If we haven’t found something we’re looking for, most of us give up in less than forty years. Obviously the Higgs Bosom belongs in a different category altogether. Some of the best minds in the world spending billions of dollars have been looking for it. And now they think they’ve found it.
They are only “pretty sure” because nothing in science is ever 100% certain. But they think they found it.
So why were they looking for the Higgs Bosom? Because up until now scientists have been unable to explain why the almost infinitesimally small particles that emerged with the Big Bang haven’t all just kept whizzing around at the speed of light in splendid isolation from each other. What made some of them slow down and mass together? In other words, what made the particles give up their individuality to bind together ultimately to form atoms and molecules, the very stuff of matter? It must have been something very powerful because bound together in the atom are both negative and positive particles that one would expect to repel each other.
The Higgs Bosom creates the Higgs field which slows down any other particles in its field and so that they mass together, creating matter. It’s why irreverent scientists dubbed the Higgs the “God particle.”
And it is possibly one of the biggest steps forward in science in almost a century.
Now that scientists have a pretty comprehensive theory about matter, which accounts for about 4% of the Universe, they are now free to start looking for dark matter, which they think explains another 23% of the Universe. Another 73% of the Universe is composed of dark energy, and even the brainiest scientists don’t really know what that is. A few scientists think it doesn’t exist. They say we only think it does because we are misinterpreting what we see.
Well, we have been doing that for as far back as we can see.