We all seem to have one of those aunts, the boisterous gossipy kind with a thick, annoying accent. Mine is named Ruth, she loves tangentially loves science and has the accent of Mike Myers "Coffee Talk" character only thicker and more annoying because it has some Boston mixed in there. Pronounce "not" like "naaawwwt" extending and butchering vowels like that, and you got yourself an aunt accent.
|Awww, someone gave Aunt Ruth a pearl necklace...Hey, wait a second!|
"These hot-shot scientist types found a particle. It only took 'em decades and billions of dollars. I could find whatever you want for a billion dollars: Higgs boson particle, Waldo, my ex-husband Mark, my ex-husband Mark's manhood (if you know what I mean), Amelia Earhart, who so evah. So apparently these guys found a magic particle named after this guy, Patrick Higgs. Can you imagine? My friend Cecilia once got a sandwich named after her at Danny's Deli over on 6th Street, but that's because she was whoring around with the butcher, but you didn't hear that from me.
"This thing, they call it the 'God particle.' Which I find a bit blasphemous. I don't think the Jesus who I pray to, who gave me my two kids, my health (bless you for that), and a closet full a designer jogging suits would be okay with a sub-atomic particle spitting on his father's good name. But that's just me. We can't all be saved or there'd be no room in Heaven, right? Why not use a different word like when I stop cursing by saying gosh darn or brother fudging shimmy frog dim it?
"Well anyway, this Higgs boson particle is supposedly the thing that gives things mass, and here I thought that was how much ice cream I ate!"
[Pause as Aunt Ruth laughs so hard she snorts.]
"That's just a little joke. I like having fun here. If you're not smiling, what are you doing, right? Take that sourpuss out of here, Mister, is what I say to people if they're not having fun. Anywhoodle, all these sciencey types have been searching for this Higgs boson particle and built this enormous Large Hadron Collider to smash protons together. Which, I don't know why they don't just put those protons in that Wilson kid's car the way he drives, I'm telling you."
[Pause as Aunt Ruth spits up her Werther's Original from laughing so hard.]
|Diagram of proton collision and the creation of the "God Particle". Courtesy of ATLAS Experiment © 2012 CERN|
"But it's not just that, the Higgs boson probably played a large part in generating matter in the universe. Who knows, it may have been the reason there's matter, anti-matter, dark matter, and wazamatter!"
[Aunt Ruth is now acting like she's on a stage, asking for applause even though I'm the only one in the room.]
"But seriously, seriously, this particle may even provide a clue how the universe grew to the size it is now.
But why all the curiosity? Sometimes mystery is great. I one time read an Agatha Christie novel right up until the last chapter, and you know what I did? I closed the book and gave it back to the library. That's right, that's what I did. You know why? Because I. Like. Mystery. Sometimes what we think in our head is more fun. Look what happened to that 'Lost' program. They start answering the questions and it's not so fun anymore.
|This is an image from the LHC of a Higgs boson decaying to create two hadrons and two electrons. Prettier than a Michael Bay movie.|
Thanks Aunt Ruth.