The Higgs boson is like Paris Hilton…

… both are potentially not real. *chortle*

No, seriously guys, the point of the title was because there are various news groups reporting on the rumours that CERN researchers have possibly discovered something boson-like. From the ABC news, theoretician Sascha Vongehr is quoted as saying that “the anticipation among physics enthusiasts is almost palpable”. Whoa, steady on guys, we wouldn’t want you to get too excited about it. They also quote it as being called “light Higgs”, which makes me think that it’s a low-calorie Higgs, perfect for snacks between meals. But I digress. The reason why I found this blog-worthy was the awesomely fabulous analogy featured on another news article, from Melbourne newspaper The Age. To explain what Higgs bosons are, they described them as follows:

“The mysterious Higgs bosons are thought to be crammed together in empty space, giving all matter in the universe its mass – just as hangers-on at a party can weigh down a celebrity moving through a crowd.”

Really? Higgs bosons are like celebrities at a party? Are they suggesting that the particle that gives the universe its matter is somehow equivalent to a fawned-over nobody who gets paid an outrageous amount of money to do little else than stand around looking good? Jeebus, give me strength.

I’m all for making science accessible to the broader population, and good science communication can be difficult when dealing with the abstract concepts of theoretical physics. This, however, is utterly ridiculous and the journalist who wrote it should be sat down in a windowless room and made to write lines – I will not use stupid analogies to dumb down important aspects of physics – until their BlackBerry-tapping fingers fall off.

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