Physics and Scottish Independence

I want to be honest with all my readers. Therefore, I want to get my academic cards on the table. Between college, graduate school, and post-graduate school, I have had more than 250-hours of schooling. However, I have only taken 10-hours in geology taught by someone who was born in the late Cambrian period. Therefore, it should not be much of a stretch for you to realize that I am not very in tune with physics.

Carl Sagan Carl Sagan
On the flipside of that acknowledgement, Carl Sagan got me interested in astrophysics. I like millions of others have taken his class and enjoyed the lectures in the late 70s. Cosmos was the name of the course and this was the musical soundtrack from the series composed by Vangelis. You can watch Cosmos on the Internet.
Another of my scientific mentors is Stephen Hawking. Both Sagan and Hawking are honest along with being brilliant minds that could communicate to lesser minds like mine. I will watch any video of Hawking. While he has severe physical limitations, his brain is fully functional.
Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking
If you wish to glimpse into the vastness of the universe, look at some pictures that Hubble or this site. Hubble has sent home these postcards from other worldly places.

Having been honest with you about both my severely limited knowledge of physics in general and astrophysics in particular, I love at least standing in the awe and wonder of that is out there. Into my world of limited knowledge of science but my love of science but my love at least glimpsing into that world, I read that Peter Ware Higgs received the Nobel Prize for physics.

Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs

I found myself caught between my interest in knowing and my inability to comprehend; I did the obvious. I started researching since I have no real idea what in the hell was a Higgs boson. I do understand that it is a subatomic particle of an atom... Ask me more, but do not hold your breath waiting for an answer. I read about the issue of particle mass and started to go down a road of absolute ignorance. Okay, to be precise...absolute total ignorance.

I went to another site and attempted to understand the Higgs boson. The article talked about 45-years of research to find the Higgs boson particle that gives mass matter. Really? Then they went on to explain how they found the Higgs boson particle. Here is a picture to answer that question.

Higgs boson in a picture

Higgs boson in a picture

Then came the answer under the picture: "The decay of the Higgs boson to a pair of photons - dashed yellow lines and green towers." Now, if you are really interested in this, go to Huffington Post's link.

Okay, I admit that it is absolutely unlikely that I will be honor with a Nobel Prize in physics...or any other field of study. There are other areas of the academic world in which I have some understanding. They are the arts, history, philosophy, and the humanities in general.

Having given up in understanding the Higgs boson issue, I continued to read articles about the award recipient. Two things that jumped out at me and that I did totally comprehend were that Higgs' mother was from Scotland and his father was from England. Interestingly, my parents' families paralleled that of Higgs' family. However, my father's side was Scottish and my mother's side was English. In addition, the other thing that I noted was that Higgs lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. I had lived in Edinburgh 45-years ago where I went to the University of Edinburgh at New College. I loved Edinburgh and especially Edinburgh. Higgs taught at the University of Edinburgh. In addition, I spent a month in Scotland this past spring because I was interested in researching the Scottish independence movement. There will be a vote to leave the UK on September 18, 2014. I have interviewed anyone who was will to talk with me informally. I have also videotaped two interviews of Doug Norris and the Duke of Argyll. NPR interviewed me upon my return.

I wish that I could have interviewed Peter Higgs while I was in Scotland a half year ago. I would have loved to interview him about a subject that I have some background. However, I will look him up upon my return in 2014 after the Scots vote for independence. My guess is that Higgs is pro-independence.

Finally, it was interesting to note that Higgs did not get the official announcement of the Nobel Prize by phone or by email, since he does not have phone or a computer. Higgs is a great Scot...frugal but smart. I would be willing to bet how he will vote in less than a year.


Scottish independence: Yes campaign

Scottish independence flag

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