Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Of Leptons And Licorice

Leptons are elementary particles in the universe.(wiki) Elementary particles are not composed of other particles. They are the smallest, most basic – most elementary particles there are. There are many different elementary particles in the Standard Model of modern physics. Leptons and Quarks are Fermions that make up the atoms with which we’re all familiar. There are also bosons, including the Higgs Boson of recent Large Hadron Collider fame (press announcement), and hypothetical particles proposed by supersymmetric theories not yet proven.

I like the leptons because, in addition to muons, taus and the neutrinos, they include the electron, without which our electronic technology and this very blog could not exist. We see electrons in all their splendor during storms in violent outbursts we call lightning; we feel electrons when we walk on shag carpet in wool socks and try to touch a metal doorknob; and we can read electrons (at least indirectly) in the form of data that appears on our computer screens, as in the characters and words of this blog.

No one has ever actually seen a lepton. Arguably, no one ever will. We know they exist from experimental results and profound, complex thought about the nature of our universe. By thinking, observing and measuring that which we can see, we are able to understand that which we cannot see. I believe that is an excellent analogy for the nature of this blog, the purpose of which will be to explore that which I see, know, believe or surmise as well as to showcase that which I love, my passions, interests and creations.

Why licorice? For starters I like licorice – real licorice, not that red stuff. Some doctors even say licorice is good for you. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere if you look for it, but the truth is somewhat simpler. A grade-school English teacher of mine taught us that “a little alliteration goes a long way.” Besides, “Infinity and Jelly Doughnuts” was already taken.

If I haven’t already bored you silly, welcome to my musings. Hopefully this will be the first of many. This is my first blog entry ever. Can we all say late adopter?

The above image is a digital rendering I created of my interpretation of a water molecule. The full image can be seen on my DeviantArt page at jeremymallin.deviantart.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment