Landing on the moon

4 Jul

The announcement that the Higgs Boson has been identified with reasonable certainty is the equivalent of the Moon landing in 1969. Neither event was ever liable to have any immediate application. Both are the result of huge spending. The difference is that I watched the Moon landings on television as a child and knew that it represented a shift in consciousness about human achievement. Not being a particle physicist I cannot fully comprehend the significance of the confirmation of the existence of the elusive Higgs Boson. What I do know is that it confirms the current theoretical model of the universe and explains why some particles have mass. Just as humans could go on to explore other planets and satellites, so we may find more particles that no-one has dreamed of yet. Where this leads us is more in the realms of speculative fiction than science, but the possibilities are endless.

If there is a lesson to learn from all this it is that the scientific model is much more likely to produce advances than rigid adherence to fixed beliefs. We all rely on change and innovation to ensure our survival as a species, wherever that might take us.

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