Oh, the leptons connected to the boson ...

The entire Internet has spent the better part of a year talking about the Higgs Boson with an enthusiasm usually reserved for LOLcats. Despite that, though, the vocabulary of particle physics remains pretty damned confusing for the majority of us. Thankfully, The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta has a great explainer that will help you more easily make sense of Higgs-related news and commentary. What's the difference between a fermion and a boson? Is Higgs the only boson? And where to quarks fit into all of this. Read it, and all will become clearer.


  1. and it’s what gives us mass, which is to say the quality of physical existence.
    Which kind of explains why some have called the Higgs boson the God particle.

    Urrg. I give up. Has the nickname reached the point of being “backxplained”? I mean that subsequent explanations of the “God Particle” nickname have replaced the original reason that it was a politically-correct way of referring to “that god-damned particle” ?

    Otherwise, a pretty good explanation indeed.

  2. The article had a concise and approachable description of  the interactions between bosons and  fermions, but I’ll only be able to really understand  this when I see a macro of a cat saying “IM IN UR HIGGS FIELD, DRAGGING UR PARTICLES.”

  3. Thanks! this covers more, differently, than a cartoony video my friend sent me today that includes an attempt to make a periodic table-type grid for the particles they’ve identified so far.

  4. I found the comments on that page more interesting, being composed of bogons, which have opinions of scant mass, and morons, which are brainless but encourage bogons to interact through the all-pervasive comment field.

    It is theorized that some bogons are really composed of three dorks held together by the so-called “wrong” force. Bogons themselves tend to cluster within comment areas, but blow up under the “weak” force: arguments that are so weak they are not even wrong.

  5. aren’t the Leptons from Planet Ten?     must check on the oscillation overthruster installation in my van.   brb

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