Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Higgs Day!

Today is the 4th of July. It's also 108 degrees outside with head index factored in. I hate this holiday, because this is twice now this day has screwed me out of money; when I first started working summer, I worked Saturdays. Well, what day was the 4th of July last year? A Saturday. I lost 6 hours. So I told myself that wasn't happening again, so I piled most of my hours in the week in the summer term. I didn't work Saturdays this term. Guess what day the 4th fell on? That's right, and I lost 7.5 hours this time around. When you're only working 30 hours a week, that shit hurts. Paid holidays? What the hell are those? I work part time, I don't have or "deserve" any workers rights or paid time off. I don't even get sick leave; I just have to miss work and not get paid for it. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't a holiday. This is a day that screws me out of making money that I need to survive, and as such, this day can just FOAD (made worse by the fact I'm not going to see a paycheck for the entire month of October, so I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make it through; the last pay check I get is in the middle of September, the next is on Halloween). I'd be happier if we never celebrated it. The birthday of this country means exactly nothing to me; this country doesn't care about me, so I don't give a damn about it. I'd rather be a British citizen. At least then I'd be partially taken care of and know I wouldn't have to shell out almost 140 dollars a month for crappy healthcare because ADHD is a "preexisting condition".

Anyway, more importantly than that, though, today is also the day that CERN discovered what might well complete the standard particle theory model. For the longest, the model that predicts electrons, neutrons, and other particles and their behavior, has been incomplete. We've been missing piece. The piece that we've been missing is the thing that gives particles their mass. That particle is called the Higgs boson.

Today, CERN/ATLAS announced that they may have found the Higgs boson.

For once, I'm not behind the curve in science news. That's a feat, trust me.

Now, they're not sure whether or not this is the Higgs boson. It might, in fact, be something all together different. However, it has all of the Higgs' traits, and matches the particle closely (they're almost certain it's a boson, at least, because it decayed into two photons, like bosons usually do). Part of me is pretty sure they've found the Higgs. However, part of me wants to believe they found something else. Finding something else might act as a major shakeup in the standard particle model, sort of like what happened with the Laws of Optics when metamaterials were discovered. We've got a ways to go first, but this is definitely a break through in physics, so keep an eye out for more information in the future months...

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