The Higgs boson? It was just here in the bar…
13/12/2011 1 Comment
With this afternoon’s CERN press conference raising the newsworthiness of the Higgs boson once more, it seems like everyone is talking about the universe’s most famous (and elusive) particle again. While CERN’s resident Higgsologists presented a considerable amount of data, enough to make significant progress in the search for the particle, they still weren’t able to conclusively state if it does or does not exist.
Now, I’m no particle physicist, but I once had a go at locating the Higgs in my story ‘All the Wrong Places’, published in Australia’s Cosmos magazine back in February 2010. You can read the full piece via this link.
“This is really funny, light absurdity,” Locus said about the story, a farce about how the search for the Higgs has wormed its way into popular culture. Its protagonists are two C-list physicists tracking the Higgs through its various adventures:
“Evidence was mounting that we should forget about electroweak parameters and particle accelerators. Instead we started measuring Michelin Stars and blagging our way into exclusive after-parties. We bought sunglasses and expensive cameras. We started hanging around fancy hotels and passing grubby bills to every sticky-fingered concierge that we could find.”
A little over two years have gone by since I wrote ‘All the Wrong Places’ and I feel like I’ve developed a lot as a writer since then (always forward, right?). Looking back on it, there are some things I would change about the story (in particular, the excursion to CERN strikes me as ground zero for any potential redraft) and, if I was writing it today, I’d also include something about the Higgs saving the Euro. I suppose topicality is a double-edged sword though, so maybe that particular omission is for the best. Still, this is a piece I really like, the kind of story which allows me to indulge my super-frivolous mode (sorry, Science!). I hope you enjoy it.