Aberrations run amok

What you get when your Zernike aberration algorithm runs with spherical aberration just a bit too high. . .


Everything associated with the Higgs Boson is a rock star.

Don't actually stick your hand in the LHC

Comparing the Higgs Boson, the particle in Higgs theory considered to give mass to matter, to a rock star is so common that I am not sure who said it first. Whoever it was deserves a lot of credit, because it has run rampant through general-interest science in an attempt to describe the boson without matStematics. The earliest instance I can find is from Howard Gordan, written up by Pete Spotts.

When a particle encounters the field, it’s like a rock star arriving at a party, suggests Howard Gordon, a senior physicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

As the star arrives, people are milling around – the Higgs field. Few recognize the rock star until the star starts moving through the group.

As he heads toward the hors d’oeuvres table, “he becomes very massive” as people migrate to him for a chat, says Dr. Gordon, more so than they would a garage-band guitarist.

A cursory googling of “Higgs boson rock star” reveals that everything about the Higgs boson is somehow a rock star. The particle itself is a rock star, Peter Higgs is a “rock star physicist,” the LHC team responsible for its discovery: also rock stars. This may sound strange, but is it possible that some things associated with particle physics might not actually be all that similar to wildly successful rock and roll artists?