The following piece is inspired by the article at http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2012/03/20/technological-applications-of-the-higgs-boson/#.Wrsn_P3lDwc , “Technological Applications of the Higgs Boson” By Sean Carroll | March 20, 2012
Research into the Higgs Field and the Higgs Boson has been very costly over many years. The large Hadron Collider which enabled the existence of the Higgs Boson to be confirmed is hugely expensive to build and maintain. What possible use will this fundamental be? Will any of the knowledge gained be applicable to the field of power generation?
“On 4 July 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider announced they had each observed a new particle in the mass region around 126 GeV. This particle is consistent with the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model. The Higgs boson, as proposed within the Standard Model, is the simplest manifestation of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. Other types of Higgs bosons are predicted by other theories that go beyond the Standard Model.” Source: CERN at https://home.cern/topics/higgs-boson
With Einstein’s famous formula, contained in his 1905 General Theory of Relativity, science has had since that time the theoretical framework to work toward efficient production of vast amounts of useful energy. So far the application of nuclear fission has been the only technology used to produce power according to the formula E = MC squared. (The reverse equation M = E/C squared is also true. ) Nuclear reactors are extremely inefficient in the percentage of fission energy they actually capture, harness and change into electrical power in the grid. Most of the energy is lost as heat, radiation and friction.
Einstein’s formula shows the equivalence between Mass and Energy. The mediator which allows the conversion of Mass into Energy and vice versa is the speed of light squared. In simple terms, Mass and Energy can be interpreted as both being the same “stuff” in different states.
The Higgs Field and the particle associated with it, the Higgs Boson, is the field by which fundamental particles are endowed with mass. The Standard Model holds that there would be no mass without this interaction been fundamental particles and the ever present Higgs Field. While researchers at CERN theoretically confirmed the Higgs Boson, or at least a particle which fits the specifications for the Higgs Boson, modern physics has yet to confirm the Higgs Field. However, if such a field does not exist, from what I understand, much of the Standard Model of modern physics is wrong. Including much of the understanding of General Relativity. E and M are equivalent to one another, and the state of “stuff” in any precise location depends entirely upon the modifier constant, C squared. What is energy and what is mass entirely depends upon how C squared (the speed of light squared) operates (either as a multiplier or a divider) of the basic stuff of the cosmos.
How Energy is gifted with mass by the Higgs Field, and how Mass is transformed into Energy, mediated probably by the field’s associated particle, the Higgs Boson, it quite beyond my understanding and imagination. One can see however that a tiny amount of mass becomes a huge amount of energy when transformed by the equation. One can see that a huge amount of energy is needed to produce a tiny amount of mass.
“Over the past few decades, particle physicists have developed an elegant theoretical model (the Standard Model) that gives a framework for our current understanding of the fundamental particles and forces of nature. One major ingredient in this model is a hypothetical, ubiquitous quantum field that is supposed to be responsible for giving particles their masses (this field would answer the basic question of why particles have the masses they do–or indeed, why they have any mass at all). This field is called the Higgs field. As a consequence of wave-particle duality, all quantum fields have a fundamental particle associated with them. The particle associated with the Higgs field is called the Higgs boson.” Source: “What exactly is the Higgs boson? Have physicists proved that it really exists?” Stephen Reucroft of the Elementary Particle Physics group at Northeastern University, Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-exactly-is-the-higgs/
When humanity learns how to directly manipulate the Higgs Field, it seems quite plausible to think we might be able to trigger controlled energy flows from it by simple interaction. For mass is to the Higgs Field as light is the Electromagnetic Field. A disturbance in the EM field is what light is. Mass is a disturbance in the Higgs Field. If E becomes M in the Higgs Field, it means that the field is perpetually extremely energy dense.
While nuclear industry maintains that it remains the high point in modern energy technology, I disagree. Fission is very rudimentary and wasteful. Fusion is proving difficult.
The invocation of universal ever present “field” as described by modern physics in its expression of the Higgs Field takes up us back years to the Lorenz Field or ether idea. The Lorenz equations, along with the Heavyside equations (Faraday’s work on EM with Heavyside, as Faraday could not do maths) may be totally irrelevant to the Higgs Field.
However, just as people dreamed of directly tapping the Lorenz “ether” long ago, I see no difficulty in thinking that the cosmos is fully of energy, that it last for billions of years more still. And that one day, when we fully understand how the form of the physical universe came to be, we might tap that ever present energy directly for clean and eternal power.
I certainly cannot believe that nuclear industry holds all the answers it thinks it does to economic power. For a start, its companies keep going bankrupt.
With the advent of solar panels for the average South Australian home (and mostly, in the city we mainly all have them), the formula for the conversion of light into electricity is far more important to our power bills than is Einstein’s famous one.
Calculating the Energy from Sunlight over a 12-Hour Period
(Written in response to an inquiry recently received)
Incident sunlight is usually thought of in terms of power per unit area. The typical units are mW/cm2. At the earth’s surface, the nominal value of the solar constant is 137 mW/cm2. This value corresponds to high noon with the sun directly overhead (as would occur at the equator or in the tropics).
The energy from sunlight may be obtained from this number and a little geometry. If we take energy in mJ (millijoules), then from the units alone we obtain
mJ = (mW/cm2) x (Area in cm2) x (Time in sec) source: NASA.