Who, what, where, when and why Higgs

Who?
• Higgs is a professor emeritus called Peter (1929) living—until recently—a quiet life in Edinburgh.
• Stan Bentvelsen is a professor (1964) living a hectic life, both in Amsterdam and Geneva.
What?
• Higgs is a most important theory in the field of particle physics, named after professor Peter Higgs. It’s the missing link in the so-called Standard Model of Elementary Particles, also known in popular science as ‘The Holy Grail’ of physics, even ‘The God particle’; in technical jargon the Higgs boson.
• Stan Bentvelsen is the Project Leader of the Dutch Nikhef-team in search for Higgs.
Where?
• Higgs is expected to be proven correct (or false) by the LHC experiment at Cern (Geneva), the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Depending on whether or not the Higgs boson will be found. On 4 July 2012, CERN’s Director General Rolf Heuer stated: As a layman I would now say: ‘I think we have it’.
• Stan Bentvelsen is expecting to find the Higgs as a message in his mailbox, from one of the members of his team. Which, on 26 June 2012, turned out to be true.
When?
• Higgs, the theory, was first published in 1964. Higgs, the particle – íf it exists – is expected to show up during the run of the LHC experiment, which starts in the summer of 2008.
• Stan Bentvelsen hasn’t got the slightest idea, yet, when Higgs – íf it exists – will be found.
• The first actual discovery claim was announced on 4 July 2012.
Why?
• Higgs is crucial to the final understanding of the structure of matter (from the physics perspective). It explains what gives the various elementary particles their different masses.
• Stan Bentvelsen thinks that whoever finds HIGGS first, will not only win eternal fame, but is also guaranteed to land a Noble Prize.
PS
“Before Higgs: symmetry and boredom.
After Higgs: complexity and excitement.
Higgs is great.”
(From: The God Particle, by Leon Lederman, Nobelprize in physics 1988)
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