Wednesday, 4 March 2015

quantum triviality

Via Neat-o-Rama, comes the story that the mathematically literate and long-running television series The Simpsons had Homer at the blackboard (in the episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, wherein he tries to outdo the prolificacy of inventor Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park) parsing a formula that’s eerily similar to the solution that particle physicists derived over a decade later to describe the mass of a Higgs-Boson particle, whose existence at the time of first airing was only theoretical. Given the naming controversy over this nano-particle, sometimes called the “God Particle,” maybe it should be called the Homer Boson. Even if only coincidental—to show the audience something incongruent, something they’d expect more from Professor Frick, and inscrutable, I hope that the story is true—although the debunking can also attract a lot of interest and hopefully in the sciences as well as the cartoon.