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The basics of the Higgs boson - Dave Barney and Steve Goldfarb

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In 2012, scientists at CERN discovered evidence of the Higgs boson. The what? The Higgs boson is one of two types of fundamental particles and is a particular game-changer in the field of particle physics, proving how particles gain mass. Using the Socratic method, CERN scientists Dave Barney and Steve Goldfarb explain the exciting implications of the Higgs boson.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Dave Barney, Steve Goldfarb
  • Director Jeanette Nørgaard
  • Sound Designer Thomas Richard Christensen
  • Narrator Dave Barney, Steve Goldfarb

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
A selection of resources for understanding a little more about the discovery of the Higgs boson and what it means:
The web sites of ATLAS, CMS and CERN all have an extensive set of materials concerning the discovery, the technology used, and the next steps
The IPPOG collection of multi-lingual education & outreach materials includes, for example, a movie showing how the Universe would be different if particle masses were different
Two papers were published in Physics Letters B, by ATLAS and CMS, on the observation of a new boson at a mass of about 125 GeV, and a more accessible version was published in Science Magazine at the end of 2012
Some of the history around the development of the Higgs field can be found in a public seminar at CERN by Prof. Frank Close and in his book “The Infinity Puzzle
An animation from PhD Comics: “The Higgs Boson Explained,” by Jorge Cham
A video from Sixty Symbols: “Talking About The Higgs Boson”
An animated video: “The ATLAS Boogie” humorously describes the process of finding the Higgs using music
A New York Times selection of books about the Higgs Boson:
o “Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science,” by Ian Sample (Basic Books)
o “Higgs: The Invention and Discovery of the ‘God Particle,’ ” by Jim Baggott (Oxford University Press)
o “Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space,” by Lisa Randall (Bodley Head)
o “The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World,” by Sean Carroll (Dutton)
o “The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?” by Leon Lederman with Dick Teresi (Delta)
o “The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality,” by Brian Greene (Vintage)
Visit the TED-Ed Blog for more information about the collaboration between TED-Ed and CERN.
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What would happen if we stopped?
05/01/2013 • 
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In fact, why is any “basic research” important at all? Shouldn’t scientists concentrate on studies with direct everyday uses and consequences?
05/01/2013 • 
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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Dave Barney, Steve Goldfarb
  • Director Jeanette Nørgaard
  • Sound Designer Thomas Richard Christensen
  • Narrator Dave Barney, Steve Goldfarb

Share

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