so, there is a teaser out right now from the scientific community planting anticipation for opening night of the higgs boson. they say this could change the way we understand the world as we know it? maybe us civilians should start by trying to understand the other elements first… THEN we can get logical about the 96% of matter that is invisible.
• the standard model is the simplest set of ingredients – elementary particles – needed to make up the world we see in the heavens and in the laboratory
• quarks combine together to make, for example, the proton and neutron – which make up the nuclei of atoms today – though more exotic combinations were around in the universe’s early days
• leptons come in charged and uncharged versions; electrons – the most familiar charged lepton – together with quarks make up all the matter we can see; the uncharged leptons are neutrinos, which rarely interact with matter
• the “force carriers” are particles whose movements are observed as familiar forces such as those behind electricity and light (electromagnetism) and radioactive decay (the weak nuclear force)
• the higgs boson came about because although the standard model holds together neatly, nothing requires the particles to have mass; for a fuller theory, the higgs – or something else – must fill in that gap