Batman, Higgs and Nuclear Terror: Dinner With Jim

The End of Dinner

Jules Alexandre Grün (1868-1938*), Fin de Souper, 1913.
Oil on Canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing, France

At a recent dinner discussing the prospect of nuclear terrorism, the Cowboy found himself contemplating that Batman of particle physics: the Higgs boson.  Why Batman?  Well, the Higgs boson is dark and elusive, and kind of like a cosmological super-hero.

First though, you are probably wondering whether the frighteningly-high probability of a horrific terrorist act decimating an otherwise lovely city makes for appropriate dinner conversation among polite company.  Hmmm…  Good question.  The topic sort of encompasses religion (nihilism, the afterlife, eschatology) and politics (mutually assured destruction, containment, non-proliferation), so ostensibly the answer would be “no”.  Well, it was stimulating and oddly entertaining nonetheless.