Of course you know what the Higgs boson is — it’s the theorized particle that composes the energy field that endows every other particle with mass. It’s the particle that makes the universe possible, lets nature construct things, like humans, or the massive particles that make up humans. You don’t have to be a particle physicist to know that much, and to appreciate something about how significant finding it is to our still-sketchy model of the universe. (Okay, to be fair, even if you were a particle physicist working at the LHC, you probably couldn’t really explain what the hell a Higgs boson really, really is; just listen to some of them try).
And yet, today’s announcement of evidence of a “Higgslike” particle at the CERN research center outside Geneva prompts us to ask what, if anything, does the rest of the world (or, really, the rest of Williamsburg) know about this Higgs boson? Wonderful Motherboard interns Andre and Michelle took to the streets with cameras yesterday to ask some of the good people there. The results are a bit of a bummer, but maybe things will be different by Monday, when the news has reached full Higgs saturation, and everyone around the world will know what it is, and mainstream poets and rappers will be writing odes to the thing. Then again, maybe the world has better things to do than trying to understand itself.