## Wolfram on Higgs and the interregnum in particle physics theory.

Stephen Worlfram is probably best known for his calculation software Mathematica. It turns out that that project was to create a tool for his first interest. Stephen Wolfram on Higgs, particle physics at

*The Reference Frame*

“Particle physics was my first great interest in science. And it is exciting to see now after 40 years a certain degree of closure being reached. And to feel that over the course of that time, at first in particle physics, and later with all the uses of Mathematica, I may have been able to make some small contribution to what has now been achieved.”

Wolfram provides a good summary of the history of particle physics over the last forty years or so, the nature of the back and forth between theory and experiment, and what this Standard Model and Higgs particle news is all about.

“To me, the Higgs particle and the associated Higgs mechanism had always seemed like an unfortunate hack. In setting up the Standard Model, one begins with a mathematically quite pristine theory in which every particle is perfectly massless. But in reality almost all particles (apart from the photon) have nonzero masses. And the point of the Higgs mechanism is to explain this—without destroying desirable features of the original mathematical theory.”

If you wonder how people come up with these ideas of looking for a particle of a given mass, Wolfram provides a description without getting into equations that need a high degree of giftedness or a year or two of close inspection to figure out (as Luboš Motl, whose blog it is) often does …

very worth reading — Stephen Wolfram on Higgs, particle physics —

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