Thursday, February 20, 2014 10:20:46 PM
@patchouly, I think it is difficult to explain period. My criticism is that your analogy is misleading and incorrect. Gravity is not a good way to explain it, because the Higgs imparts MASS, not gravity. The gravitational field is not peppered with tiny Higgs particles. Your analogy is a good way to explain the impact of mass on the geometry of space-time -- thereby giving a description of gravity. This is not a simple way to understand the Higgs, however, the Higgs is in fact not present in the analogy at all! It is what gave your objects mass before your analogy even started!
I am all for simple analogies to improve understanding, especially for the general public. But ones that mis-educate are worse than ignorance, because the reader leaves believing (s)he knows something, when in fact the information is plumb wrong. In these cases, it is better to simply not know.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:16:23 PM
There is still no proof the Higgs Boson exists. Let alone Higgs' own field theory.
My personal belief? I think all particles are trans-dimensional and we can`t measure weight that doesn`t exist within the dimensions we can perceive. So far the unified field theory (aka string theory) says at least 10, possibly 11 or more dimensions exist. That leaves a lot of room for things we can`t measure or perceive scientifically.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:02:59 PM
It still comes back to "so what?" What does it give us in return for the billions that could have gone to people who don't even know where their next meal is coming from?
The possibility of a better future for humanity.
There is nothing, nothing at all, more important than learning more about how the universe works.
An increasing number of people are living in increasing comfort and safety because people have learned more about how the universe works.
To pick one example: Smallpox killed 400 million people between 1900 and 1970. Smallpox kills nobody now because of knowledge about how the universe works.
Because of people learning more about how the universe works, you can live in safety and comfort and tell people all over the world that we shouldn`t try to learn more about how the universe works.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:25:21 PM
Patchouly - The Higgs field is not made up of Higgs bosons. It doesn't work quite like that. Some compare the Higgs field to water, and the boson to water molecules, but that is not correct either. The Higgs boson is quite large.
The hard part to grasp is that people think of fundamental particles as, well...particles, but they are actually standing waves of energy. These waves can only exist at specific energy levels (sizes) because of destructive interference. As an audio guy, I`m sure you know about constructive, and destructive interference of waves. Because of destructive intergerence, the boson can only exist as a very large "particle" when removed from the field. If the Higgs field were frozen water the molecules could not be separated, but larger chunks of an exact size (the boson) could be. It`s still a bad analogy, but the best I can come up with.