. At least with the moon landings you didn’t need an interpreter.
In an effort to balance the books I wrote an article putting the revelation in context. You can read it here. We still await bigger secrets to be revealed by the Large Hadron Collider once it starts smashing protons again in 2015.
The Higgs boson confirmation is among the top 10 Giant Leaps for Mankind. Here are the others in my list:
- The Earth Moves — 1543
- Laws of Motion — 1687
- Electromagnetism — 1821
- Natural Selection — 1859
- Quantum Mechanics — 1900
- General Relativity — 1916
- Big Bang — 1927
- Structure of DNA — 1953
- Dark Energy — 1998
* I don’t like using this term… but it makes for a snappier intro, don’t ya think!