Saturday, July 07, 2012

BEAM ME UP Professor Higgs?

I managed to ignore this week's news about Higgs bosun for a while. Physics is a closed book to me, didn't do physics at school, or chemistry; I was one of those "other side of brain" students who found French, Latin, English literature and grammar easy-peasy, but could never get the hang of applied mathematics and science. Aquarian curiosity about Higgs bosun eventually overcame me though. I went looking for a "Noddy Meets Higgs Bosun" version of the theory. If I can (kind of) understand astrological theory on decans, duads, degrees, etc. maybe I'll find a way to understand some tiny part of Higgs bosun.
(Image credit: ATLASCERN)

This video helped :

In a nutshell: Higgs boson particle, elusive until recently, is what gives matter mass, it explains why we're here - or rather - how we come to be here.

A lot of time, money and expertise has been spent on this experiment. There must be reasons for it all, other than to complete a theory and add chapters to text books. What possibilities could this discovery open up? Any practical use at all?

Here's where I became really interested!

A century after Albert Einstein came up with his theories of relativity, a constellation of Global Positioning System satellites is orbiting Earth, making practical use of his ground-breaking understanding of time. If the discovery of the Higgs boson particle pans out, will even more mind-bending technologies result? Theoretically, it's possible, says Arizona State University physicist Lawrence Krauss; but practically, it's unlikely.

"If you could manipulate the Higgs field locally, you'd have a great 'Star Trek' device. You could make objects disappear. It'd be a great weapon, a great magic trick — if you could put things back together again," Krauss told Discovery News.

But how would you tweak the field, which is believed to be responsible for giving matter its substance?

"It's possible if you were able to heat up some region to something like a billion, billion, billion degrees, then in that region, the Higgs field would probably go away. Of course, by the time you heated things up to a billion, billion, billion degrees, everything would be gone anyway," Krauss said.

Consider the Star Trek transporter, a staple of science fiction for converting matter into energy, beaming it at the speed of light to a new locale, then reassembling the bits into their previous form.

Theoretically, manipulating a Higgs field would be one way to turn a person into energy and make them "disappear." The hard part would be putting them back together again.

"The only reason why the particles around us, and that make us up, are bound is because of the Higgs field," Krauss said. "They have mass. If the Higgs field were to go away, then the particles would all of a sudden move at the speed of light. "If I could manipulate a Higgs field, that would be a first step in making a transporter, but the only way I know of to manipulate the Higgs field is to heat the whole thing up to such an incredible temperature that it's not surprising you'd disappear anyway," he said.

Time travel is another theoretical prospect.
"If you were able to manipulate a Higgs field over a large region so that it had energy, it would be gravitationally repulsive. It would cause that region of the universe to accelerate and move things apart faster than light, which is pretty neat," Krauss said."The existence of Higgs makes it clear that you can get something from nothing. A Higgs field can produce space and time itself," Krauss said. "But it's hard to imagine a Higgs technology."

Half a century ago it would have been hard to imagine most things we now take for granted. I discount nothing, it could all be possible - one day.

Coincidentally we watched a VCR tape of the Star Trek Motion Picture the other evening. I was never a Star Trek fan, but husband found the tape in a junk store and told me I should try it...."You'll like it", he promised. I did too. Saw the "beam me up" thingie and enjoyed the overall plot involving Voyager 6 and the quest of alien entities to discover who made them. Echoes of Prometheus?

Sci-fi is fast becoming sci-fact before our eyes - well, almost. And this is what's truly exciting!

Prof. Peter Higgs (29 May 1929, Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK) : Sun in Gemini, Moon in Aquarius (whatever time he was born), Sun/Moon in harmonious trine in two Air signs known for mental acuity - and both in helpful sextile to Aquarius's ruler Uranus (the avant garde) at 12 Aries. I love it when a plan comes together, as George Peppard used to say, often, in The A Team).

Interestingly transiting Uranus is curently at 8 Aries, almost back to its position in the Professor's natal chart.


Wisewebwoman said...

We're still just babes in the universe with our limited understanding. I was very excited too about this discovery.

Andrew McAllister said...

I thought you might be interested to hear that I have published my first novel! I've put up a post on To Love, Honor, and Dismay with a description. Hope all is well with you :o)

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Yes, we're barely a speck on the fabric of space and time :-) - fun finding out exactly how much of a speck we are, though.

Twilight said...

Andrew McAllister ~~ Ooh! Many congratulations, Andrew. I hope it'll be a great success. I'll cyber-trot over and take a look shortly.

Vanilla Rose said...

I am trying to get the name "Hig-Bo" to catch on for the particle. I still have no idea what it does or doesn't do.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~ I like that! If we can have "J-Lo" for Jennifer Lopez, why not?

Best I understand it is that the Hig-Bo makes stuff stick together so as to make you, me and the kitchen sink. ;-)