Our Video Sunday feature continues with this is full press conference update on the search for the Higgs boson at CERN in Geneva Switzerland. This press conference followed a 2-hour Seminar with further details.
I find it is fascinating to watch these scientists try to explain the physics to a room full of journalists. CERN Director General Rolf Heuer does a particularly good job about 9:00 minutes in where describes how the Higgs field gives mass to particles.
What this Higgs would tell us is there is a certain field out here through which the fundamental particles like the quarks, the bosons, get their mass. It’s not that you get your mass. How can you imagine that this thing works? You take a large room with journalists, and they are all equally distributed in the room–this is the field which would give mass to elementary particles through the interaction of these particles with the field. Somebody who is completely unknown to the journalists can go through this field at the speed of light and would be unknown and have zero mass. The more known you are, the more journalists are clustering around you. That means, you get slower, you don’t reach the velocity of light, and you acquire mass…This cluster of jounalists is the Higgs boson.