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[Spotlight Post] The Higgs Boson and The Big Bang Theory

Posted by reudaly on July 6, 2012 in Spotlight |

It’s a spotlight post day, and I’m coming up a little blank. It’s not that I’ve run out of wonderful people to highlight, it’s focusing on ONE. Actually, being a holiday week, it’s simply a matter of focusing…and not actually doing it.

So let’s spotlight the Higgs-Boson Particle…well, seriously, the only reason I know about the Higgs-Boson is The Big Bang Theory and the fact I have physics geek friends. There’s been a lot of discussion about the Higgs-Boson (and jokes) on my Facebook news feed since CERN made the discovery. Some of it stemming from the fact the US could’ve lead this research if the Superconducting Super Collider had been allowed to continue here in Texas. And that may be true…I’ve been in Texas long enough to have witnessed the insanity that was shutting the thing down mid-build/development.

From Josh on Creek – a wordpress blog

But some of the discussion stemmed around The Big Bang Theory, and what’s Sheldon going to do now for research? The Facebook consensus is pitch a fit and argue about what kind of Higgs-Boson Particle CERN found. Which is probably true, because from what I’m told, that’s what physicists do (and I’m amused that Steven Hawking lost his bet that they even exist).

But I also love the fact that a show like The Big Bang Theory, with its standard sitcom humor based on relationships and stuff, has also brought some concepts of the scientific world and academia to Pop Culture. If not for The Big Bang Theory many people without physics backgrounds (and probably Ph.Ds) would have even known about Higgs-Boson Particles to begin with, now there are Facebook jokes about them already.

From Josh on Creek – a wordpress blog

I’m sure there are some pure science physicists out there who don’t appreciate the fact their science is now in my Pop Culture, but hey, if something like this had come along back in my day, maybe I wouldn’t have been quite so science-light in my academic career. Or, perhaps not, I’m a words and history kind of girl (always have been) not necessarily a MATH kind of girl (and it has nothing to do with gender…swear. Just my brain chemistry) and Physics (until recently) has been “Fancy Math”. I dig the THEORY behind it, just not the equations – which is why (unlike Sheldon and Amy Farrah -Fowler) I do dig Brian Greene who tries to help “word” people understand the concepts around the fancy math. Go. Go. Higgs-Boson!

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1 Comment

  • Dan Thompson says:

    I remember another cool physics reference in pop culture back in the 90’s on the original Law & Order series. Two physicists got into a conflict over explanations for baryon decay, with the established one stealing the younger one’s idea, and the younger one responding with murderous intent.

    What really caught my eye in the whole thing was that they took the time to present both models for baryon decay and (even better) that both models were valid models, conserving both energy, charge, and spin. Those scriptwriters were paying attention.

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