Glad you asked that Juud.
Now, as I was saying earlier....
It was some years ago that Leon Lederman wrote the God Particle. It was a smashing book that described well, the Standard Model - as it was understood in the 80s. The heavy end of Pop Science, I would say.
Written with humor, including the joke about a skinny bloke that had to clean the inside of a huge gun barrel that was to be used to...I forget, some scientific thing. Anyway, he resigned, and Lederman comes out with the "Where are we going to get another man of that caliber?" joke. Boom boom.
He, (Leon, not the skinny bloke,) was director of Fermi Lab at a time when the Americans were intending to build the SuperColider, a vast atom-smasher in the NW Panhandle of Texas, and indeed beyond. It was so huge that it went past budget before they'd really started the tunneling bit. Never has there been such a huge man-made hole. In fact, it's so huge, the some Senators wanted it filled with concrete - to stop any future bright sparks thinking that they could reinstate the project. They had it explained to them that there was not that much concrete available in the entire US at that time.
Now you may think I'm topped up with me usual bottle of plonk...and you'd be right, but the above story is true...as I lean on my shovel.
The professor had the president's ear, and it seems the the man in the top-job was very well versed in the sciences, and really wanted to know what we were made of. But, towards the end of the book, the dark clouds were forming and the project was eventually canceled.
So, what is the Higgs all about? Well, I think SMT has towed the party line...no room for lateral thinkers when each experiment costs 4.7 billion dollars. But just to confuse the issue, Google Higgs field
To me, it's all about accepting the fact that space is made of something
. One can't get much further with any modern theory if you don't accept that. Don't worry about Dark Matter...think of the reason for Dark Energy.
Why is there a reason for an Increasing rate of Expansion? I would have it that the universe is unpacking simply because it wants to. Nothing we don't see every day in material objects, altering much in the way the atomic structure of a steel spring 'wants' to be returned to a certain form.
Not too hard to see, but it requires this 'fabric of space' thing to be real.
Some would have us believe that the Cosmological Constant is equivalent to the energy of empty space. Dark Energy: a repulsive gravity. I'm not happy with this, but it doesn't matter what I think for now. Again, just believing that space, or Spacetime, is something, not a void, is what we have to do.
Now the thing is that the standard model has a very serious problem. Something is missing. All of the little bits get stuck together well enough, and their conglomerations have a certain attraction to each other...but that's where the problem starts. Gravity is totally unexplained. Sure, Einstein enabled us to map it out...to be able to set our watches when we go fast, but he didn't really explain why one lump of something, attracts another......not only for trillions of miles, but forever. Mind you, diminishing on the inverse square-law, makes the power of gravity a teenzy bit weak after our lump is taken to Wiggan, but the fact is, it is theoretically 'felt' 'tother side of the universe. Why?
Sorry, but I don't. And nor does anyone else. Spacetime distorts when matter is present, and the way it does this can be calculated by Einstein's rules. But the way in which that blob of matte causes that distortion - or conversely, why the distortion presents itself as matter - is what we need to know.
This is the tough bit. I don't believe in a particle being the answer...anymore than I believe in gravitons. What I do think is...well, I've said a dozen times on PPRuNe, Something like
the fabric of space flowing into matter, will be the answer. I would also have it that matter is changing scale to cause this, but that's just me. I'm probably way off the mark, but what the Higgs might be doing is causing that distortion at the point that spacetime converts to matter.
A point and a time when the energy in spacetime suddenly transmutes into matter and attains the property of mass. A change that is felt across the universe. This energy was in the fabric of space, but now lies in a new form, but containing unimaginable energy - until something triggers another change of state.
The Higgs just could be the mechanism that causes virtual particles to 'boil' out of space, and disappear again before having a chance to say hello. Something has to hold spacetime in this new form for billions of years - I've long wondered what held a minute curvature of spacetime into the atoms of a diamond, for example. Put it down, and as long as no one nicks it, it won't change much for a million years. All that sub-atomic activity going on, yet the gem will appear much as is did when it was cut.
Then of course, this stability could be due to the fact that the entire structure of reality is a plethora of waves on our expanding universe. The consistency just a stable wave on the structure of dark matter Edit...Er, energy. Shoot, that was a nice bottle of plonk...and I don't think anyone noticed my deliberate mistake in the last word. Hic!
Loose rivets is a writer for the Merlot appreciation society.
Leon M. Lederman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia