Today is the 4th of July, which makes most of us think of glorious fireworks and celebrating only our Declaration of Independence. Today’s fireworks might also celebrate what is likely to become the anniversary date for the announcement of an enormously important scientifically discovery.
You may have seen news today that teams of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have announced that they’re pretty sure they’ve discovered the “Higgs Boson,” a subatomic particle that is responsible for giving other particles the property of mass. The discovery confirms the prediction of such particles made by physicists, principally Scottish physicist Peter Higgs, nearly 50 years ago.
If you want to learn more about this news and why physicists are walking around today with a twinkle in their eyes and big grins on their faces, I recommend reading Phil Plait’s excellent article in today’s “Bad Astronomy” blog and watching this cute yet highly educational little video explaining the subject.
Happy 4th of July everyone!