Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Without a doubt,

  • the most exciting scientific observation of 2012

  • was the discovery of a new particle

  • at the CERN laboratory

  • that could be the Higgs boson,

  • a particle named after physicist Peter Higgs.

  • The Higgs Field is thought to give mass

  • to fundamental, subatomic particles

  • like the quarks

  • and leptons

  • that make up ordinary matter.

  • The Higgs bosons are wiggles in the field,

  • like the bump you see

  • when you twitch a rope.

  • But how does this field give mass to particles?

  • If this sounds confusing to you,

  • you're not alone.

  • In 1993, the British Science Minister

  • challenged physicists to invent a simple way

  • to understand all this Higgs stuff.

  • The prize was a bottle of quality champagne.

  • The winning explanation went something like this:

  • Suppose there's a large cocktail party

  • at the CERN laboratory

  • filled with particle physics researchers.

  • This crowd of physicists represents the Higgs field.

  • If a tax collector entered the party,

  • nobody would want to talk to them,

  • and they could very easily cross the room

  • to get to the bar.

  • The tax collector wouldn't interact with the crowd

  • in much the same way

  • that some particles don't interact with the Higgs field.

  • The particles that don't interact,

  • like photons for example,

  • are called massless.

  • Now, suppose that Peter Higgs entered the same room,

  • perhaps in search of a pint.

  • In this case, the physicists

  • will immediately crowd around Higgs

  • to discuss with him

  • their efforts to measure the properties

  • of his namesake boson.

  • Because he interacts strongly with the crowd,

  • Higgs will move slowly across the room.

  • Continuing our analogy,

  • Higgs has become a massive particle

  • through his interactions with the field.

  • So, if that's the Higgs field,

  • how does the Higgs boson fit into all of this?

  • Let's pretend our crowd of party goers

  • is uniformly spread across the room.

  • Now suppose someone pops their head in the door

  • to report a rumor of a discovery

  • at some distant, rival laboratory.

  • People near the door will hear the rumor,

  • but people far away won't,

  • so they'll move closer to the door to ask.

  • This will create a clump in the crowd.

  • As people have heard the rumor,

  • they will return to their original positions

  • to discuss its implications,

  • but people further away will then ask what's going on.

  • The result will be a clump in the crowd

  • that moves across the room.

  • This clump is analogous to the Higgs boson.

  • It is important to remember

  • that it is not that massive particles

  • interact more with the Higgs field.

  • In our analogy of the party,

  • all particles are equal until they enter the room.

  • Both Peter Higgs and the tax collector have zero mass.

  • It is the interaction with the crowd

  • that causes them to gain mass.

  • I'll say that again.

  • Mass comes from interactions with a field.

  • So, let's recap.

  • A particle gets more or less mass

  • depending on how it interacts with a field,

  • just like different people will move through the crowd

  • at different speeds depending on their popularity.

  • And the Higgs boson is just a clump in the field,

  • like a rumor crossing the room.

  • Of course, this analogy is just that --

  • an analogy,

  • but it's the best analogy

  • anyone has come up with so far.

  • So, that's it.

  • That's what the Higgs Field

  • and the Higgs boson is all about.

  • Continuing research will tell us if we found it,

  • and the reward will probably be more

  • than just a bottle of champagne.

Without a doubt,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 TED-Ed higgs field field boson crowd higgs boson

【TED-Ed】The Higgs Field, explained - Don Lincoln

  • 250 44
    阿多賓 posted on 2014/03/17
Video vocabulary