From Pauline Gagnon at CERN via Quantum Diaries: “All on the Higgs for (nearly) everyone”

“Like most of my colleagues, the most frequently asked question I get from friends and family these days is: what is this Higgs boson business? Here is what I hope will help not only family members but also struggling physicists. It is not the simplest but it is complete and accurate.

First of all, let’s clarify one point: it has nothing to do with God. This “God’s particle” business has got to go. It was just a bad joke to start with and like any joke, it gets stale fast.

And we need to talk about three separate aspects: the Higgs mechanism*, the Higgs field and the Higgs boson.

See Pauline’s very thorough discussion here.

*Link is to Wikipedia with which some might object

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Brookhaven Lab