Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

Will we remember Higgs Boson?

If you ask anybody to name the first man on the moon, or the first one in space, or ask who is credited with inventing the telephone, or who invented the light bulb, most will, or at least should, know the answer. If we ask who is credited with finding the Americas, or who discovered Penicillin or X-Rays, the answers should still come. If we explore science and ask who discovered gravity, or who formulated the theory of relativity, many will still be able to answer.


However, a strange thing happened as we moved further into the twentieth, and then into the twenty-first century. We became either ignorant of great inventions and science, or passive to them, or perhaps we became so swamped by the speed of change and the overflow of information, that we lost count of who invented what. Without the help of Google or Wikipedia, who invented the computer? The mobile phone? With thousands of satellites in orbit, what was the first one called? If Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon, who was the first to walk in space? Who invented the microwave oven? The washing machine? The internet?


It is then with interest (or ignorance, depending who is asked) that yesterday the science world became somewhat excited by what many have called, “The greatest day in science.” A bold call considering the inventions, discoveries and findings that preceded it. Whilst many will no doubt ask: what is Higgs-Boson? Or, Will it change my life in any way?, there can be little doubting that it will impact us, even if we don’t yet know it. There were no doubt sceptics who, had the internet been invented, would have Tweeted, “Gravity? Big deal, it doesn’t change my life”, or “Relativity? It existed yesterday, it exists today, and it will exist tomorrow, so who cares if some scientist has discovered it?”


A few of us will understand the dramatic importance of Higgs Boson. Some of us will appreciate it. Most will probably have forgotten its founder, in the same way that Martin Cooper, Wilhelm Röntgen, and Percy Spencer were forgotten.


Professor Brian Cox explains the excitement behind the discovery, and as he states: exploring the way the universe works has delivered modern civilisation.

If you want a 50 second explanation of what the Higgs Boson is, click here:


July 5, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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