|"Now where did I leave that screwdriver?"|
--- the other Big Higgs Question
Monday, July 09, 2012
The Big Higgs Questions
The Big Higgs Question by Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg in the New York Review of Books provides a history of the theory behind the Higgs Boson written by one of the key contributors. The Higgs is important because previously known particles such as the W and Z, carriers of the weak nuclear force, are known to have a nonzero mass, but some mechanism needed to be added to the theory in order to give them a mass (particles can in fact be completely massless, for example the photon.) There were other alternatives, but the Higgs mechanism was the leading candidate and the recent experiments at CERN pretty much confirmed the Higgs as the winner. However, theorists are not finished being puzzled! According to Weinberg, it would be much more "natural" if the Higgs mass were hundred thousand trillion times larger then what was just measured! A slight discrepancy, for which there is currently no particularly good explanation.