When it comes to science, I am an admirer from afar. I definitely come down on the Penny rather than the Sheldon side of the equation. It hurts my brain, trying to understand some of what I read. And then, much to my frustration, I promptly forget it. And yet…I love it like I love some poetry and like I love an ancient tree. It feeds something in me. It’s magnetic, pulling on me and then hiding from me. (Much like God in that way.)

While reading, trying to understand what in the world the Higgs boson is, I came across this:

Even with regard to mass, understanding the Higgs doesn’t tell us everything. The recipe of the universe seems to be about 68% mysterious “dark energy” that accelerates the expanding universe, about 25% incompletely understood “dark matter” that holds together galaxies, and only about 5% ordinary stuff – the kind that the Higgs gives mass to.

And even the mass of ordinary matter isn’t entirely explained by the Higgs. Ordinary stuff (e.g., you) is made of protons and neutrons, but those particles are made of even more fundamental particles called quarks. Quarks do, indeed, get their masses from the Higgs, but as it turns out, protons are much ore than the sum of their parts; less than 2% of the mass of a proton comes directly from the mass of the quarks – and thus, the Higgs. Instead, the vast majority of your mass comes from the fact that everything inside your atomic nuclei is flying around at nearly the speed of llight. (Dave Goldberg)

Less than 2%. Flying around in all that space. Think of it.

penny hardy
penny hardy