Sub Atomic

Scientists working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) announced that they have found the elusive Higgs boson articles--Digital Journal

 

Particle physicists expect to find ... exotic new particles.  --Symmetry Breaking

 

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Henry Alpon’s essay, "The Identity of Matter" which appears in its entirety in this month’s issue of Grossss!: The Science Magazine for Children. 

 

The work at CERN has lead to remarkable findings, not least of which is the discovery of the Higgs boson. This particle will help explain what holds matter together and will lead us down the road to complete understanding of the universe. It is the single most important scientific discovery of humankind, and I am so very proud and humble to have been a part of the cleanup crew that swept up afterward.

 

That said, the Grosss! audience may need help to understand what exactly the Higgs boson is, and what it means. Think of it this way:  Imagine a circle, and in that circle there is a sheep. Now, that sheep, should it eat an apple, will have an apple inside its stomach. And if that apple is pressed against the sheep’s intestines, then what is between the intestines, and the apple? Remember, the sheep is in a circle. That circle is 76% the opposite of what the Higgs boson represents. Easy, no?   (It should also be noted that the particle is delicious, and has a pleasant sweetness not unlike honeydew, with a consistency and texture of very tiny raisins.)

 

Another way to explain the Higgs is by this simple analogy: The Higgs boson is to the universe as a quark is to your bicycle.   As my custodian colleague Dr. Lisa-Ann Thurmall has noted--more poetically but with just as much lucidity-- "The Higgs boson is the cloud in an orchestra of eggs.” 

 

Now that you have a full understanding of the Higgs boson, let us examine other, more exotic particles that science is searching for: 

 

The theoretical Dango particle is thought to exist only between the stages of sleep and wakefulness. These particles are what make us cranky when, in fact, our lives are quite filled with love and medical care so there is no need to be cranky. Scientists at the University of Chicago are currently trying to locate the Dango particle by propelling sleeping test subjects into a warm bath at speeds approaching the speed of light. The particle has not yet been found, though an unusual side-effect of the study has been mild time travel. 

 

The Andrews Super subatom is thought to be the particle which makes living creatures forget if they’ve seen a movie. Though some doubt the particle’s existence, Arthur Andrews is sure of it. Andrews is not a scientist, but his theory, which was first published in a Tweet, attracted the funding of his friend, Dr. George Brandt, D.D.S., and together they are working tirelessly in an undisclosed location. “If you think you saw 'Driving Miss Daisy,' this particle will make you think again," Andrews Tweeted, with a sad emoticon attached .

 

And work is underway in the Arctic Circle as chemists investigate the Bisbee Bixby Bartly Bumble  particle, which if real, would explain why dropped objects always travel greater horizontal distances on the floor than Einsteinian physics can explain.

 

What other particles are out there? Help science by trying to track down these anomalies of nature: 

 

The Sing-Thing Particle – The particle that explains why rhymes sound good to people. 

 

The Lithia Particle – The particle that prevents turtles from bouncing. 

 

The Hats Boson– Similar to the Higgs Boson, this particle may solve the mystery of why it still feels as though you’re wearing a hat minutes and even  hours after you took it off.

 

And, finally, the farticle, which, as this is a magazine for young people, cannot be described here. Interested readers can link to flatulenza.com.

 

This is Dan Bergstein's first article about particles. 

July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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