Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roger Ebert on the Higgs Boson

"Every second at the Large Hadron Collider, enough data is generated to fill more than 1,000 one-terabyte hard drives -- more than the information in all the world's libraries. The logistics of filtering and analyzing the data to find the Higgs particle peeking out under a mountain of noise, not to mention running the most complex machine humans have ever built, is itself a triumph of technology and computational wizardry of unprecedented magnitude."

"My childhood question remains unanswered: "Why is there something and not nothing?" No scientist at Geneva, to my knowledge, has asked why there is a Higgs boson and not a Higgs boson? But they now know that there is something and not nothing, and they have seen it and identified it and named it and it is as they thought it would be. That is an enormous discovery to come during our lifetimes...

I don't understand the Higgs boson in the way a theoretical physicist does. What I know is that inside that mountain on the Swiss-French border, they went looking for something and they found it. They will keep on looking for centuries after we are dead. Maybe someday they will find God. Wouldn't that be a gas? Whatever they find, they will find more and more and more. It's not turtles all the way down."***

Roger Ebert   

*** This is a reference to a Stephen Hawking story:

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