Higgs Boson and Margaret Thatcher

Researchers at the Large Hedron Collider lab, which burrows beneath the Swiss/French border, announced on July 4th that they had detected Higgs boson or so called God particle. Science has postulated its existence since 1964, but until now it has alluded researchers. Oakland Ross writing for the Toronto Star has written a series called “Our Universe Explained” that describes the physics of the universe so that people who hated math and science can grasp it. the star.com/insight

I am going to quote an analogy he uses to explain how Higgs boson gave rise to mass and so made the universe possible.

“A useful analogy for the Higgs field and its influence on other particles is the so-called ‘Margaret Thatcher effect’, a reference to the former British prime minister, who was a colossal political force in her day. The analogy was dreamt up last year by David Miller, a physicist at the University College London.

“Imagine Thatcher swanning through a crowded room while at the height of her powers. Most of the minions in her vicinity would naturally veer toward her, owing to her authority and influence, and so the distribution of the crowd in the room – analogous to the Higgs field – would become distorted, or asymmetrical as more and more hangers-on shifted to be closer to the Iron Lady, thereby induing her with mass.

“This, metaphorically, is what happens when a particle moves through the Higgs field.

“For all its mass-giving properties, the Higgs particle is itself a rapidly decaying affair, with a lifespan measured in the minutest of a second. It made only a momentary appearance in the earliest pageant of our universe’s history and promptly vanished. But the field it engendered lives on.”

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