“We’re reaching into the fabric of the Universe at a level we’ve never done before” – Prof Joe Incandela
You may or may not be aware, but earlier today, CERN made what’s known as “A really big announcement.” After 45 years of experiments, CERN scientists have validated the existence of the Higgs boson – the elementary particle theorized to explain how matter achieves mass – with 99.9998% certainty. This is without question one of the most important scientific discoveries of the past decade, as the Higgs boson plugs a major hole in the Standard Model of particle physics.
We here at HSA are pretty on-the-record that we think science is awesome, and to celebrate this momentous occasion we’ve tracked down an incredibly entertaining video that explains what the Higgs boson is, what CERN has to do to validate its theorized existence, and why it’s so important to our understanding of how the universe operates.
If you’re gonna ask a question like the above title, with the scientific and sociological implications therein, you want to make sure you’re getting the right person to answer it. Your cousin Bob, for instance – maybe not the right guy. A theoretical physicist from CUNY and best-selling author who co-founded string theory? Yeah, that’s the guy.
Meet Michio Kaku. He’s smarter than anyone you hang out with and has obviously put some thought into this issue before. More importantly, he’s able to communicate his ideas in a way that makes sense to the average layman/non-theoretical-physicist. I hesitate to give any of his answer away, but suffice to say it’s fascinating how he’s categorized human civilization and utilized fictional civilizations in order to draw distinctions that make scientific and pop-sci sense.
Should you find yourself wanting more, I’ve got good news: this video is one of a series from BigThink.com where he covers everything from “Talking to Dogs” to “Why Cryogenics is Bogus” to “How to Program A Quantum Computer.” Needless to say, I’ve got my day week cut out for me.
Science is fucking awesome. Ever wanted to see a real-world demonstration of a superconductor enabling quantum locking? Even if you didn’t before, this video will scratch the itch you never knew you had.
I can’t attest to the science behind this other than superconductivity is A) really cool, and B) quantum mechanics tends to be really hard for me to wrap my brain around. Certain types of matter and energy start acting in really weird ways at the very large, very small, very hot, and very cold scales of things. A rather cheeky scientist once told me “Well yeah; the edges are where the simulation starts to break down.”
At the very least it’s a demonstration that we take a lot of the processes of the universe around us for granted, and are in no danger of running out of new things to discover. And that science is fucking awesome.
PS: Hoverboards, people – get on them.
PPS: Try not to think too hard about that simulation comment if you’d like to retain your sanity.