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One of the quirkiest things about quantum mechanics is that there is not a whole lot of certainty involved.
Ever since Heisenberg applied his mind to particle theory article last century, it became clear that we have to accept the concept of "probability" rather than certainty when dealing with all things quantum.
And so it is today -- the day when researchers at CERN announced that they had seen evidence if a new sub-atomic particle, perhaps the elusive Higgs boson or "God particle".
Why is the Higgs so important?
Because it's the missing (previously unobserved) link in our accepted theories of how matter is composed. The Higgs is responsible (or partly responsible), we're told, for mass and it is mass that is at the cornerstone of the Newtonian physics on which we have relied for so long.
Of course scientists still haven't seen this elusive little sod -- they have only seen decay products that suggest a high probability it exists.
Of course the scientific community is keen to lay bets in favour of the Higgs Boson's existence because it validates our existing standard model of particle physics. If we were unable to find the evidence recently turned up by the LHC, it'd be a major blow to accepted theory.
Such a monumental (probable) discovery serves to show just how little we really know about our universe and the nature of the matter and forces from which it is built.
While it might sound impressive that we've uncovered evidence of the Higgs Boson, I suspect that in a few centuries time, it will be to our science, as the Wright brothers' Kittyhawk flight was to man's landing on the moon. A very, very small but exceedingly significant step.
Last night I watched an episode of Star Trek and, with the news of the Higgs particle still fresh in my mind, I realised that our current view of future space travel is probably never going to become reality.
I predict that the quantum world, although the smallest one we know of, will be the biggest one - from the perspective of mankind's scientific development and achievement.
Quantum entanglement may prove to deliver the kind of communications over infinite distances that Trekies would consider "subspace radio".
The secret to exceeding light-speed will be highly reliant on manipulating the effects of the Higgs Boson particle so as to neutralise mass. If mass can be eliminated, the speed of light no longer becomes a barrier and objects could (in theory) be instantly accelerated from a standstill to "warp 9" without the crushing effects of inertia.
I only wish I were a young man. If I had a lifetime ahead of me, I would almost certainly spend it researching the quantum world. There is so much to be discovered there and those discoveries will be the most important ever made by mankind -- of that I'm certain (well, I believe there is a very high "probability").
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