Home What the Heck Is a Higgs Boson? Watch These Videos

What the Heck Is a Higgs Boson? Watch These Videos

The party at CERN to honor last week’s discovery of the Higgs boson was crashed by hipsters, religious fundamentalists and nonphysicists wondering what the fuss was about. To help you avoid sounding like a total buffoon when your friend sends you a link to “Higgs Boson: The Musical,” we’ve compiled a list of videos that explain this “most important scientific discovery of the 21st century.”  

First, take a moment to laugh at Brooklyn hipsters who don’t know a Higgs boson from a top quark. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to come off like them at the Higgs boson celebration.  

In this less-than-two-minute clip, BBC reporter Jonathan Amos explains what a Higgs boson is with the aid of ping pong balls, a tea tray and a pound of sugar. Amos’ explanation is one of the shortest, and it’s definitely the most helpful for people who learn best by practical example.

CERN, the organization that runs the Large Hadron Collider that documented the Higgs boson, released its own three-minute video explaining the discovery. Physicist John Ellis wants you to imagine a field of snow instead of a tray of sugar.

This two-month-old, NASA-approved video featuring a lunch-time conversation between two scientists resurfaced last week, collecting 1.6 million views to date. The eight-minute production is casual yet informative about the elementary particle – and CERN life in general.  

For viewers who are more comfortable with scientific terminology, YouTube science maven Minute Physics offers a three-part series that explains the discovery by sketching on a whiteboard.

Explaining, and gabbing about, the Higgs Boson has become quite a pastime on YouTube, with dozens of videos uploaded daily including vlogs, raps and cartoon sketches. Self-described songwriter and nerd Jack Douglass made his own Higgs boson video mocking, well, everyone. 

While footage of the big Higgs party – which Mr. Douglass obviously got kicked out of for being snarky – has yet to surface on the Interwebs, we suspect the scene looked something like this: 

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