Yesterday, July 4th, scientists at CERN announced they had discovered the Higgs boson. This boson, sometimes referred to as the “God Particle” or the “God Damn Particle” because it was so damn hard to find, was pure theory until yesterday. The standard model of quantum physics predicted it would exist, but many were skeptical about it. Even the esteemed Stephen Hawking once offered a bet that it would never be found.
The Higgs boson is part of a larger energy field called the Higgs field, which gives mass to all matter in the universe. The Higgs field surrounds us and penetrates us… it binds the galaxy together… in other words, scientists have discovered the Force. Now we just have to learn how to manipulate it with our minds.
Since July 4th is Independence Day here in the United States, I was too busy celebrating America to also celebrate the new particle, so I’ll celebrate today instead. I’ve gone so far as to buy the Higgs boson a cake. It seems appropriate. Since cake is known to add lots of mass to people, surely it contains a great many Higgs bosons.
How are you celebrating the Higgs boson discovery?
Dear Higgs Boson,
We know you’re there. We’re very close to finding you. The standard model of particle physics has predicted your existence for decades, and in every other experiment the standard model’s predictions have been correct. It’s only a matter of time—less than a year, they say—before your existence is proven as well.
Just recently, some scientists at CERN detected tantalizing new evidence of your existence. They didn’t observe you, but they did notice the high-energy particles you turned into when you decayed. They’ll have to repeat the experiment, because those particles might have decayed from something else, but their fancy mathematics is telling them they’ve almost got you.
For scientists, this is all very exciting, but I’m not a scientist. I’m a science fiction writer, and as a science fiction writer I’m asking you, Higgs Boson, as a personal favor to stay hidden just a little bit longer. Science fiction depends on the things we don’t know about the universe. The gaps in our scientific knowledge allow us writers to make stuff up. Once you’re discovered, analyzed, and understood, we won’t be able to make stuff up about you any more.
It would be even more helpful if it turned out you don’t exist at all. That would mean the whole standard model is wrong, and we Sci-Fi writers could make up all kinds of crazy, new things.
So come on, Higgs Boson. Keep being a mystery.
P.S.: Could you please stop calling yourself the “God Particle”? It’s really pretentious.