The Higgs Boson has said to be our generation’s greatest discovery for the simple fact, without it there would be no such thing as galaxies, planets, or any form of life. Sean Carroll gives a comprehensive description within his book, “The Particle at the End of the Universe.” and he states, “There are particles known as bosons that exert force and other particles that feel them. The Higgs boson’s field exerts the force that allows the other particles to experience mass” (Carroll, 2012, pp. 33-36). Try to think of the fermions as a swimmer and the Higgs field as a pool, before the swimmer enters the pool he or she is dry (i.e., no mass). As soon as the swimmer enters the pool he or she becomes wet (i.e., gained mass). If the water (i.e., the field) were to disappear, then nothing in the observable universe would have any mass according to the standard model and the world as we know it would be very different.
The Standard model of course describes how the fundametal forces within our universe interact with one another. It has been the prevailing theory for over sixty years and the higgs was the final piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately the data paints a grim picture for what particle physcisict were hoping for. It has left no surprise which means it still will not help scientists come any closer to devulging the secrets of dark matter (matter that is not observable due to its lack of luminosity). However, in my upcoming blog post I will reveal what scientist think might be the solution to the dilema they are facing regarding dark matter.
Carroll, S. (2010). The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads us to the Edge of a New World. New York, New York: Penguin Group