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The Triumph of the Accountants, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Higgs Boson

Trust the math.

No matter how crazy it seems.

 

If you are at all hooked into the world of science–and if you are not, you probably are looking for a different website–you must be aware of the hoopla surrounding the discovery of the Higgs boson. The news was splashed across the papers, filled the covers of Nature and Science and Physical Review. Peter Higgs, he of the eponymous particles, a gentle and shy man, became an instant celebrity, which ramped up afterwards with the awarding of the Nobel Prize to him and Brout.   Physicists argued, spittle flying, over who truly deserved the prize.

But what was the fuss about the Higgs? Why was it so important?

It short, it was all about the math. It was, in the end, making sure the microscopic books added up. It was about accounting.

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