Discover world of science

By Zack Kochetta

I am curious about everything, and everyone should be.

The world still knows so little about its origins, but recent discoveries have made for giant leaps in the understanding of our natural world, which just furthers my sense of exploration and wonder.

One recent instance of scientific marvel was the discovery of the Higgs boson, which ended head scratching about certain physical aspects of our universe, specifically in regard to the mass and gravitational pull of objects in connection with the strength of their electromagnetism. Essentially, the Higgs boson is a type of particle that allows objects to take up space and have weight.

I’ll admit, the Higgs boson is extremely complex, but when broken down, it can be simplified, and the physics department, clarifying scientific inquiries occupationally, put it into perspective.

“[The Higgs boson is] the way our universe gives mass to electrons,” said David Hedin ever-so-perfectly for those who may not have the science know-how but want to understand such phenomena. Hedin is a Board of Trustees physics professor.

An ignorant individual may ask why the Higgs boson discovery really matters.

Well, it feeds the findings that keep our curiosity quenched, and without it all the mystery would be gone.

“We have a curiosity. We want to know, where did the universe come from? Why are we here? Are there other intelligent life out there?” Hedin said.

Those are all good questions to scientifically reflect upon. This Tuesday, Dhiman Chakraborty, physics professor and researcher, will discuss the mysterious Higgs boson at O’Leary’s Pub, 260 E. Lincoln Highway. I encourage strong questioning from people, that they allow their own curiosity to lead to investigation, and this presentation by Chakraborty would be the best place to start.

“You and I live on the shore. We can see only so far … but every now and then something may wash ashore that we cannot associate with anything that we have known, and that’s a hint of perhaps there’s something from the deeper that would explain this,” Chakraborty said.

It is our duty as intelligent beings to take these “hints” — such as the Higgs boson — and further investigate them and relay our findings. Tests must be conducted to either find more evidence for the validation of current theories or to prove ourselves wrong, beginning once again to look for the real answers to our most profound questions. Gaining new insight into scientific phenomena all starts with seeking this information when opportunities arrive.

“The work that goes into making these discoveries has tremendous impact on our everyday lives…,” Chakraborty said.