A “simple” explanation of a Higgs boson — well maybe not

Below is a three minute clip from Fermilab that gives a “simple” explanation of a Higgs boson. The film was made before the discovery of the boson, but will at least give you a small idea of what is being talked about. Mind you, the clip already assumes that you know something of science. If you have no idea what a top quark is, then this film will be of limited explanation for you, but still well worth watching.


  1. says

    Probably more directly relevant than a top quark, I think it helps if you understand that the photon is the gauge boson for electromagnetism, the neutral Z and positive/negative W bosons the gauge bosons for the weak nuclear force (and thus combined with the photon, the four gauge bosons for electroweak interaction) and the gluon is the gauge boson for the strong nuclear force. It gives you an idea of what a boson is. I’ve seen them described as force carrying particles. The Higgs field effect is required for (among other things) the weak force bosons to have mass and operate at extremely short range in the standard model, which is what the evidence shows. That’s why this is such an important step in particle physics. Without it, we would have to find another explanation.

    But that’s probably more than interests most people. ;-)

    • says

      Actually, that is helpful for me because of my science background. I am not a physicist, by any means, but inevitably a medical technologist delves into the “higher” sciences. But, I have not delved enough to realize that the photon itself is one of the bosons. I can see that I am going to have to do some additional cosmological reading.

      Having mentioned the photon, I am hoping for a theory that makes science fiction possible. That is, a theory that allows for the speed of light to not be a limiting factor.

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