Higgs boson. Better known as “The God Particle”. For the longest now, scientists have wondered how it is mass even exists. All matter is made of up energy. Scientists have all kinds of theories and algorithms for how matter interacts with one another. However, the one question that has long eluded he brilliant scientists of our time is this: how did this energy ever come to gain mass at all?
Enter Peter Higgs (from whom the particle obtained its name), who theorized that there was an invisible “field” that would interact with some particles, slowing them down, thus giving them mass. However, for this field to exist, it would need to be comprised of its own smaller particles (the Higgs boson). And so, in the 60s, the hunt began to find this God Particle to prove this field existed. With recent discoveries in Europe, some scientists believe they have found this proof. But is it really the Higgs boson? Does it even matter? Can this particle really help explain how this universe was created? Or does its discovery just create more questions and present no answers? This is what Morgan Freeman and company set out to explore in the Through the Wormhole special “Does the God Particle Exist?”.
Admittedly, I’ve never gotten into this show. By that, I mean I’ve never even seen an episode of it until now. My girlfriend, however, is a big fan. So, when given the opportunity to check out this special, I couldn’t pass it up. I have to admit, I’m rather glad I did. The premise behind Through the Wormhole is a good one: explore the questions of the world and try to theorize upon the answers. Granted, it seems they never have any real answers and these explorations of knowledge tend to raise more questions than anything. However, it’s all an interesting journey, exploring these ideas and the possibilities, really allowing one to open their mind. Teaching us to truly think.
Morgan Freeman, as host, is a great choice for this role. Let’s just say, he’s earning freckles a plenty throughout the course of an episode. He does a good job of remaining intelligent and scientific, but also explaining everything rather well, to the point that you don’t need a Master’s in particle physics to understand what’s going on. Though, you are slammed with a lot of knowledge throughout the course of the episode. And I mean a lot. Especially if you’re not already up on these things (and how many people really are, outside of those types featured in the show). So, while it may become a bit overwhelming and a bit of information overload, it’s not so much that you get entirely lost along the way. In the end, you still come out knowing a good deal more than you went in knowing.
Back to the God Particle, Morgan Freeman takes us on a ride evaluating recent developments in this area of science that seeks to explain where we came from. It is all an interesting view and provides for plenty of fodder for your mind to chew on. The intriguing part being how science keeps making more and more strides to explaining the fundamentals of this world and how it all came to be. The discovery of the Higgs boson is a huge step in this quest for knowledge. Though, some things don’t match up with what scientists theorized the Higgs boson to be. This raises more questions than it provides answers.
Does the Higgs boson have an antiparticle out there? This could explain dark matter. Or maybe there are a variety of Higgs boson? Or are there subparticles within the Higgs boson similar to how scientists found out the atom was made of smaller particles? Morgan Freeman and company explore these questions and more as they examine the latest findings in the quest to understand how this universe came to me. And while we’re left with no real answers by the end, we are presented with many fascinating thoughts and information that will make this a worthwhile watch for those that are interested in such things.