The Who2 Blog

A Biography of Peter Higgs, the Higgs Boson Guy

Finding the Higgs boson is the biggest news in physics in a quarter century, they say. Who is this Higgs guy? Find out in our biography.

On 4 July 2012 the CERN research center in Switzerland announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle considered to be one more piece in the puzzle that tells us what makes up the universe.

Provided, of course, you buy into the Standard Model theory, which relies on the atomic theory and the Big Bang theory. We’re not talking about a hoary God creating the universe in six days, we’re talking about a magical “big bang” that splattered matter across the cosmos, matter made up of little tiny bits that are made up of even tinier bits, none of which actually have any mass… meaning the whole universe is made up of nothing. Oh, and it came from nowhere!

And the funny part is, that bit of nothing only accounts for a small percentage of the stuff in the universe. The rest of the stuff in the universe is made up of, uh… anti-nothing, which has been dubbed by modern peoples — in some wonderfully dark literary twist — “dark matter.”

Confusing? You bet. Just like every single “explanation” of the Higgs boson. I won’t recount them here. Look it up.

The point is, it’s big news, the discovery of the Higgs boson (which, like most modern scientific discovery news, isn’t even 100% true). So you may have found yourself wondering “who the jiminy-pete is HIGGS?”

Higgs is Peter Ware Higgs, and he’s still alive. Read our quick biography here.

As with almost all scientific discoveries, Higgs is not the only one who came up with the idea of this subatomic particle that somehow interacts with other subatomic particles in a way that changes their energy into mass. But the Higgs boson is named after Higgs, so that’s who we’re talking about.

Some people have called it the “God particle.” Word has it that Higgs is an atheist who doesn’t like that term. Word has it he doesn’t even like “Higgs boson,” but prefers it to “God particle.”

From our Science Desk, I illustrated this life-sized Higgs boson, then zoomed in seven million times. Then I clicked the “enhance” button just to see what would happen.

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