Of course, this cartoon left me behind at about the half-way mark..."speaking too fast," etc. Ha. So I in turn sent it to Stu (PHD) (in his words, "a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual ex-pat Scot, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Beetle-driver, textbook-writer, long-distance biker, geocacher and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains), who replied:I just love the way he [the cartoonist] draws some Feynman diagrams (quantum transitions) but doesn't explain what they are nor how to interpret them because he is assuming that everyone in his audience knows that already, implying everyone has at least a B.Sc. in (quantum) physics ;-)I wonder what % of the general public can read a Feynman diagram? It has to be below 1%....(If he's talking about the general public over here, I'd say he's probably overestimating! That's certainly true in my house.) Stu also explained the name Boson:The name Boson is derived from the surname of the Indian physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose, a contemporary of the German physicist Albert Einstein. Nothing to do with the bosun in Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark, although I have pulled people's legs using that ;-)The fifth state of matter (after solid, liquid, gas, plasma) is called the "Bose-Einstein Condensate" after both of them.As for the "God" particle name, Cathy (PHD) told me yesterday that she read that while Higgs and others were hunting for the elusive particle, the Nobel laureate Leon Lederman wrote a book originally titled That goddamn particle because nobody could find it! When Higgs finally did find it, the book's editor changed the book's name to the God Particle without the writer's permission, setting off many discussions not only in academe but also in religion.
Friday, July 06, 2012
Higgs Boson as explained by my friends
What would I do without my smart friends? Yesterday at lunch, Linda (PHD) and I were chatting about the God particle in the news. When I got home, she had already emailed me this cartoon: