Just finished a great article from today’s New York Times science section on the race to find evidence of the Higgs Boson, or “God particle” as it is often called. PPX players will want to take note—it’s mandatory reading if you’re following our BOSON proposition (check it out here for the current market price) which seeks to predict who will win the race to find the elusive particle.
In (incredibly) simplified terms, some physicists believe the Higgs boson is the key to understanding several mysteries of the universe’s formation that current theoretical models have failed to define—namely, the origin of matter. Heavy stuff, for sure, requiring some equally heavy machinery to study—the likes of which can only be found at the world’s top physics labs such as Fermilab in Illinois and CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, a powerful particle accelerator currently under construction at CERN’s laboratory facilities near Geneva, Switzerland (check out more amazing VR photos like the one at the top of this post).
The article also does a great job in illustrating just how competitive these physicists can get, and the role of their personal blogs, where rumors of findings are posted, re-posted and commented on—taking data previously familiar to only a few dozen hardcore particle physicists in a laboratory lunch room and hurling it into whirlwind of science blogs accessibly to anyone, scientist or not. The article points to Cosmic Variance, a blog maintained by several leading physicists that lives in many a PopSci staffer’s favorites list, as well as countless others. Check them out for some delightfully geeky gossip. Oh, and watch that PPX prop! —John Mahoney