Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Celebrating the Higgs boson!

Last Tuesday my boyfriend and I stayed stayed up till almost 4:00 AM watching the official announcement of the Higgs boson discovery! 

CERN press conference announcing the discovery of the Higgs.
Source: Youtube.

The Higgs discovery was made in tandem by two different CERN research groups. The boyfriend (who's a physicist) was familiar with one of the group's research results before last week. So, when the second group's results were announced, but before the press conference, he calculated that the two results taken together would prove almost beyond a doubt that the Higgs exists.

Our bloodhound (who's not that into science) slept through the announcement. 

You could be pretty sure after the first group announced its results that the Higgs existed. But combine that level of certainty with the second group being pretty sure they found the Higgs too... and all of a sudden we can be 99.99% (or more) confident that we've found the Higgs. YAY!

The press conference was great. The representative of the first group, Dr. Joe Incandela, a UC Santa Barbara professor, was nearly jumping out of his skin as he spoke, he was so excited. What a big day for those guys!

CERN Researcher Dr. Joe Incandela and (I think?) a CMS detector.
Source: UC Santa Barbara.

We popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The next day I used the leftover champagne to make champagne risotto (recipe available here- I recommend adding portobello mushrooms to it). It was really tasty

Higgs boson risotto. The boyfriend is good at physics AND cooking!

So tasty, in fact, that we made the risotto again just yesterday. No new elemental particles to celebrate this week, but YUM!

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