# Need help for a talk on CERN

1. Nov 22, 2008

### Shomy

I am currently writing a talk on CERN that is aimed at non-physicists, however I am finding it difficult to try and explain the higgs boson in language that is easy to understand. Even I, as a physics student, find it difficult.
Could someone try and explain it to me please or link me to a website in related topics that you find is good

2. Nov 22, 2008

### BenTheMan

3. Nov 22, 2008

### Shomy

About the maths, thing is it's aimed at a non-physicist audience so I want as little maths as possible as I don't want to scare them away. I'm not doing a very thorough analysis though, I just need a sort of 'quick explanation' if you get my meaning.

4. Nov 22, 2008

### BenTheMan

Yeah---there are a lot of nice analogies.

One good one is that you can picture the universe as filled with the "higgs condensate". As particles move through the condensate, they interact with it to various degrees---the degree of the interaction tells you about the mass of the particle. Small excitations of that field will be what we are looking for at CERN.

I guess you're trying to find a way to motivate the search for the higgs boson.

5. Nov 22, 2008

### Shomy

Thanks a bunch, that really helped. Another thing is: how will the LHC benifit mankind (besides knowledge,most people think THAT alone isn't worth it...), I know I read about it somewhere but I've forgotten it...

6. Nov 22, 2008

### WilliamD

I've always found that describing the universe as made of up quicksand- the larger the object trapped in quicksand is, the less mobility it has. Smaller things (e.g. photons) can move easily through this universal quicksand whereas big things (e.g. W bosons) can't.

7. Nov 23, 2008

Staff Emeritus
Shomy, do you understand the Higgs mechanism? Really understand the mechanism, not just the analogy? (e.g. can you derive 246 GeV?) If you don't understand the mechanism, but only the analogy, I would suggest that you pick something else. Understanding the analogy is not the same as understanding. If you had a map of a city where you have never been, would you feel comfortable speaking about where to go and what to do?

Experiencing the map is not the same as experiencing the city, and understanding the analogy is not the same as understanding. And giving a talk on something you don't understand can be a very uncomfortable feeling if you get caught at it.

8. Nov 23, 2008

### Shomy

TBH, I'd say that I don't understand it. When you say 246 Gev, I assume you mean it's mass? I probably could, but I don't entirely understand it all. Thats not what I'm looking for though. What I really want is to be able to describe the Higgs Boson in a few sentances (is that possible??) in order to satisfy my curiosity (and that of others).