The Science of it All

Higgs Boson

Since it was proposed, the Higgs boson has remained very elusive despite numerous experiments looking for it. This is because it is alleged to have a very high mass and it therefore takes a lot of energy to create one. Hence the use of the Large Hadron Collider to accelerate particles travelling in opposite directions to very high energies, then bash them together and hope a Higgs pops out. One doesn’t actually see a Higgs boson since they decay extremely quickly. What is observed, it is hoped, are the products of that decay.

These experiments that seem to confirm the existence of the Higgs boson are a remarkable example of operational science at work. That is, the experimental, repeatable, observational science that tells us how things work in the present. (As opposed to historical or forensic science, which tries to work out what happened in the unrepeatable, unobservable past). This is the sort of science necessarily used to study origins. It is quite different in its
methodology and in the role played by bias and personal philosophy in the interpretation applied to the data. The Standard Model does, however, provide an amazing example of super-intelligent design. There are only 3 fundamental particles, each of which comes in a few variants for a total of only 24 elementary (matter) particles—6 quarks, 6 leptons and 12 gauge bosons. Everything in the entire universe is made up of these 3 fundamental particles in 24 variants. Think about it! There are 118 chemical elements in the periodic table which can be combined to create almost innumerable compounds like iron oxide or calcium carbonate or hydrogen hydroxide (aka water) and these can be combined to create almost innumerable substances like bubble gum and chocolate cake and amino acids and concrete and these can be combined to create even grander structures like buildings and airplanes and computers and … the human body. Yet all these things are made using just 24 different components! That sure looks like design at its best.

Furthermore, the 12 bosons provide 3 of the 4 forces that hold everything in the universe together. Eight of them (gluons) provide the strong nuclear force that holds quarks together to form neutrons and protons and also holds the protons and neutrons together to form nuclei for atoms. Three of them provide the weak force which is involved in radioactive decay processes. One of the bosons, the photon, provides the electromagnetic force which is stronger than the weak force but weaker than the strong force—maybe should have been called the middling force. It binds electrons to nuclei in the atom and is responsible for pretty much all the phenomena we experience in daily life apart from gravity, which is the
fourth and weakest force. These forces cover an incredible range of strengths.
For example, the strong force is 1038 times as strong as gravity—that’s 100 million million million million million million times as strong. The forces all behave differently: gravity only attracts; the electromagnetic force both attracts and repels; both act over infinitely long distances whereas the strong force only acts within the nucleus and the weak force only in close proximity to the nucleus. Gravity accounts for the motion of the stars and planets, the electromagnetic force accounts for light travelling from the stars to earth, and the strong force keeps all the nuclei in atoms from flying apart due to the electromagnetic repulsion between the protons. Yet all this is accomplished with only 12 particles. Again, design at its best.

higgs-boson-discovery-1

K.I.S.S (Keep It Sane Simpleton). Interestingly, when the Z
boson was named, it was called ‘Z’ because it was considered to be the lastelementary particle needed by the Standard Model. Apparently not! Perhaps thisillustrates just how dangerous it is to consider that anything is ‘settledscience’. They will make changes to it as more and more discrepancies are founddo to our expanding knowledge.

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