Thursday, July 5, 2012


When I rolled out of bed on July 4th, I grabbed a cup of coffee and my android tablet. When I fired up Plume (Twitter client), I was greeted with the greatest twitstream I have seen. Several people I follow were tweeting about the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer)
who? Writes the Bad Astronomer column for Discover Magazine
favorite tweet: Higgs! Higgs! Higgs! #Higgs

HAL 9000 (@HAL9000_)
who? The computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey
favorite tweet: The size of the applause Fabiola Gianotti just got at the #Higgs presentation you'd think she had just unveiled a thinner iPhone

Lifey (@9to5Life)
who? A funny guy on twitter
favorite tweet: Comic sans on the CERN presentation slides because fuck the haters.
honorable mention: I actually just clapped, alone, like an asshole.

Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson)
who? Astrophysicist, author, science superstar
favorite tweet: On the day we reserve to tell ourselves America is great - July 4 - Europe reminds us that we suck at science. #HiggsBoson

Other folks such as Mike Scully (@scullymike), Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt), and many others chimed in as well. Reading through that stream was tremendous. Sincere thanks to all of you. That was really, freaking cool (in a totally geeky kinda way).

For anyone who wants to figure out what the big deal is, here are some resources for learning more:
  • The video What's a Higgs Boson(thanks to The Guardian) is a quick, simple explanation of what the Higgs Boson is.
  • Phil Plait's Higgs! (Bad Astronomy blog at Discover Magazine) has the big statistical plot that shows the "bump" at about 125 GeV that represents the Higgs Boson. His article has a ton of excellent links to other articles with background info.
  • To learn more about the Standard Model (the physics theory for which the Higgs Boson provides long-awaited validation), check out The Standard Model.
  • Matt Strassler's The Higgs FAQ is a really good and informative read.